Newsletters are a popular and affordable way for small businesses to spread awareness of their services, increase their audience, and ultimately boost sales. Unfortunately, on average, less than 40% of marketing emails are actually being opened. Which means that all of the valuable time spent drafting, editing, and scheduling is not paying out the way it should be.

If you’re looking to spruce up your current outreach or if you want to add a newsletter to your marketing strategy, don’t stress! We’ve collected some of the most common Email Newsletter Mistakes and provided suggestions and solutions to up your game.

1. Mistake: You aren’t checking your campaign results.

Solution: Track your Send Reputation (both Google and Microsoft have tools to help you analyze your email performance). This is the most direct way of knowing how your newsletters are being received, and if they are being received. If you don’t know how many people are opening, clicking, unsubscribing, or even bouncing, then you have no way to know what you should be improving!

Once you have your campaign results, here are some questions to consider:

  • What do your subscribers respond to?
  • How does the subject line impact your open rate?
  • Do they like the way you’re dividing your thoughts?
  • Do they click on your links/buttons?
  • Do they prefer lots of images or none at all?

2. Mistake: Your subject lines aren’t attention grabbing!

Solution: Have fun and be personal with your email subject lines. This doesn’t mean that they need to be flashy–It could mean that you include your recipient’s name, an emoji related to the subject, or that you ask them a question. The most important thing is that whatever you do, you stay true to both your audience and your brand identity without becoming repetitive or stagnant.

3. Mistake: You don’t have a Call To Action (CTA) or clear way for your recipient to respond.

Solution: Have a clear purpose for your email and thread it into each element. Is there a sale? A new blog post? Are you asking them to sign up for a new email list or program? Whatever the reason for your newsletter, make it clear from your subject line to your signature. You should also be providing plenty or opportunities for them to click out of the email and onto your website, blog, social media, or wherever you may be directing them. If your readers want more they should be able to reach it immediately!

4. Mistake: You’ve forgotten to optimize your newsletters for mobile.

Solution: Always format and edit for both desktop and mobile readers. Did you know that more than 70% of people check their email on their phones? That means if you’re forgetting to check the formatting of your newsletter on both desktop and mobile, you could be missing a huge percent of your audience! They might be opening your emails, but if they’re difficult or confusing to read then you aren’t making the connection you want. Before you send, try using an email optimization checker like Email On Acid to see how your newsletter looks on different devices and when opened in different email browsers.

Bonus Tip: For your CTA be sure you’re using a button instead of a link—it reads better on mobile, looks cleaner, and its enticing! Try one of these button generator services: ClickMinded or VerticalResponse.

No matter why you send newsletters, don’t get stuck in the same old cycle—get ahead of it! If you start by kicking some or all of these common mistakes you’re sure to increase your audience and encourage interaction.

Looking to increase your newsletter game but don’t have the time? Start here!