An email newsletter can be a powerful content piece in your marketing lineup. However, newsletters can just as easily be skipped over in a customer’s or a potential customer’s inbox. So, how can you ensure you’re nailing your newsletter? Often, it is as much about what you do include as what you don’t. Below are a few elements NOT to include in your next email newsletter.

1. A boring subject line. Avoid generic or repetitive subject lines. As an alternative, add value to your newsletter with a subject line that is personalized and tailored. If you are inclined to use something standard for consistency like, “Spring Newsletter,” ensure you’re adding a unique tagline to each edition, such as, “Spring Newsletter: Flower Power Edition.”

2. Long-winded content. Although newsletters are longer than other email content, you don’t want to overwhelm your audience with too much information. The main objective of your newsletter is to incentivize your readers to act. Be brief and try to pare your copy down to get your point across in the fewest words. Your readers can visit other linked content if they want to learn more.

3. Stale images. In newsletters, images and graphics can make a huge impact. Be sure to use images that reflect your company’s image and align with your brand standards. It’s okay to use stock images but ensure you use them in the right context, so they don’t feel forced and out of place. And don’t rely on the same images newsletter after newsletter.

4. “Fluff” content. Is the content in your newsletter legitimately newsworthy? As you review your copy, ask yourself this: “is this relevant, timely and does it matter to my audience?” It’s important to view your content through the lens of your audience and dig deeper into if they will care.

5. Too much self-promotion. Ideally, your newsletter content should be 90 percent educational and 10 percent promotional. Take a moment to reflect on the last newsletter you opened and truly enjoyed. It likely contained educational, entertaining or helpful content. Overly promotional content is far less likely to lead to engaged readers.

7. Too many calls to action. With every call to action you include in your newsletter, consider your motivation for including it. Are you promoting your company’s own goals or are you presenting what you truly think brings value to your audience? Narrow down your list and only include the most important ones.

8. Conflicting goals. When drafting your next newsletter, think long and hard about what you’re trying to accomplish. Do you want more awareness in your industry? More traffic to your website? New leads? To be effective, choose one overarching goal. It’s okay to have secondary objectives, but all efforts need to align with your primary goal.

If created effectively, newsletters can attract your desired audience, convey relevant brand information and inspire action. By following the above list of what not to do, you’re well on your way to creating engaging content that your audience is sure to love.

Happy Marketing!