Please, No Cute Animal Pictures

I read this recent article quickly at first. Then I blinked and reread it. Sure enough, there it was… advice to add cute animal pictures to your newsletter.

If you’re a vet or an animal groomer, this is definitely your strategy. The rest of us should stay far away from them, at least in our business-to-business newsletters. (And blogs, unless you’re illustrating a point and have an excuse. I wonder how they got him in that mailbox anyway!)

That article was all about how important it is to make your newsletter fun. Here are the other 3 tips:

  • Surprises
  • Jokes
  • Puzzles and games

Surprises are good, if they’re genuine. Made up surprises are just plain hokey and un-credible.

Jokes? Unless you are a comedian, jokes can be a little tricky (especially dry humour) and socially risky. Anyway, do you really want to be remembered for your jokes?

There may be legitimate uses for puzzles and games, depending on your business. Use them only if they really add value, never to just fill space. I can tell you from experience that getting a crossword puzzle into an eNewsletter so that you can print it and still read it is a real pain.

Should newsletters be fun? I sincerely hope that you have more important goals for your newsletter. But if being fun is a strategic way to meet your email marketing goals, then I suggest that you make sure to do it really, really well.

Note to our clients: One of you will undoubtedly write and ask for a cute puppy in your next newsletter. Please don’t torture me (Stephanie).

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