Email Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

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Email Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Email has been around for over 20 years. It's a huge part in how we communicate and has been life changing in many ways. Email is a huge asset for small businesses as it provides affordable and targeted marketing opportunities that were previously only available by mailing expensive postcards and other bulk mail promotional pieces.

There is a learning curve to email marketing.  And with any learning curve, there are mistakes that are made. Take note and avoid these mistakes so your email campaigns are destined for greatness from the very beginning.

1. KISS. Yes, "keep it simple, silly" still applies. Keeping your email simple will pull the best response. And with simplicity, there is brevity. Keep it brief.

2. Blatant Self-Promotion. Email marketing can come across as a cheesy advertisement or infomercial. Avoid this by eliminating sales gimmicks and hyperbole. Instead use language and subjects that build relationships. Be conversational.

3. Typos, Misspellings. Proof read, proof read, proof read. Errors in grammar, misspellings and other mistakes can significantly erode your credibility. Check your content in Word, spell- and grammar-check your email. A few minutes of proof reading can avoid a costly and embarrassing email.

4. Incompatibility. The only thing more annoying that receiving constant email alerts on your phone is receiving constant email alerts you can't read. Your emails must be mobile-friendly; ensure links are not broken and images are optimized. And, they should work on every platform (Outlook, Live, Gmail, Yahoo! and others).

5.  Bad Subject Lines. Keep it concise and compelling to cut through the clutter. It needs to be action oriented such as learn more, download now or sign up. One suggestion is to use a keyword in the subject line that people will recognize. Words like free, act now, offer or credit will usually set off the spam filter.

6. Lack of Value. Recipients must find value in your messages or they'll ignore or delete them. If your email doesn't save time or money, educate or provide some form of value, then it's of no use. They'll unsubscribe or even worse, stay on your list without ever opening another email.

7. Ignoring the Data. Review the data and learn from it. The Open Rate is typically affected by the mailing frequency, by the sender/subject combination and by the trust-based relationship that you have established with the customer over time. The Click Rate (within opened messages) is a great indicator of the quality of the content, the effectiveness of the "call-to-action," and the relevance of the message to those particular recipients. Delivery Rate (how many emails reached the recipients) and Unsubscribe Rate will help you understand the quality of the list and overall communication strategy. By monitoring statistics, you can anticipate potential issues, profile recipients, discover the best time and frequency for your mails, and track the percentage of active versus inactive customers.

8. Not Following the Rules. These are no-brainers. Always allow users to 'unsubscribe' from your email list. (If your unsubscribe rate is under 1%, you are doing well.) Don't write in CAPS! Include a link to your website an email address.

9. Not Using an Email Marketing System. Sending a message in bcc: to a large number of recipients is a really bad idea. Apart from being slow, it doesn't allow for personalization and is blocked by many providers.  And, you will look like a rookie.

10. No Calls-to-Action. Readers should know why they are reading your email in the first 60 to 100 words. Again, keep the emails brief because the call-to-action needs to be upfront and to the point. Calls-to-action should be large, visible and urge the reader to engage. And keep them simple such as  a button or link.

Popular calls-to-action include "Book Now," "Pay Now" or "Schedule a Demo." Online scheduling, online payments, document sharing and other client engagement calls-to-action are extremely effective, offering a way to engage from your email while ensuring immediate reader gratification. What makes these calls-to-action different is that they are connected to a CRM, capturing the visitor's information automatically, even after business hours. These calls-to-action are a part of the LiveSite web engagement suite, creating an online gateway to your business. Try LiveSite for free by registering today.

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