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8 Email Marketing Mistakes You Should Avoid

email marketing mistakes

Consider this: Your business' new email marketing campaign was just sent out. The content is amazing, the call to action is irresistible and the subject headline can't miss... or so you believe. You eagerly check your analytics, but it is evident that your email campaign is falling way short of your expectations.

What happened?

You might have low open rates or click-through rates - there are many reasons why email marketing campaigns fail, even with seasoned marketers. The upside is that the user engagement is easy to correct.

1. The mistake: Overly self-promotional content.

Why should anyone care about your email regarding your new upgrade to your software? However, if a benefit of your new software update is to slash video upload time by 50%, now you have their attention. You need to highlight the benefits of your service while you are promoting it at the same time.

Can you really do both at the same time?

The solution: Begin by pinpointing the biggest issues facing your audience. For example, you are employed at a recruiting agency. Getting a great resume that gets results is one of their biggest concerns; therefore you should give them a checklist to fix common resume problems. Really think about the real problems your clients are facing and then show them how they can benefit from using your services. Next, you will want to set up email campaign using an editorial calendar which will keep you focused and help to provide valuable email content.

2. The mistake: Impersonal email campaign.

Who is your email From in the address bar? Does it say a business name, your own name or something completely different? If you have low open rates, try making your emails more personal. The content of your email is also critical. Are you using industry related jargon that is impersonal or are you talking directly to your potential customers?

The solution: You can make your email more human by making the From address more personal. Do you really want to talk to a [email protected]? Write in a conversational manner to sound more human and less like a robot. For instance, if someone is unemployed don't say that they are economically marginalized. Eliminate pretentious buzzwords and use straightforward, simple to follow language.

3. The mistake: A weak call to action.

Check out this Studio Fitness email below:

weak call to action

They introduce us to a nutritionist and personal trainer but no way of contacting either. They want you to sign up for their plan, but again no way of doing so. You can't even get to the Studio Fitness main site from anywhere in the email. Studio Fitness could be a popular gym name and have the potential customers hunt down your website is definitely not a good business idea.

The solution: When people read your email, what should they be doing? Should they sign-up, go to your website, complete a survey? You must have a powerful and convincing call to action - you have to tell your visitors what to do next! Be very clear with your call to action.

4. The mistake: You’re not consistent.

You signed up for a weekly newsletter and then suddenly you start getting 10 emails daily, how would you feel? You would be very unhappy, right? Although this sounds outlandish, it happens fairly often. If you don't deliver on what you promised when they signed up, your readers will ignore your emails and eventually unsubscribe.

The solution: Stick with whatever you promised on your signup form. Make use of an editorial calendar to keep focused.

5. The mistake: No follow-up series.

For instance, a potential customer begins your software service on a free trialbasis; however, they didn't follow through or bought your service. Not a good outcome. This will happen if you don't set up a follow-up series that is trigger based.

The solution: Your visitor's behavior is beyond your control; however, you are in control of your reaction to it. You have a better chance of keeping your customer engaged if you set up follow-up emails to go out right after their trial period. This will give them an opportunity to contact you if they need clarification about your service and you also get another chance to close the sale.

6. The mistake: Boring headlines.

Check out the subject line below. Did you learn anything about what is inside the email?

boring headlines

Not a single thing. No thought was given to this subject line. It tells you nothing and doesn't motivate you to open it at all. Also, look at the preview of the text following the subject line. It reads (“If you’re having trouble…”). This is space that could be used to get the user to open the email.

The solution: Make good use of the approximately 35 characters you have in the subject line! If you don't grab their attention, they won't read your email even if you have amazing content and offers.

7. The mistake: Not personalizing your email.

The best way to grab someone's attention is to use their name! Using it in an email has the exact same effect. You are missing an opportunity to connect with your customers if you are not personalizing your email.

not personalised email

The solution: Very similar to using your real name in the From address, you can make more of a human connection by personalizing your email opening. Look at the personalization example below and the way it effectively uses the preview text.

8. The mistake: Targeting the wrong audience.

Is there any point sending newsletters to vegetarians in Chicago for your New York burger joint? If you have a growing email list it is important to segment your visitors using list management techniques.

The solution: Let your visitors know exactly what they are getting once they sign up to your list and deliver exactly that. On your form, you can segment people into interests, locations or any other relevant segments. You can even segment people who opened a specific email and keep them on a separate list. When you have optimized your segmentation, get feedback from your subscribers and send them what they are interested in.

More than likely you have committed one or more of the above mistakes. The great news is you now have a working solution. Just put the above tips into action and give your readers more valuable and relevant content. We would love to hear the results of your email marketing efforts.

Do you have other tips for increasing engagement from your email list? Please share them in the comments area below!

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