Don’t Scare Off Your Customers

CustomersEverywhere you look these days, you’re being told that we have a shorter attention span. Congratulations, if you made it to the end of that sentence. I remember when they said that Sesame Street’s brief “sketches” had an attention-shortening effect on kids. Soon after, movies and music videos were to blame. Now, it’s social media. The current warnings sound like an excuse to be curt and throw all kinds of things at people at an alarming rate.’s newsletter is a prime example.

I’ll save you…money!

Great content is of utmost importance.   You don’t want customers to unsubscribe from your email list because of poor content. SuperHeroStuff regularly sends out a newsletter that is heavy on sales and light on much else. They use their newsletter to bombard their followers with lots of little images, buttons and deals, in the hopes that some part of it will get their attention. Most of the time, I skip it and go straight to their site when I’m looking for that special gift.


Above, is an example one of’s emails (addressed as newsletters)—it’s really just a several-paged ad. These ads are busy and repetitive, with a dizzying amount of calls to action.

Oooh…shiny! knows the importance of engaging your newsletter subscribers. They advise to talk about other things than just your products or services. Newsletters should be about helping your subscribers. The focus should be on them. No one reads every word in an email. suggests that as a marketer, you ask yourself whether or not you would read your newsletter emails.

SquirrelIt is a good idea to use your own attention span as an indicator of the appropriate length for your emails. It is also good to test your content, by changing up your email content a little each time. You would then monitor how the emails were (or weren’t) being converted into click-throughs, coupon usage, purchases, etc. This would give you an indication of what is working and what isn’t. Also, sending an email following a sale can do more than ask whether their latest purchasing experience was satisfactory; it can also be used to inquire about the effectiveness of your emails. You can ask why they clicked what they clicked.

Less is more


SuperHeroStuff’s newsletters are way too busy, with a wild disregard for colour use. For the type of products they sell, and the audience they cater to, one expects bright colours and excitement, but it can be scaled back. Their emails need streamlining. People will know what they have to offer by visiting their website. It would be better if they kept their emails to one or two special promotions at a time.

Screen shot 2015-11-26 at 1.09.46Can’t spell functional without ‘fun’

HubSpot is one of my favorite go-tos as a marketing resource. They’ve literally written the book on creating newsletters that don’t suck. Their own newsletters are always uncluttered and informative, linking to no more than three stories at a time. HubSpot also helped me find a great site to compare to.

Poppin makes cool, brightly coloured office furpoppin-email-example-1niture. They employ “Workstylists” who put together modern looking office spaces complimenting their clients’ brand colors.

Poppin understands that their clients want news about deals. They also know whom their products and solutions appeal to. Coupons and discounts sent by email can help in customer acquisition and brand loyalty. They do this without overloading the correspondence. Their use of bold colors in their newsletters matches their modern look. The design is simple, with just enough calls-to-action.

Sit waiting by your Inbox

Quality newsletters are about how you can help your subscribers. You can appear human. Depending on your brand, you may need to sound more or less formal, but either way, your emails should be beguiling enough to lure them to your website. Remember, once you know how much content you can pay attention to, you’ll know how much to include in your emails.

You want your customers to anxiously await your newsletters, and that is not an easy task. But, in building a relationship with them through these emails, offer pertinent and helpful information. This will lead to sales. Following up with them will also help keep their attention, and in turn, create a stronger relationship with your brand.

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