Avoid These 12 Email Marketing Mistakes That Are Hurting Your Business
Email marketing campaigns are important in today’s business marketing. They are a great way of gaining new customers and promoting your products and services. Yet, if executed poorly, you run the risk of wasting time, energy and losing money and sales. Your email marketing isn’t just about gaining subscribers, it’s also about converting them into customers.
If you are having trouble attracting new subscribers, retaining subscribers, and/or converting subscribers, there is a high probability you are going wrong somewhere with your campaign. While it’s ok to make mistakes, it’s also important to learn from them and try not to make them in the future. Here are 12 mistakes that you need to avoid making altogether.
1. Stop forgetting about your new subscribers
It happened, finally. You landed a new subscriber, but now what do you do? If you answered wait a few days and then hit them with an email outlining your great product, you are doing it wrong. This is a huge mistake. The first email you need to send is a welcome email. The first email you send tends to be the most read email. Why? This is when your readers are most engaged with you and your brand. They just signed up for your email marketing. You are fresh, new, and exciting in their minds.
There is no right or wrong way to write a welcoming email really. Some can be humorous, while others no-nonsense and straight down to business. The thing that matters is that it represents you All welcoming emails should have the following:
- Welcome the reader
- Introduce yourself or the business
- A good lead into what will follow
If you want to keep your subscribers’ attention then leading with a great welcoming email is essential and since it sets the tone for all of your other emails, it paves the way for future sales.
2. A mismatch between your campaign and reader expectations
Your subscribers are there because your brand and company intrigue them, and you are offering them something they need or desperately want. So, if your email content doesn’t back up their expectation, they are going to click unsubscribe pretty quickly.
“The content you send out to your email list needs to be well thought out, of high quality, and consistent with your company branding. You will lose money and subscribers if your email marketing doesn’t live up to your reader’s expectations.” explains Ray Schmid, a tech blogger at Paperfellows and Coursework Writing. If you lose a subscriber, the best email copy won’t matter because they won’t be reading it at all.
How do you fail at meeting expectations? There are two key things that cause a mismatch:
- Not sticking to your promised schedule-if you said a weekly email, then deliver on it.
- Not sticking to your chosen topic: If you promised to blog tips but are sending emails on weight loss tips, then they are going to bail on you pretty quick.
Keeping these two points in mind when you are crafting your email content will help you avoid creating a customer mismatch.
3. You Forgot to include the Call to Action
The CTA is a crucial part of your email campaign and forgetting can cost you money. Whether the content is a blog post or landing page or an email, a call to action needs to be included. The Call to Action encourages your subscribers to engage with your content. Your audience is likely highly intelligent, however, without a call to action, they might overlook what you want them to do with your content. You have to give them some guidance in the right direction and a CTA is a way to do this.
Before you write the first word of your email, have a clear vision in mind of what you want your reader to do. Are you promoting your content? Selling a new product? Providing a service? Then focus on the email contents, leading them to the outcome you want for them.
Then, make the call to action easily recognisable and relevant to what you want your outcome to be. Your CTA needs to be the following:
- Easy to find
- Using the right words
- It’s message needs to be clear and concise
- Repeat the message when appropriate to do so.
4. Forgetting about your mobile users
If you want to send your email conversion rates plummeting, this is the mistake to keep making. Up to 70% of your email content will be opened on a mobile device, thanks to smartphones and tablets. If you are not ensuring that your emails are being formatted for multiple devices, then you need to start doing this.
When you format for mobile devices, think simple and clean, with images and text that is easily readable on a small screen. Single column content, with images no bigger than 600 pixels is the best design here.
Bear in mind that if you don’t have the ability to optimize your content for mobile devices in yourself, there are services available that can do it all for you, so you are freeing up precious time.
Always test your emails on several mobile apps, so you can troubleshoot any errors, and make sure that your content is coming across the way you meant.
5. Lack of professionalism
If your emails look too amateurish or worse, dodgy, you will lose subscribers. “If your content is coming across like a scam instead of a legitimate offer, then you will lose subscribers and ultimately, sales” says Patricia Bonner, an email marketer at Eliteassignmenthelp and Lia Help. Here are several things to stop doing to help your content look more professional:
- Bad spelling/grammar– There really is no excuse to send out copy with spelling and grammar mistakes. It makes your email campaign look unprofessional and it can cause confusion, especially if your message becomes ambiguous. Always utilise a spellchecker and consider checking your grammar in a program.
- Leave out attachments- the professionals leave these out and so should you. Unless of course the reader specifically signed up to receive a PDF, just don’t have attachments.
- Stock images- Bad stock images that have been recycled over and over again hurt your chances of retaining subscribers and making conversions.
- Avoid swearing- Most market niches won’t be impressed by your colourful language so if in doubt, leave it out.
6. Using cliches and heavy sales wording
People don’t like heavy, syrupy sales pitches. If you come on too strong, you will more than likely turn them off and they will surely unsubscribe. The same will happen if you use the same old cliches.
Your readers are subscribed to other email marketing campaigns and chances are even though you think your business or product is unique, they won’t see it in the same way, and it will look like every other ad campaign in their inbox.
If you want to avoid sounding like everyone else, try these easy tips
- Personalise your emails-Write your copy like you were writing to a friend, not a salesperson.
- It’s about them, not you- You are trying to sell your product or service to the customer, not to yourself. Talking about you and your needs all the time won’t make sales conversion. Instead, focus on what your subscribers need and want. Focus on the benefits your subscribers will get from using your product or service.
- Good subject lines matter-Write clear and unique subject headlines instead of recycling the tired old formula that other marketing campaigns use.
7. Too Many Images
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but too many pictures and stock images can hurt your email campaign.
“Stock images make your email marketing seem impersonal and don’t really reflect your brand and your company vision. It’s best to include original photography where possible, or if you are going to use stock images, be sure to think carefully and make sure it fits into your overall branding,” advises Elias Riddles, a writer at Boomessays and Essayroo.
It’s common for email users to read emails with images turned off. The two biggest reasons for this are for security against spammers. The second reason is speed. So, if people turn off images, does this mean you shouldn’t use any images? No, definitely not. But it does mean you need to use images sparingly.
One way to get around this is by using alt text, which is a text that replaces an image when it fails to load or is blocked by the service. Good email marketing services let you add alt text without having to know HTML code.
8. Waiting too long to start your email marketing campaign
In today’s fast-paced, digital world, it’s easy to fall into the mindset that email is just a bit old-fashioned and therefore shouldn’t be a marketing priority. This is simply not true. There really is no time like the present when it comes to starting your email campaign.
Email marketing campaigns pair nicely with SMS marketing strategies. You can even use your SMS marketing to send subscribers reminders to open your marketing emails, making sure your subscribers never miss an email. This eventually will lead to more conversions and up your overall sales.
9. Making it about the numbers
A lot of people these days focus on waiting until they have the right number of subscribers or views or the right number of sales. This is a mistake when it comes to email marketing campaigns. The focus needs to be on the following:
- Company goals
- Audience’s awareness and overall need
- Using every email to bring the customer to a point of meeting that needs and making the sales conversion
If you are waiting for the perfect opportunity you are missing out on potential subscribers and that means customers and sales.
10. Letting negative criticism dictate your email marketing campaign.
You send out an email. Then you get a response of “Stop selling to me” or “Your product is lame and too expensive; I am not interested.” These responses stick in the back of your mind and create a negative mindset and before you know it, you shy away from emailing your content at all. You start trying to change it, or worse don’t even send your emails out anymore. People don’t like what you are selling, so what is the point?
Remember, not everyone will like or need your product. It’s ok to lose the subscribers who do not want or need what you are selling. If you have a good email campaign that is getting decent conversion rates, then don’t try and fix something that isn’t broken because a few people responded negatively.
11. Using broken links.
There is nothing more frustrating for an email subscriber as when they go to click on the provided link, and it doesn’t work. This is a fairly common mistake that you really need to avoid. It looks really unprofessional, and you will come off as not taking your content seriously.
Part of your email editing process, as was mentioned previously, needs to include making sure all your links work. Otherwise, your campaign will utterly fail, and you will have wasted time and ultimately money.
12. Not tracking your email campaign.
How will you know if your efforts are successful if you are not tracking your email campaigns? The answer is you can’t, and that is a huge problem. You could be wasting time, resources, and money, as well as losing existing customers and subscribers.
When you design your email campaign, incorporate tracking programs that will identify what messages work and get your subscribers’ attention and which ones end up straight in the bin.
Many CRM software systems include email tracking tools, which great marketers use.
These are the 12 mistakes to avoid making in your email marketing campaign. These mistakes can be easily rectified by investing a little more time and attention into creating email content and using technology to help where possible.