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Writing newsletters isn’t an intuitive process for a lot of people. So, in this post, I’m going to share with you the 3 most common mistakes I see and how to avoid them.


Overcomplicated layout

Programs like MailChimp have lots of predefined templates to choose from. Newbie newsletter writers are drawn to those templates with a sidebar. Probably because this layout mimics printed newsletters that they’re familiar with.

But print and digital media are very different beasts.

Multi-column layouts might look cool in the preview, but are hard to pull off with finesse in execution.

For example, they often don’t look good on mobile devices. And considering lots of people read newsletters on mobiles, you want to keep that in mind.

Having a multi-column format makes it harder to skim. People flit between different parts of the email trying to figure out what the hell is going on.


Choose a simple “single column” layout template.


Not asking “What is the value for the reader?”

When crafting your newsletter, focus on what value you’re providing to the reader. I love a good personal story in a newsletter, but it’s important for it to have a point.

You also don’t have to fill up your newsletter with freebies and create bucket loads of special content.


Value can be as simple as teaching your readers something small, or entertaining them. Ask yourself what value you’re providing to your readers?


No clear call to action

There should be a clear focus and call to action in your newsletter. People don’t spend a lot of time reading newsletters, they skim them. So you should make it easy for people to understand what you’re saying and what you’re inviting them to do.


For example, if you are asking people to join your Facebook group, you could write about the benefit of online communities in your particular area, or perhaps summarise some of the awesome conversations happening in your group.

Then place a “Join the group” button clearly and prominently.

Even if you aren’t inviting your readers to click on a link – if you’re asking them to put something into action, make that clear with different font size or colour, like:

Meditate for 3 minutes today

Rather than:

Try meditating for three minutes today!


Final thoughts

If you’ve made some of these mistakes, don’t panic, I’ve made them too. And if your subscribers haven’t left you in droves, you’re doing okay.

In your next newsletter, you can try implementing some of these fixes and move forward with your newsletter content like a pro.