There is a lot of advice out there on the internet to help ensure that your email campaign is beautifully created, sent out successfully and most importantly well received. What many people tend to forget, and this goes for seasoned email campaigners and newbies alike, are the common mistakes that are all too often made when you are caught up in developing the perfect campaign. We’ve summed up a list of 10 of the most common email marketing blunders which, if you avoid successfully, will go a long way to ensuring that your content is relevant, good to look at, grammatically sound and entirely logical. Here they are;
You want and/or expect instant success. Banish the thought from you head immediately. With email marketing your aim is to develop a relationship with your customer and this takes time, sometimes more time than you think you have. You’ll need to have patience and a strong resolve. You and I know, understand and accept that Rome was most certainly NOT built in a day so don’t be in such a rush to get that campaign out ‘like yesterday!’ Make sure you are 100% happy with it and it’s been 100% tried and tested before you send it out. You won’t regret it.
Your message isn’t clear. You want it to be powerful, concise and with a strong call to action. If there is any doubt in your mind that it lacks these points then you need to reassess it, even if it sets you back time wise. It will be worth it in the long term, believe me.
You aren’t entirely sure you have permission. If in doubt, here’s a quick question you can ask yourself to check: ‘Have they specifically requested to receive my emails?’ If the answer is ‘no’, then you have to back to the drawing board and work on building up your subscriber list. It’s a simple enough task and will ensure that your emails aren’t deemed ‘SPAM!!’
You have subscribers on your list that haven’t heard zip from you in 6 months. Do yourself a favour and delete them from your list. They probably won’t remember you and will therefore report your campaigns as spam immediately. Rather go through the process of getting them to remember you again. Send a friendly ‘remember me?’ email and guide them to sign up to your newsletter again. It’s the best way to ensure that your subscriber list remains entirely ‘opt-in’ and therefore more valuable.
You BUY an ‘opt-in’ list. I have one word for you here and that’s ‘unscrupulous’. Your target audience is specific and so is the product or service that you are trying to market, so sending your campaign out to 20 000 people who you don’t know and who certainly don’t know you is rather pointless and not really a very good idea. Neither is getting blacklisted for spamming, which is what would probably happen if you went this unsavoury route.
You use your personal ‘Yahoo’ or ‘Gmail’ email address in ‘reply to’. From your side it’s very unprofessional and it certainly won’t instil a sense of respect and trust in your readers, which should be your long term goal. Your (legitimate) company has a website and domain name and should have at least a couple of email address’ set up already, use them.
You use all 101 font types available to you. Keep the focus of your campaign on your brilliant copy, images and clever layout. Don’t let your readers get distracted by your creative use of French script MT. It looks busy, reads badly and if you’re honest, it doesn’t really have the effect you were aiming for, does it?
You don’t check your reports and stats regularly enough. Did you notice your open rate has decreased and your subscriber list is shrinking each month? Take note, make changes accordingly and do what you can to win back your readership.
You underline non-links. Underlining words to draw emphasis is a sure sign of poor writing and it won’t have the compensating effect you think it will. Added to that, web readers will inevitably think that it is a hyperlink. Remember good, strong, clear writing is your key to success, so brush up on those fabulous writing skills and use that to draw attention instead.
You write overlong copy and don’t include images. Don’t be scared to break up your copy with a few images (read FEW, it shouldn’t look like a promotional flyer.) Too much text can be incredibly monotonous and gets boring quickly, even if your subject matter is the most interesting thing since sliced bread. Also, remember that you can include a ‘read more’ link to your website if you want people to get more information about your company. That way, your newsletter, campaign or product promotion remains just that and not a platform for a complete company profile.
Right, so there you are. Take this information, absorb it and go create that brilliant campaign that will land up exactly where you want it, in your recipient’s inbox.