7 Biggest Mistakes of Email Marketing – What Not to Do

Email marketing has been around for some time now. Almost any business worth its salt engages in email marketing to drive engagement with existing customers, draw in new customers and retain them for continued business. Yet, it is surprising how many email marketers get it wrong!

Yes, it is possible to do email marketing all wrong. Especially in the way email strategy is crafted, we would like to share what we’ve learned not to do: some the hard way (by making those gaffes ourselves) and some the smart way (by learning from others’ mistakes). Here are seven cardinal sins not to commit in the Eden of email marketing:

  1. Blandly describing your product:

“Sell benefits, not features” is an oft-repeated mantra in marketing. What it boils down to is this: don’t put the reader to sleep by droning on about your product’s features. He doesn’t care about them. Show him how they will make life easier for him/ increase traffic in his store/ boost the bottom line of his business. By focusing on how you can add value to your customer’s life, you increase the chances of him buying your product.

  1. Asking for too many “actions”:

Your intention might be good: you want to give the subscriber as many options as possible for the action to be taken – she could download an eBook, ask for a free consultation, and register for a webinar. But, unfortunately, having too many calls to action on a single email will confuse the reader. And a confused reader is not very likely to click on a call to action, is she? To increase your chances of having her click on the CTA, keep it down to one CTA per email. For other actions, craft separate emails. (Yes, it is hard work, but it works better!)

  1. Not caring why someone unsubscribes:

If your boyfriend/girlfriend broke up with you, wouldn’t you at least want to know why? It’s kind of the same when a subscriber unsubscribes from your mailing list (Ok, maybe it’s not exactly the same, but you get the point, right?). Have a field for the reason for unsubscribing. Most of the time, you might get the real reasons why your email didn’t work for your (un)subscriber. And Bang! You have ideas for improvement!

  1. Ignoring A/B testing:

No matter how perfect you think your email is, chances are, you can have a better version of it. Testing two great versions of your email will give you crucial insights on what works better and why. Ignore A/B testing for emails at your own risk!

  1. Not personalising your emails:

How irritating would it be to receive a chain of emails promoting something that is not relevant to you, AT ALL? Believe it or not, almost 50% of email marketers make this mistake of not correctly segmenting their subscriber lists! It’s not rocket science: it can be as simple as asking for relevant details in the sign-up form, or, making educated guesses from past online behaviours. It will be worth it.

  1. Forgetting to respond:

I can’t think of a bigger turn-off for the subscriber than this. If, after sending email after email to your potential customer, you finally get a response – a question about your service, a complaint even – and (horror of horrors!) you don’t do anything about it, it is like you’re saying, “I just sent the email. Now I don’t care about you.” Almost a guaranteed way of having the reader unsubscribe from your mailing list.

Instead, whatever it is, respond to your subscriber, if not immediately, at least within a reasonable time duration and address their concern.

  1. Flooding the inbox:

It’s always a good idea to ask how often your reader would like to receive emails: give them options and let them choose. That way, you’ll not be making the blunder of sending too many or too few emails.

So there you are, go ahead and create your brilliant emails and use your best strategies so that they reach the right group of people and generate interest, and ultimately, revenue for you!
Oh, and before I forget, do remember to optimize your email content and design for mobile. A current Pew & Nielsen report suggests that over 75% of smartphone users check their emails frequently on their devices. So be sure to give them a good mobile experience.

Before I sign off, I’d like to know if you have had any email marketing challenges, and how you solved them.

For any queries, contact us at www.digitant.com

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