9 plus pointers from "Let's Pour" email newsletter - do's and don'ts. . .

Aaron's picture

9 (or more) do's and don'ts from a real email marketing niche newsletter

We subscribe to many different email marketing campaigns, both in our personal / hobby interest areas and in our marketing research interest areas and as we are in the business of improving our own email marketing do's and don'ts, it is neat to learn from other's do's and don'ts (and is often much easier to spot in others' campaigns than in your own, which is why we recommend always having a second and third eye editor before any message goes out- if possible)

Recently, I was sent a social invite to "Letspour.com" and have found the user interface to be very easy to understand and learn.  
Letspour.com is a social site where people can share their favs for different kinds of wines and wine-food pairings, among other things.
In the most recent email newsletter we received, we will show a few great "do's and don'ts" that we picked up on from this single email:
Point #1:  Subject LineHeader and Brand continuity:  
Without a good subject line, where you are recognized by your subscribers, and they are interested enough by your words to open the  email, you have already lost the battle.  The first 2 battles in getting response from your subscribers is to
1) make sure it makes it to their inbox and
2)  make the subject line appealing enough so your subscriber will open it 

Let's pour - header graphic gives good continuity while the greeting and initial statement missed this subscriber a bit
Let's Pour has a great simple header and continuity with their emails.  Clean, appealing graphics in the header with their logo helps in immediate recognition and brand continuity.
Point #2: A "do" and a "don't" all in one line:  Let's Pour has a great salutation, in that they use my name in the greeting.   It is nice to be greeted personally from a company.  In fact, you should write emails as though your were writing to an individual friend in most cases (not a crowd).  
The problem is (view the inset above), it is my last name they used in the salutation, and though I do not necessarily have a problem with it, using the wrong name in the newsletter can instantly turn a small fraction of people off (even if I made the mistake and entered the registration information incorrectly).
 Since I am very aware of the software types and forms that collect the information and store them in the database, it is easy for me to overlook this mistake because I have made it on more than one occasion with my own campaigns.
Point # 3:  Easy to read - with succinct points and benefits:
One thing I really appreciate about newsletters is when they can make the newsletter easy to read, concise, and visually clear.  
Let's pour get's an A+ for their recent newsletter as the fonts are clean, the points are concise and offset very well so someone can browse the newsletter and key in right on what interests them most (and it is easy to follow through to the main website).   Also, look how they segment the newsletter with great bullets or headlines.  Very easy to read!  
Point # 4:  Add interest and community with badges, points, contests, etc.
Let's Pour has real "friendly contests" between users
Let's pour receives another A+ because they keep their users interest and involvement by promoting certain behaviors with recognition and badges for contributing to the community.    
Additionally, they have contests with real prizes (another bonus for the newsletter and keeping people involved).
Point # 5:  Giving thanks and encouraging feedback
At the end of the letter, the author thanks the subscriber and encourages feedback while giving a little "reason why" copywriting.  Telling people the real reason (or having a beneficial "reason why") can elicit a higher response rate in some campaigns, including sales.
Point # 6:  Several calls to action- user has many choices
In many direct-sales "rules of the trade", a singular call to action is best.  However, in a newsletter, the call to action can be varied and a good newsletter can service a client or visitor far better by giving the subscriber many choices.  There are times for singular calls to action and then there are times for maintaining interest by giving the subscriber many choices based off of their personal preferences at the time.  This newsletter was loaded with ways that the subscriber could take many different actions based off of individual interest and choice.
Point # 7:  Salutation has the real name of the site owner and a real physical address is at the end - makes it personal and legit
One of the biggest challenges with email marketing (or any marketing) is creating immediate trust and credibility.  One of the quickest ways to lose trust and credibility is by making it difficult or impossible to contact you, or to find your physical address, phone number or other contact information.

 Unless it is otherwise unsafe, giving a physical address and direct contact information is one of the best ways to tell your audience that you are legit and are not going anywhere soon.  Although it is not necessary in a lot of advertising and other forms of media, when you are trying to establish and build an ongoing relationship, building trust by making it easy to contact your company is essential.
Point # 8:  This email continues to load the user up with free benefits and some p.s. teasers!
Another great way to build subscriber confidence is by giving a load of great, helpful and easy-to-read information in their interest area, and then selling the call to action or product at the end.  This newsletter gives two great "interest / involvement" calls in the "Winter Blues Giveaway" (which is relevant to the season and what many people may be struggling with at the time of the email) and a free iPhone app at the end (which is serving the user at another level - by offering a free app that helps them maintain even more interest and contact with the community).
Point # 9:  They make it clear and easy to control my own messages and profile:
My own user profile link and subscription settings are easily accessed at the end of the email (no one is trying to hide my ability to change settings or cancel my subscription if I so choose)  Giving and communicating trust to the customers is an age-old direct marketing gold nugget!  Many are in the form of 30-60-90 day no hassle return policies, but in this case, since nothing was purchased, they simply make it easy to have control of my level of involvement, even if I decide to terminate.  No one really wants spam (not in my circles), and more than that- people do not want to opt into something while being stiff-armed into continual messages while making profile and communication choices desperately difficult to find and change.
So, which of these pointers have you used successfully in your campaigns?  
Which ones have you overlooked?
Which pointers elicit other creative email marketing options for your customer or subscriber base?

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Aaron's picture

Hi Aaron,

Thanks you using our email as example on your forum.

We are thrilled!

I know we have room to improve and appreciate your feedback.



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