Whether you are an experienced email marketer or just getting started, we all can use some sort of guidance to creating great email campaigns. Many will make mistakes that just fly over their heads. Some so simple that they can be easily overlooked. The more mistakes you avoid the better results you will have. Here are a few email marketing mistakes to avoid when creating your next campaign:
1. No Testing
What we mean by this is that you should constantly be testing something when sending out emails. Every email campaign should be well thought out and should have some unit of measure. An example of this is A/B split testing. You can do this with most email providers such as mailchimp. You can send two versions of your emails and use 20% of your list for testing. You would send half version A and the other half version B. The winning version in terms of open rate will then be sent to the remaining 80% of your list. That is one example of A/B testing that can be manipulated in any way you wish.
You can test your subject line, imagery, the text of your emails, links vs no links, etc. The list is endless of what you can test. However, many marketers do not take advantage of this. There is not one formula that would work for every list out there so you can't look up a specific formula that would apply to your business. You must test your own audience and learn more and more about your readers. The more you know of your readers, the better you would be able to meet their demands. This can only be achieved by testing, testing, and testing. Don't ever stop testing! Every email sent should have some form of testing in order to get the best out of your campaigns.
2. No Call to Action
Great! your subscribers are opening your emails. Your open rates have climbed higher than previous times. That only tells you one thing! You are using great strategy on email subject lines. However, this is all a waste if you do not tell your readers what to do after digesting your email. If you do not give your readers a call to action, then you are not getting your return on investment for your email campaign. It makes the entire process pointless. Every single email you send should have a call to action attached to it. It doesn't have to be a selling point either. There are several other types of call to actions you can use that in turn build trust and credibility for yourself. You don't want to be like a persistent salesman either.
3. No Reply Email
Having a no reply to email is a bad tactic in one specific instance. You break interaction between yourself and your subscribers. If you are for instance sending an email promoting a product and you send it from a "no reply" email, then if those customers had questions regarding the product, they won't be able to get their questions answered and in turn will not buy your product.
4. Massive Image File Sizes
The problem with massive images on emails is obvious. The larger the image, then more time it will take for the email to load. Subscribers are not going to wait for your humongous image to load. If they click on your email and it starts lagging because of a huge image file, they are not going to wait for it to load. They will throw your email in the garbage bin before your picture has any time to load. Remember, imagery is good.
Most people nowadays retain information better when visuals are included. However, don't over do it! People nowadays want what they want faster than previous years and this is due to technological advances in the past few decades. People have been given results quicker and now they expect everything to be quick and if your email won't open quickly, you will not get the results you want.
5. Misspelling and Typos
What can be worse than typos?? Typos and grammatical mistakes just throw your credibility out the window. If you are a business providing products or a service, what this will say about you is that your business is a careless one. You do not want to appear to be careless with grammar or misspelling because those simple mistakes will hinder you the trust you seek in your readers. If you are careless enough to make mistakes on your website, how careless will you be with the products I wish to purchase from you? These questions or doubts should not be raised by your readers. Always use spell check and proofread your emails before sending them out!
6. Broken Web links
Broken web links are yet another way to throw your credibility out the window. Its another form of being careless. Its equivalent to offering coupons at the store that have been expired already. You are offering something that doesn't exist and you just look unprofessional and simply like a fool.
Test your links and make sure they actually open. Remove or fix any broken web links. The moment a reader clicks on a link and you get a 404 error, that just will tell them you do not care enough to make sure your reader gets to their final destination. The fact that they clicked on a link is great because you followed great call to action strategy but it would be a waste if the links are broken.
7. Hiding Unsubscribe button
There is nothing that screams out more annoyingly than hiding the unsubscribe button. Please do not do this. This just makes your readers see you as spam. Remember, you do not want to be force feeding your readers. As long as you provide valuable content and do not sell in every email and actually give your readers a reason to read your emails, you shouldn't worry too much to go to the extent of hiding the unsubscribe button. You want your readers to want to be receiving your emails instead of feeling like they are being forced to swallow them.
8. Emailing too frequently
There are people who send emails every single day. Don't be one of these persistent and annoying marketers. You do not need to be emailing your readers every single day! There is no magic number as to how often to send emails. Every business will be different depending on the service you offer or what you sell.
For example, if you are a salon, you do not need to send daily emails to remind your customers to get a hair cut. For a salon, a reasonable amount would be every 3 weeks at most and maybe that one time you get a new product in. The most you should email is maybe once a week. Although that seems a bit often, as long as you add value, your readers shouldn't feel annoyed or pressured by your emails. However, if you email every week and each email is selling something, then that is not a good strategy and will earn you unsubscribe rates to go up. Keep it moderate and reasonable and you should be fine. Put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself if you would like to receive the amount of emails you are sending out. It just takes a bit of common sense based off the industry you are in and consideration for your readers.
9. Not checking your Auto Responder stats
Auto responders are great tools because they allow you to not have to manually send out emails yourself. You can automate for every little thing you can think of. However, they are not there simply to facilitate your communication and then ignore them. Not checking how your auto responders are doing is a big mistake among the many you can make. This is yet another way to learn from your readers. You can learn how your readers react to your automation and adjust them as you go. You can see at what time emails are opened. You need to check these often to learn and be able to engage with your audience better one step at a time.
10. Trying to Sell in every Email sent
Educate, Entertain, inspire, and provide value. These should be 4 traits of your entire email strategy. You must give your readers these four before you bombard them with sales pitches. If you grab their email and from the beginning send them lots of sales then they will unsubscribe. People do not want to be sold to! However, this does not mean they will not buy. You must build trust. Trust is everything! Once you build trust in who you are and what your business does, then you have higher chances of being able to sell to them. If you are looking for a number, I would say sell in 10% of your emails and educate in 90% of them.
11. Not separating your list in to segments
Last but not least! Segmentation is crucial! You may think your audience is in a niche too small to be broken into pieces but there are ways to segment them further. You do not want to be sending everyone the same exact email. Many factors can change perspectives in what you have to offer such as age, location, language, and culture to name a few. At the same time, you do not want to get way too complicated with your segments. The more elements you add to separate your audience, the more complex it becomes and it can get to the point that you have separated your audience so much that you have no idea who your audience even is.
One good strategy is to ask a simple question at the beginning when your customers first subscribe. One question and based off how they answer, separate them into 3 categories. For instance, the question could ask where in the U.S they are located (if you are based only in the U.S) and separate them by western, central or eastern. You can go deeper than this but remember not to go so deep!
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