November 27, 2013

5 Common Email Marketing Mistakes and How to Avoid Catastrophe

Email marketing is one of the most effective channels you can use in your online marketing strategy - when used correctly, of course. One of the biggest misconceptions is that we assume because we're on email all day long (from our smartphones, tablets, desktops and laptops) this makes us skilled email marketers. 

But just because you live and breathe email, does this mean you're being strategic about what you're sending to your customers and prospects?

Pause on hitting sent and check for these email marketing mistakes:

#1 - Not Understanding Your Recipients

One of the biggest email marketing mistakes you can make is not having a solid grasp of who your recipients are. That offer designed for your female audience sounds great, but not in your male audience's inbox. Providing meaningful and valuable content is a wonderful way to engage and influence your customers. If they continue to receive emails that don't apply to their needs or interests, you will lose them.

Resolution - List Segmentation

Consider segmenting your contacts. If you are unfamiliar with the power of segmentation, it is the process of breaking up your email list into specific groups. Segmenting your contacts will allow you to categorize your contacts by lead, product, or service updates. As well as by demographic and what exactly they are looking for from a subscription. This will allow you to send the right email to the right person, increasing your likelihood of a conversion.

Email Mistake #2 - Grammatical Errors

When it comes to email marketing, nothing is more embarrassing than sending out an email campaign to hundreds of recipients, only to find that you skipped over a spelling error. Everyone makes mistakes, but it's important that you provide educational, persuasive information - and one small grammatical error could take away from your credibility. 

Resolution - Utilize your Editors

Triple proof all of your content, send your content to multiple editors, and when all else fails copy and paste the body of the email into a word processor and run a spelling and grammar check. Even the most talented writers and editors can glance over a simple mistake - so be sure to utilize all editing tools and solutions before hitting 'send.'

Download the Email Marketing Best Practices Checklist to learn how to create a  killer email campaign to increase your conversion rates

Email Mistake #3 - Straight to the Trash

This mistake is short and sweet, but is one of the worst things that can happen with your email marketing campaign. You polished and fluffed and are ready to drive results - only problem, your campaign landed in the spam/junk folder of your recipient. 

Resolution - Avoid Spammy Tendencies

Try to avoid including attachments, anything that looks like a virus will be considered one. We recommend including a call-to-action instead, it's much more effective for tracking click-rates and leads and is less likely to be stopped by spam filters. Also, carefully craft your subject line. Don't use any spam related words or phrases, such as, free, insurance, act now, limited time and open immediately - spam filters will catch these words and straight to the trash your email will go.

Email Mistake #4 - Content Errors

We already mentioned spelling and grammatical errors (see tip #2), but also consider these mistakes as well:

  • Un-personalized content (i.e. it's clear that you're sending this email to a bunch of different people)
  • Too much content (i.e. they open their email and it looks like the first chapter of a book - we can guarantee that if it isn't skimmable, they will most likely trash it)
  • Unappealing content (this refers to both visual and written content - make sure your visuals align with your brand and that your copy is aligned to your audience)

Resolution - Create Content Based on your Persona

Avoiding these mistakes are easy if you take time with your email content. For a successful email marketing campaign, offer personalized content about your products / services that addresses your recipients by name at the top of every email. You also want to make sure your email is easy to scan. With email marketing, less is always more. Outline your emails with small, compelling paragraphs and bulleted lists that are quick and easily skimmed. Bold text can help make a certain point stand out that you really want them to read. The goal is to spark their interest and encourage them to take further action to learn more about your offer. Last but certainly not least, make sure your content is remarkable! Entice your readers with content that gets them excited about your offers. This will increase the number of clicks, which will ultimately increase your number of leads and customers.

Email Mistake #5 - You Forgot to Optimize Your Email for Mobile Devices

With so many people connected to their emails via their mobile device how could you forget to optimize it for their on-the-go inbox too? Since you forgot to take this into consideration the email looks like a mess and you have lost the interest of your recipient. If you are hoping they will just open it on their desktop later, think again!

Resolution - Use a Mobile-Friendly Template

Before you start sending out your email campaign, send a few test emails to different mobile devices, such as, iPhone, iPad, Android, etc. You may just have a few easy fixes like making some cosmetic or template changes. Testing is one of the most effective steps you can take to avoid mistakes like this.

Email marketing can be a valuable tool for driving traffic to your website, increasing leads and engaging your customers. Focus on sending out compelling, optimized emails and you will see your return on investment in no time!

Free Download: Email Marketing Best Practices Checklist

Image Source (top image): iProspect

Tag(s): Marketing

Sierra Calabresi

Sierra Calabresi is a former New Breeder.


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