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Six Classic Mistakes Email Newsletters Make

by Mark Brownlow  |  
February 13, 2007

MP Classic

Editor's note: A lot has changed in marketing since 2002, but some principles still hold. This MarketingProfs Classic, originally published January 22, 2002, is a timeless look at the mistakes email marketers make—mistakes that prevent an email newsletter from reaching its full potential.

Email newsletters help build customer and partner relationships, contribute to branding efforts, increase awareness, improve customer service and add value to purchases and registrations.

And those are just the indirect benefits.

But in the rush to the virtual printing presses, marketers are making a lot of mistakes. Eliminate those mistakes and the true potential of newsletters unfolds. Here are six of the best.

1. Confusing newsletters with promotions

Many marketers don't make the distinction between an email newsletter and email promotions. The latter are action-oriented; designed to provoke some kind of (immediate) response through a click, a sign-up, a purchase, whatever. They're what most people think of under the term opt-in email marketing.

Email newsletters may contain action-related elements, but their real potential lies in building, over time, a lasting, long-term relationship with the reader. Which means they may not try and induce any kind of immediate action at all. Instead, they create a climate, an environment, a relationship which predisposes the reader to taking such an action at some other time.

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Mark Brownlow, Ph.D., is a writer, traveler, and footbal (soccer) fan (

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