10 Email Marketing Blunders to Avoid at All Costs

e-mail marketing

Marketing via email ranks as one of the most powerful marketing techniques around. It is highly responsive and very cost-effective. However, when running an email marketing campaign, there are some common mistakes that many companies make.

These are a waste of time and money that can harm your business. This is why you should do your best to avoid them. These include:

1. Purchasing an Email List

At one time it was common place to purchase a list, spamming everyone on that list, and crossing your fingers that someone on that list was in your target market, resulting in a sale. There are now regulations in place forbidding such things. If you want to be considered as a legitimate business, you will steer clear of this tactic.

Buying an email list and blasting out unsolicited emails to that list could get you fined. This is illegal in most countries. The U.S. is one of the strictest, having the ability to dish out an up to $11,000 fine per incident.

If this is not enough to deter you, keep in mind your conversion rate will likely be low. Regardless of what promises the seller of list may promise you, there is no guarantee of what your conversion rate will be. There is a good chance most recipients will never see your emails anyway. Providers have implemented very thorough spam detectors. Gmail now has a “Promotions” tab where advertisement-type emails are sent. So, even if your email manages to avoid the spam folder, there is a good chance they will end up here.

2. Failure to Abide by Other CAN-SPAM Policies

You need to curate your email list legitimately by having visitors sign up on your site or other form and request your emails. Even when they have agreed to receive offers or marketing info, you still have legal formalities that you must follow.

You must always include your identifying information, meaning your business name and location. Most websites place this info in the footer, and there are email marketing tools available that make it easy.

The emails should also feature and “unsubscribe” button so the subscriber can remove themselves if they wish.

The subject line should be direct and not misleading in any way. You may be tempted to use an attention-grabber, hoping the reader will open the email, but try to refrain.

Again, information contained in ads should be clear and not misleading. It is good business to include ads in your emails that appear similar to magazine or flyer advertisements. Easy to read with nothing hidden in the fine print.

3. Failure to Make Your Site Mobile-Friendly

With all of the mobile devices in use today, it is absolutely imperative that your site have a mobile-friendly version. Google has implemented a mobile-first ideology. The reasoning behind this is people use mobile devices for the majority of their online activity. This is frequently the case for emails. This may seem like a minute detail, but it can make a huge difference in your conversion rates.

There are a few tips for optimizing your emails for mobile format:

  • Your text should be readable for all users. It is recommended that all fonts be 14 point or above
  • Format the emails so they are receptive to all screen sizes. There are plenty of good email marketing programs available to help you figure this out
  • Use visible easy-to-touch buttons rather than links

4. Clickbait Subject Lines Won’t Work

If you have never heard the term, clickbait refers to an image or headline targeting unsuspecting viewers to click on a link. They are designed to catch the reader’s attention, even if it means being unscrupulous, unethical, or untruthful. This is a sure way for your subscribers to lose trust in your brand. Some things to avoid are:

  • Misrepresentation of the contents of the email
  • Making outrageous claims
  • Using all CAPS
  • Asking a question in the subject line

5. Emails Without Value

There are some marketers out there that focus all their efforts on the final result. Of course, we all want to make the sale, but you have to take care of your consumers throughout the entire process. They don’t want to open an email and the only thing they take from it is “buy from us”. These type of messages are annoying, and nobody cares to look at them.

The individual in charge of your email marketing has the responsibility of delivering valuable content to your readers. This should be true whether they purchase anything or not. These people subscribed with the assumption that you would send them valuable information that they would be interested in reading.

6. Filling Subscriber’s Inbox with Numerous Emails

It doesn’t matter if your emails are packed with useful information, most subscribers do not wish to receive an email from the same company every day. If it becomes overwhelming, most users will simply unsubscribe, regardless if your emails were once beneficial to them.

The number of emails you can send isn’t set in stone. Most marketers will send out one to three emails per week. This is subject to change if the subscriber has reached out to you, or if you are doing a follow-up. If you are emailing several times per week it is wise to avoid long-form content.

7. Inconsistency

The key to success is consistency. If you want to form a relationship with your subscribers, you have to be in contact on a regular basis. Routine emails and newsletters are the perfect way to accomplish this. Being inconsistent will cause you to lose readership and ultimately business.

8. Unresponsiveness

If you are going to place a sign-up form on your website, make sure you are ready to respond to your subscribers in a timely manner. Installing reliable automation tools will help you greatly. Once someone signs up or requests information that are looking for a speedy response. If you fail to do this, you will find your conversion rates will be low.

9. Refusal to Automate

If you fail to automate, it will be an overwhelming task to keep up with once your subscriber list begins to grow. The technology has advanced so much recently there is really no reason not to use an automation tool. Some offer free trials, and most have very reasonable fees. Think of it as an investment rather than an expense.

10. Lacking a Call to Action

A call to action is intended to entice the reader to perform a specific task and every email should have one. This is commonly in the form of buttons, such as Click Here, Leave Feedback, Contact Us or Buy Now.  It should encourage readers to interact with you in some way. You want it to be relevant to the theme of the email. This is a way for your readers to respond right then and there.

The call to action should be located at the end of your email. It should be short and to the point with the body of your email leading up to it.  Tracking tools will help to determine which emails that particular reader should receive in the future.

Image Credits To: Yoel Ben-Avraham

About the author: Mason

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