After I started taking submissions for reviews of SCUBA email newsletters (I can do your web site too if you’re feeling brave), I received a flood of requests. I have other content as well, so I’m spacing them out a bit.
This review was submitted by David at Liquid Experience. David has written a couple of guest posts here in the past, so the name may sound familiar.
The Liquid Experience Email Newsletter
Being the victim of my PADI
brainwashing training, let’s start with the good aspects:
- Yay MailChimp! In my last review, I explained why I love MailChimp, so if you haven’t considered them, give them a look.
- Excellent branding. This is one thing David has had going for him since we “met”, he understands and fully utilizes his brand via an eye-catching logo.
- Great links. Plenty of relevant links to very informative sites related to his content.
- Sharing and social capabilities. Right at the top the user can Friend on Facebook, Follow on Twitter or Forward to a Friend. Make connecting as easy as possible!
Area for Improvement
Again, this is a good newsletter. David is probably doing a better job at staying in touch with his earlier customers than many dive centers, so these pointers are just the icing on the cake.
- Spell check. There’s a misspelling in your first full sentence. The rest of the newsletter looks good however. I recently wrote about Hiring a Copywriter for your SCUBA Website or Blog, but if you know you’re terrible at writing (I’m not saying David is), you can also consider hiring an editor to help make your newsletters flow more smoothly.
- Not enough links to his business. The opening paragraph about classes is prime real estate, give specific links to course sign ups or descriptions since you have both on your web site. The majority of the links are going to other resources, which is great, but be sure to drive your customers back to you.
- Make your contact info POP. David has the right idea by placing his phone number in his header, but it blends in a little too much. I recommend adding contact info along with the sharing links in the top of the right sidebar.
- Get rid of the spam message (but make unsubscribing easier). Yes, most people don’t want people to unsubscribe, but the reality is that if someone is going to unsubscribe, they want it to be easy. Put the link both before the email and at the end (like David has now). If people can’t find the link, they’ll just hit the spam button, which puts you at risk.
- Consider “blocks” instead of columns. Email newsletters are narrow to fit a variety of screen sizes. Adding three columns into this narrow window makes everything a bit crunched and can impact readability. Convert the three articles currently formatted in columns into horizontal blocks.
- Add a Table of Contents. When doing blocks instead of columns, it may make some of your content seem VERY far down in the email. Adding a table of contents to the top lets people know what is in the email, plus you can add jump links to make it even easier for people to get to the content they’re most interested in.
- Show confidence. David, you ROCK! You know it, I know it, let your readers know it. “We are planning to be there to help promote” is more concise and confident as “We will be there to promote”. “I do not know the space available” is more confident as “space is limited, so make arrangements now”. “We are going to explore it and see if we can find the best dive sites” is better as “We will explore and discover the best dive sites”. You get the idea.
- Show personality. As Eric pointed out last time, give us some more personality so you’re not just another dive shop in town.
While it may seem like a bit to consider, these fixes shouldn’t take much time. Several of them are simply mindset, so just getting in the right head state will make future newsletters go much easier and faster.
Great job though and thanks for submitting!