8 Common Email Marketing Mistakes

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  • 21 March, 2016
what not do to in email marketing

Email marketing is more vibrant than ever. Chad White at Litmus even believes that 2016 is the year where email marketing will see a “second coming of age.”

However, whether you consider yourself an email marketing connoisseur or an email marketing newbie, mistakes always happen. We have listed 8 common email marketing mistakes and what you should do to avoid them.

1. Did you Ask for Permission?

If you send emails that are not recognized by neither reader or their server, into the junk folder you go. In other words, if you show up as an unknown sender, you are more than likely to be reported as spam (this also happens if you buy your email list. Don’t do that). Not only does this look bad for your business, but it can also result in you being blocked from sending any emails at all. Talk about email marketing failure, huh?

Get subscribers’ permission by having them choose themselves to receive your send-outs. Have an opt-in box on your website where web visitors sign up if your content looks appealing to them. See this as your permission to initiate the first email; a welcome email would be suitable, right? If in this email you include a link asking the recipient to confirm their subscription, well, then you’re golden and you can start your campaign. This is called double-opt in and you’re growing your list organically (instead of buying your list. Again, don’t do that).

2. Where’s the Unsubscribe Link?

Break-ups are never easy, but sometimes it’s just the best for both parties. Perhaps the reader moved to a different country or just had second thoughts about signing up with you; their living situation somehow altered, and they are just no longer in need of what your emails can offer them. This is why you must include the unsubscribe link (one that works, of course), required by anti-spam regulations.

By the way, an unsubscribe link is included in every template in eMarketeer, by default. No risk that you would look like a spammer.

3. Have you Segmented Your Subscribers?

You have grown you email list (congrats!) and you decide to throw your subscribers an event. You schedule an email campaign, inviting your readers to mingle in your store in Stockholm. The only problem now is that you receive a lot of responses from readers that are declining your invitation. Turns out, the majority of your subscribers don’t live even close to your store, perhaps even in a different country.

This is a simple example of the importance of list segmentation. Each one of your readers is in different situations, leading different lives, and your email marketing should take that into consideration.

Examples of segmentations:

  • Location – not everyone lives in the same town, meaning that different content and offers appeal to them (just like your event we mentioned previously).
  • Lifestyle – A mother of two kids would probably not need the same content and offers as the teenagers who are off to spend spring break abroad. Different lifestyles equal different needs.
  • Interests – Would a guy who owns 16 cats want the same type of content as the underwater polo player? Well, it could happen, but it might not be very likely.

There are multiple ways you can segment your email subscribers (age, profession, schooling, you name it). What demographics do you have in your email list?

4. Where’s Your Timing?

Subscribers sign up to take part of your content. Months later, you send them the first email. Only now, the subscriber doesn’t remember your business at all, let alone that they signed up with you in the first place, and they likely report you as spam. You can easily avoid this by having a pre-cooked drip campaign that is initiated as soon as you get a new subscriber. This means that you are consistently welcoming your subscribers over time with your best content.

However, this timing thing goes both ways. If you send your emails way too often, many of your subscribers are likely to opt-out (73% of them that is).

Scheduling your campaign on a regular basis is crucial. Your subscribers won’t forget about you and your deliverability and sender’s reputation increase. Just remember, make sure that you have something to say in your email. Quality beats quantity, irrelevant content doesn’t sit well with your readers.

5. Are You Sure the Links and Personalization Work?

Turns out that the links you applied in your email are faulty and direct the reader to 404-pages. And on top of that, your try at personalizing using their first name results in a subject line that reads “Hi, First Name!” Awkward, but there’s an easy way to avoid this.

Always test your email before your scheduled mass send-out. Send it to yourself first and see what the email would look like, and ensure that the links actually take you to the right destination.

6. How does it Look on a Phone?

You have dedicated a lot of time to come up with a design that is engaging and aligned with your brand. Your subscribers are thrilled. The ones that open it on a computer, that is. The other ones (almost half of your entire email list) that open the message on a mobile device are not as impressed.

To avoid this, and to provide an email that is well received by ALL your readers, make sure that you are using a responsive design. In eMarketeer, this is a quick fix, just use the templates with an ( r) in the title and it’s automatically fitted for mobile devices.

7. Where’s Your Call-to-Action?

You have epic subject lines and stellar content, but your click-through rate is stuck at 0%. What’s up with that? My guess is that there is something lacking in your email. The whole point of sending an email is that you want your subscribers engaged and eventually converted to qualified leads, and that is quite difficult if you don’t give them something to act upon in your email.

Add call-to-actions to your email so your readers can actually interact with you. They are often in the form of a button that invites readers to “shop now” or “download this.” With the addition of this link, and with the click of a button, you can see an engaged email list, increased rates and more conversions.

8. Are You Looking at the Results?

I am sure that your email campaigning is going well, but there’s always room for improvement, right? Often, people tend to forget that the open rates, click-through rates and other metrics are there to help you perfect your email marketing. These numbers indicate which emails perform better than others, which ones need to be edited (or even deleted) and what emails are performing outstandingly. What component do the well-performing emails contain that the not-so-well-received emails lack?

Remember to actually take time and learn from your results in order to deliver an even better email campaign.

A “whoopsie” can happen to anybody, which is why it’s so important to be prepared. Why not set up a risk plan with some good damage control?

What other rookie mistakes have you stumbled across?

Josefine Stengård

Josefine Stengård

Digital Marketing Manager at eMarketeer
Josefine oversees strategies, production and processes for all content marketing efforts, including social media, email and blog. She also introduced videos into their content marketing strategy, in which she shares her best tips on different marketing topics.
Josefine Stengård

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