Make a simple google search using the terms “Email Marketing Mistakes to Avoid” and you’ll be met with approximately 1.6 million results. Oh, so you don’t have a few years to set aside for some light reading? Good, let me sum it up for you. There are do’s and don’ts and best practices and recommendations for every intricacy of email marketing. These range from clear, distinct guidelines, to ambiguous ideas. Most are helpful, most are lengthy. So, how do you know if you’re making one of these common mistakes? You might be if….
1. Your content is irrelevant
In an age where we can make a simple search for a pair of black snow boots, and have said snowboots show up in our targeted ads on all social media platforms for a week, you better believe subscribers are expecting mail that makes sense for them. If someone lives in Anchorage, Alaska, chances are they aren’t regularly looking to buy those cute flamingo pool floats. So do you ensure that you’re sending your subscribers content that is relevant to them? Start at the beginning! Does your sign-up process include a chance for subscribers to give their geographical location and preferences about what they would like to receive? If not, this is probably a great place to start in order to make sure that your mail is relevant and targeted to your subscriber’s needs.
2. Your creative needs a refresh
So often, email marketers focus on the subject and preheader of a message that the actual creative content falls to the wayside. The reality is that people are more likely to engage with your mail if something in the body of your message catches their eye. Be sure to include a call to action! Let your users actually engage with your mail by adding in easily found links to your website, a sale, or a special offer. You CAN have fun with your email! For example, below we see Apple is sending a campaign that is relevant to the quickly approaching Valentine’s Day. In their message, they keep the user invested with bold colors, holiday specific emojis, and links to shop the featured products in a subtle, yet easily identifiable way throughout the entire message.
3. You haven’t optimized for your mobile subscribers
Studies show that 43 percent of subscribers are checking their emails on a mobile device, and that number will only grow since mobile devices aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Make sure that your images, links, and text are rendering in a coherent, eye-catching way to ensure that your mobile users are having a positive experience with your mail. An easy way to do this is to test in our Inbox Preview tool. This tool gives you exact renderings of your mail across multiple platforms and shows you the issues you need to fix before you hit send. Another useful tool is Email Client Monitor. This tool allows you to gain insight into how long subscribers spend reading your email and geographically where they are opening it to help in targeting and segmentation. It also gives you data about which platforms, browsers, and email clients your subscribers use most often to optimize your email for the most used platforms.
4. You aren’t asking for permission
Permission based email is vital for an email program to be successful and maintain a healthy reputation with mailbox providers and subscribers. How do you know if you’re deploying these types of emails? I’m glad you asked. First, make sure that users are fully aware of the type of mail they’ll be receiving from you at the point of sign up. Do you only send a monthly newsletter? Let them know! Be straightforward about your relationship going forward and I promise, it will be a long and fruitful one. Also, make sure you’re allowing your subscribers to opt-out of your email whenever they may decide. Meaning, don’t bury the unsubscribe button! Doing so will only increase complaints. Much like it is better to have loved and lost than never loved at all, same goes for your email program. An unsubscribe is better than a complaint any day of the week. Next, make sure you’re keeping subscriber’s contact information up to date. Give your subscribers an easy way to update any changes in their email addresses, so that you always stay in their most relevant inbox. Lastly, don’t buy or rent a list. It is difficult to obtain consent from these types of lists, not to mention some of those addresses may be spam traps, landing you on a blacklist.
5. Signing up for your emails is hard
People like convenience, no one likes to jump through hoops, especially when it comes to getting on an email list. More often than not, I see sign up processes that look more like the form at a doctor’s office than a mailing list to hear about sales on my favorite sweaters. Keep your sign up process on one page, make the information you need from them an easy click, not a long form in which they need to write in a great deal of personal information.