3 Golden Rules To Avoid Email Newsletter Screw-Ups

By Yaro Starak
11 Comments

I recently decided to sign back up to Jeff Walker’s email list (the guy behind Product Launch Formula). He was originally a “victim” when I culled nearly all the subscriptions I had to Internet marketer’s email lists a few months back, but since I am about to finally do my own product launch I figured it was about time to learn from the best.

Jeff’s methods are behind the launches of pretty much every big launch that has occurred in the last year or so, including StomperNet, Pipeline Profits, Mike Filsaime’s Butterfly Marketing launch early last year, everything Rich Schefren has done with Strategic Profits (Jeff consults personally with Rich and was at the seminar I attended) and pretty much any large scale Internet marketing launch you may have been exposed to.

Bear in mind though, that’s just where it’s been applied to in the Internet marketing world, which is perhaps the worst place to apply it, since it’s the market that has seen the most launches. Recent success stories are coming out of non-Internet marketing industries and that’s where I believe it is ripe for leveraging, I just wish I knew something outside of Internet marketing – hmm, maybe an editing and proofreading product launch – maybe not!

If you intend on launching something online, Jeff’s Product Launch Formula is the standard, but you get some good info just from the free list too, which you can subscribe to here –

Product Launch Formula

I’ve just bought the full product, so I should have a review in a few month’s time once I get through it. It’s been a big month for investing in Internet marketing education and travel so far, I think I have now drained my Paypal balance well and truly.

Three Basic Rules To Avoid Email Newsletter Mistakes

The email list is the key component behind most product launches and it acts as the main communication medium between the expert or company, and the prospects. This is an area you want to minimize mistakes.

Jeff offered the following three rules, which while they may seem very basic, are so critical –

  1. First, be sure to always send a test email to yourself before all broadcasts.
  2. Second, be sure to go through and test all links in that test email.
  3. Third, if you make any changes after your test, then repeat the test with your new email.

Can you say you do all three steps above with each and every email you broadcast to your list? How about each and every blog post you write?

I know I don’t, but I should. If you want to demonstrate you’re on top of things and avoid having to adjust for errors after the fact when you have already published or sent your copy, then you need to set up rules like this and follow them each and every time, or have someone else do it for you (my plan eventually – I just want to write and have someone else test for errors).

Simple advice, but simple is always best. Thanks Jeff.

Yaro

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11 Comments

  • Mat

    Sorry to say this but after experiencing the flood of emails from all his clients listed above.. I’m not a fan of Jeff’s work. Fine, they have a product, but the deluge was such a waste of my time I don’t think I’ll ever consider buying a product from anything Schefren-related.

  • What stupidly simple advice…and I had to learn it several times the hard way ;) Particularly #3. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made an “insignificant” change, decided it wasn’t necessary to test everything again, and then watched as it blew up in my face.

    Those rules seem so basic, but I know that most of us ignore them on a regular basis until we’ve learned our lesson.

  • Hi Mat,

    I know what you mean – when something works as well as product launch formula everyone is going to use it, but if you are not really interested in the offers coming from these people then it’s almost as bad as spam.

    My advice, you probably did this already, would be to unsubscribe from any lists you are not interested in the topics presented, unless you still you might have hope for the future from that person.

    In term’s of Schefren’s stuff – I watch/read about 20% of what goes out during his launch – the main video usually, but not the case studies. I’m truly interested in the offer Rich presents to the market, so I won’t subscribe, but I’m also already giving him my money so I don’t need to see every case study video he pumps out.

    It all depends on your wants.

  • Thanks Yaro, just in time for me as I’m looking to launch a newsletter feature soon, are you using Feedburner or Zookoda for your own?

    Allen.H

  • Hi Allen – I’ve used AWeber for both my email lists and my feed email subscription service.

    AWeber isn’t free though, but it’s the leading autoresponder for the small business folk serious about email delivery.

  • Yeah, it is good advice. So good, in fact, that Jeff forgot to follow it last week or the week before and wound up having it bite him!

    I haven’t purchased PLF yet, but once I have something to sell I plan on making the investment. As for the internet marking newsletters, they have mostly become worthless to me since they are pitch after pitch after pitch these days.

  • Yaro,

    Thanks for your kind words…

    I learned those three rules through hard won experience… after I screwed up one too many times I put those simple rules in place and I follow them religiously.

    One other thing… and I think I covered this in the post that you quoted those rules from – even if you follow these rules you will probably still find some way to mess up every now and then. At least I sure do.

    Blaine alluded to that, when I sent out a bad URL a week or so ago. But Blaine is not accurate here – I actually DID follow my rules, and I tested my email and tested the links.

    Unfortunately, I was using a new browser that was “smarter” than my old browser… and it actually “fixed” my bad URL. That meant when I clicked on the bad link in my test email, the bad URL worked and clicked through just fine.

    (The problem was that I had three slashes after http:… a typical silly mistake.)

    I have now taken to mailing my test email to a browser-based email account (such as gmail or yahoo mail) – at this point those browser-based email programs will not “fix” bad URLs.

    In any case, thanks again Yaro – and I look forward to getting your feedback on Product Launch Formula.

    best regards,
    Jeff

  • Good luck with the launch Yaro!

    I’ve actually just started adding newsletters to my blogs in my blog network and I’ve had a few random people signup.

    I’m working on building readership for possible future product launches and find these tips you spit at us all invaluable. I may also have to break down and start reading what this perry has to say.

  • Hi Jeff,

    Thanks for dropping by, it’s always good to see the authors of these products leave comments – good you are keeping watch on the “conversation” going on about your business.

    I wish I could be with you at the underground seminar, I’ll just have to settle for some time with Mike F in Melbourne.

    You coming down under any time soon?

    Yaro

  • Erik – Good stuff! Start early and in a year or two you will have a nice sized list AND blog readership, effectively two assets for the price of…well…1.5 since you do have to write the newsletters too.

  • Hi Yaro,

    It’s so true. The simple things tend to be the ones that can make you or break you. Having learned from painful and costly past experiences, I do tend to do these three things all the time – or I ask my awesome wife, yeah babe, if you’re reading this, you are awesome :-), to do it for me.

    And thankfully, she does help, most of the time.

    A couple of other things that you might consider doing before you send out your email are:

    Use the spam checker on your autoresponder, so your emails actually get delivered and not sent to the spam folders of many of your subscribers.

    Also, you should watch out for certain words you put in your subject line or the body of your email that could label your message as spam.

    Words like “FREE” and too many exclamation points can get your message dumped in the spam folder before your prospects/customers every get to see them.

    Again, simple things. But they can absolutely make or break your product launch – or any other item you send to your subscribers.

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