What to Avoid in Email Marketing

smtp email marketing subject lines

Email marketers have bad days like everyone else, only their bad days are seen by many. Grammar and spelling mistakes can happen as well as dead links and other mistakes. You may be committing some larger mistakes with your email marketing without knowing it. These mistakes can be avoided by following the simple tips explored below.

Forgetting Mobile Users

The last thing you want to do is prevent your audience from reaching your site or email because it is not compatible with all devices across all operating systems. It is difficult enough to get people just to open your emails let alone read them. If you don’t optimize your email for mobile you are turning a large crowd away. Many email systems such as HubSpot do this for you and if you’re not using HubSpot you should ensure you are optimizing your email for mobile.

No Call to Action

So if you have encouraged your subscribers to take an action you need to decide what action you want them to take. Your subscribers won’t have any idea what their next step is if you don’t guide them to it. Without a call to action your subscribers have no where to go and they will opt out of your list and move on. You must offer call to actions relevant to your email copy you send them. This could be anything from signing up for a free webinar and offering them a recorded version if they missed it. This guides subscribers in the direction you want them to go. Perhaps the landing page of the webinar lists your latest specials and discounted rates but how would they know to go there if you don’t send a call to action?

Poorly Written Subject Lines

Entire email campaigns can be ruined by inadequate or poor subject lines. Subject lines are the first impression to subscribers so you need something appealing that will make them want to open and read your emails. While difficult, it is possible to write enticing subject lines to drive subscribers to your site. You should avoid generic lines such as “don’t miss this great opportunity” or “limited time only, click to open” as these may not make it past spam filters and don’t really say anything about the great content in the email you have written. Subject lines should be valuable and informative with subtle hints of urgency. Have a point and purpose in mind before writing the email so you can create a great first impression.

Forgetting to Engage With Your Subscribers

Frequency of emails is key to proper engagement with your email list. You might not want to send out daily emails but you also don’t want to go weeks or months on end without sending something out. There must be a fine line drawn in the frequency of your emails. You may find yourself wanting to send out multiple emails daily or weekly so you must refrain from doing so to avoid spamming your own list. You may find it difficult to come up with meaningful content to make a weekly or bi weekly quota of emails to send. Regardless, you should set a few minutes aside every day to compose your emails rather than waiting until the last minute and rushing to formulate an email.

Forgetting to Keep it in Context

Depending on your market, retail for example, you may need to segment your email list. You want your women shoppers to know you’re having a sale on bath and beauty products so you must segment your lists by gender. You might actually offend your male subscribers by sending non gender-specific or untargeted emails to them. You should take the time to send personal emails to the target audience you want to reach or else you may be abusing the privilege of having those subscribers in the first place.

Not Offering Adequate Subscription Opportunities on Your Website

If your email subscription form is hidden from immediate view your chances of gaining new subscribers is reduced greatly. Site visitors don’t spend too much time browsing your site so they will most likely not even notice your subscription form unless it is within immediate view to everyone. It is almost certain site visitors will not make an effort to search for a subscription box. Some of the best places to place your email subscription box are on a floating bar, on a slide out box that comes from the side or bottom corner, in the header of your landing page, and on exit popup boxes that only come up when a visitor is exiting the page.

Sending Emails to Those Who Did not Give Permission

Otherwise known as SPAM you can easily kill your marketing campaign before it leaves the ground with this mistake. In 2003 in the U.S. Congress enacted the CAN SPAM act which governs commercial email, provides email recipients the right to opt out of an email list, and lays out the penalties for violators.

To avoid violating any anti-spam laws you should not add email addresses to your email lists on business cards you collect at any event. You should not start a marketing campaign with all your existing personal contacts, and you should not put any email addresses on your list prior to getting permission from them confirming their subscription.

Not Having an Email Marketing System

To conclude this post we’ll examine one of the worst mistakes you can make as an email marketer, thinking you don’t need an email marketing system. While you may have a way with words and can sell almost anything you need to think of the volume of content and email addresses you need to keep up with. A professional email marketing system will greatly increase your campaign results. If you manually send messages in BCC to large volumes of email subscribers this is a poor marketing choice. This method leads to mistakes and eliminates personalization and is often blocked by spam filters so your messages have very little chance of being opened and read.

All this can be avoided by having an email marketing system in place. Available through an email service provider (ESP), you can eliminate the pressure of daily events such as formatted headers, feedback loops, IP reputation, etc. ESPs perform these and more to open up more time for you to build up your site, contact customers about products, etc. ESPs also help your messages get past all the evolving antispam filters.

Thank You

Thank you for reading this. In this story you learned top mistakes made by email marketers all the time and how to correct them. Take a step back to evaluate your email marketing and put yourself in your customer’s shoes to see what they are getting on their end.

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