9 Email Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Are email marketing mistakes keeping you from getting good results from the emails you send out? Improve your ROI by avoiding these nine common email marketing mistakes.

How effective is email marketing?

For 73 percent of millennials, email is the ideal way for businesses to communicate with their customer base. Then there’s the 70-million strong baby boomer generation. They possess 70% of the disposable income in the US and 95 percent of boomers use email.

With that in mind, companies that don’t make use of email marketing may effectively be leaving money on the table. Still, mastering this form of marketing means avoiding some of the common mistakes businesses make in promoting their services.

Whether your goal is to increase online sales or get more customers to visit your brick-and-mortar shop, strive to avoid these common email marketing mistakes.

Purchased Lists

Purchasing a mailing list is one of the biggest mistakes made by email marketers. Not only are you wasting time contacting people who are unfamiliar with or uninterested in your products, but you risk alienating potential clients who might otherwise have sought out your services at a later date. Additionally, using a purchased list means more subscribers are likely to mark your messages as spam. As a result, you increase the odds of your email account being shut down for your bad behavior.

Vague “From” Lines

In the email marketing world subject lines get a lot of the attention. However, the truth is that “from” lines are equally important in capturing readers’ attention. After all, subscribers are less likely to open a message when they don’t know the person who sent it. While it’s fine to use your name if people associate it with the company, most marketers find that using the brand’s name is more effective. You should also strive to use a branded email address, as it makes the content seem more official.

Overly Lengthy Messages

With the average office worker receiving more than 121 emails each day, readers have a limited amount of time to scan individual messages. If you want subscribers to give your content the time of day, strive to keep emails short, sweet, and to the point. Because many people read email on their smartphones, it’s wise to avoid longer articles and blogs that require them to scroll through more than one page. Don’t be afraid to include a “Read More” link inviting subscribers to continue perusing longer pieces on your website. The goal is to be concise and clear, while providing customers with obvious next steps to take.

No Clear Call-to-Action

With that in mind, one of the biggest email marketing mistakes is neglecting to include a strong call-to-action that lets readers know what you want them to do moving forward. Based on your business type and goals, you might ask clients to make a purchase, use a promotional code, follow you on Facebook, or register for an upcoming event. For best results, ensure that the call-to-action is easy to find and avoid muddling the message with multiple calls-to-action conveying different instructions. 

Unprofessional Content

In light of the high number of emails that customers receive on a daily basis, any that seem unprofessional or amateurish are likely to wind up in the trash bin. Avoid giving your subscribers a reason to mark your messages as spam by ensuring the content is clean and free of errors. Along with spell checking your content, you should proofread it for grammar mistakes and typos that can make your company look less than competent. After all, if you can’t send out a well-crafted message, customers might assume you’re incapable of manufacturing quality products, as well.

Not Tracking Results

Marketers who don’t track their results are missing out on the chance to gather valuable information about their customers. By studying these metrics, businesses can determine which messages and promotions are getting the most conversions and which ones are failing to capture subscribers’ attention. They can then use this information to tailor future marketing efforts as well as their product and service offerings. Wondering how best to track your email marketing metrics? Consider using a service like MailChimp which offers real-time performance reports and access to customer data.

Not Segmenting Content

Many marketers make the mistake of sending one email to their entire subscriber list. However, the fact is that customers have different needs, and they’re unlikely to respond to the same messaging. Instead, aim to target different client groups based on interests, buying habits, and behavioral trends. Additionally, you may send varying content depending on a subscriber’s age, location, and lifetime value to the company. In particular, you should use customers’ purchase histories to determine what type of marketing content will be most effective. According to a 2019 report, companies that make use of campaign segmenting see their revenue increase by as much as 760%.

Being Overly Promotional

Does every email you send ask customers to make a purchase? While there’s nothing wrong with sending some promotional content to your subscriber list, the most successful email marketers showcase a mix of content including educational messages, informative pieces, and content designed to be entertaining. The goal is to show customers that your newsletters provide them with a valuable (free) service on top of whatever products or services you sell.

Being Inconsistent

You don’t have to email your customers on a daily basis — and you probably shouldn’t if you want to stay in their good graces. However, one of the biggest email marketing mistakes businesses make is not being consistent in their messaging schedules. While you don’t want to overburden your subscriber list with too many emails, you also don’t want them to forget your company exists. Stay at the forefront of clients’ minds by sending out regular, relevant messages that offer value.

How often those regular mailings should be will depend on your audience. For some companies, multiple mailings a week are productive; others find once ever 14 days works best. Still others only send mailings once a month. To determine the right email frequency for your list, monitor your open and clickthrough rates and keep a watch on changes in unsubscribes and spam reports.

A 2017 report reveals that an impressive 99 percent of people check their email on a daily basis. By avoiding these email marketing mistakes, you can ensure your messages don’t wind up in users’ spam folders.

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