Imagine speaking to thousands of potential and loyal customers in person. That’s what email marketing does for you. Thanks to its high ROI and incredible reach, it remains one of the most popular forms of marketing. Email marketing doesn’t work like magic, however. You need to have an actionable strategy, gather valuable insights, and create compelling content so that your emails are dazzling (pun intended).
It has been shown that emails influence 50.7 percent of customers in their purchase decisions. How can you take advantage of this? You need to make sure that you get some things right – and make sure that you don’t get other things wrong.
Our list of the most common email marketing mistakes will help you find your way down the incredibly rewarding road of email marketing.
1. Send your email to the junk folder
If your customers don’t see your email in their inbox, it’s a pretty reliable indicator that your campaign is failing. The good news is that there are ways to prevent your brand from ending up in the junk folder. You could ask your subscribers to whitelist you, but to do that they have to take action and you can’t always rely on it. Instead, make sure that your email content is as spam-free as possible. Here are some tips:
- Avoid using words like “free” in the subject line.
- Include alt text for all of your images so the spam filters can decipher what they are.
- Use email addresses you’ve willingly given to avoid them reporting you as spam. In other words, don’t buy email lists.
- Do not use capital letters in your text and subject.
- Use a legitimate email address to send your communications from.
2. Attempt to circumvent the GDPR and / or other legalities
Most regulations, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), have one goal: protecting users’ privacy and data. Make sure you understand the legal requirements for sending emails in your geographic destinations to avoid getting caught up in legislation or paying huge fines. It would be really stupid to share your email lists with third parties, receive data without user consent, and compromise someone’s right to privacy.
3. Apply a universal email strategy to all of your customers
The strength of email marketing lies in its ability to be personalized for different audiences. Using a comprehensive content and email strategy for all of your audiences is a surefire way to get yourself going and sounding uninteresting. There are several ways you can customize your audience’s experience with your email:
Use dynamic content
Which will do better with Jim? A simple “Hello” OR “Hey Jim!” Ready to wear the coolest sandals in all of California! ‘? It is clearly the latter that uses dynamic content such as its name and location. Dynamic content uses the data you need to make your content relevant and interesting.
All you have to do is get creative with the data you have. You can capture some important data like location or interests when you ask your audience to sign up. Then use what you need to make each customer feel like you are speaking to them directly – and no one else. Dynamic content allows you to have a face-to-face conversation with your subscriber and that’s not an opportunity you want to miss.
Segment your target audience
Why talk to a loyal customer the same way you would to someone who has never interacted with your brand or company? It doesn’t make sense to neglect your customers’ unique needs, circumstances, and relationships with your company. Segmented campaigns have a 14.37 percent higher open rate and 64.78 percent more clicks than non-segmented campaigns.
On a platform like social media, you have no choice but to send the same messages to all of your audiences at the same time. However, email is powerful enough that you can divide your target audience into segments or groups based on a variety of factors. This puts you in control of your brand’s voice. Some segmentation strategies can be demographics, email engagement, location, and interests.
4. Sending desktop-oriented emails
Today, emails are mostly viewed on mobile devices. A study by Adobe found that 85 percent of people use smartphones to access email. Why are you still sending email that is best read on a desktop?
Creating a mobile-friendly email layout involves design and content considerations. Here are some ways to optimize it for mobile devices:
- Make sure your typography and fonts are clear and legible on smaller screens
- Keep your buttons big, obvious, and easy to use
- Choose clean and simple images to avoid clutter on the mobile screen
- Use an attractive design and layout
- Keep your text content in short sentences and avoid too much of it
5. Have your reader ask what to do
That’s big and easy to avoid. If you fail to alert your reader of the actions to take, you are missing out on a significant opportunity. Make sure your email directs them to the next steps they should take – a customized landing page is best, but a relevant page on your website will do.
Creating a clear call-to-action is a simple and important task. Buttons work better than shortcuts because they are more pronounced and noticeable. While it’s good to get creative with the text on your buttons, it should be sacrificed for clarity and usefulness.
6. Sending emails with a dull subject line
So you have invested a lot of time and thought into creating your email. However, if your subject line was an afterthought, your open rates will go down. The subject line is the first impression your subscriber will have. This will help you pique his interest enough that you can actually open and read the email. Themes are the most important real estate you have, so use them wisely.
7. Showing too often in inboxes
It’s great to be consistent, but there is such a thing as overcrowding. Try to find a good frequency for your email. People get too many emails every day. If you keep cluttering your inbox, your email may simply be deleted as soon as it appears. Or, worse, get reported as spam. To hit that frequency sweet spot, turn to your analytics and see what days and times the best open rates and clicks are recorded. Adjust your campaign times accordingly.
8. Overlooked Analytics
A wealth of data is available to you in the form of your email analysis. Use the information available before planning your next campaign. Data is a powerful tool for you as it can help you personalize your content so that it is relevant and compelling. From campaign structures and segmentation to content creation and picking times, you can make informed decisions and strategies based on the behavior of your subscribers. Analytics can also help you clean up your list and remove the ones that regularly skipped your email.
9. Subscribing to a painful process
Do you really need to know everything you ask a potential subscriber about? Some of the most effective subscription boxes are those that simply ask for a name and email address. It’s okay to add a few extra fields to personalize campaigns, but don’t overdo it. Also, make sure that your subscription option is clearly visible and accessible on all of your marketing channels.
It’s easy to become an email marketing fool, but it’s easier not to! Test different strategies and approaches to make sure you reach your subscribers. And use smart tools to get your email out into the world easily – while keeping it engaging, refreshing, and most importantly, effective.