There’s no doubt that social media has gained widespread popularity and become an essential part of digital marketing. That being said, email marketing continues to hold its ground. Email usage is continuously growing, with an estimated 3.9 billion email accounts in the world. So underestimating the potential of email marketing would be nothing short of detrimental for your business.
Email marketing makes it possible for your business to reach a global audience in a cost-effective manner. However, a poorly-planned email marketing campaign may drive customers away and end up becoming expensive.
In this post, we’re summarizing some common email marketing blunders that can cost your organization valuable time, resources, and customers. Let’s get started.
Poorly Curated Subject Lines
People receive several emails every day. All the effort you put into a marketing campaign will amount to nothing if the recipients don’t even bother opening your emails.
How do you make your emails stand out in a crowded inbox? An attention-grabbing and attractive subject line is crucial to encourage subscribers to click on your emails. You should keep your subject lines short yet engaging. However, refrain from using clickbait subject lines that your subscribers may find disappointing.
Apart from the subject line, customers can also see the first line of an email without opening it. This is another opportunity to use your words to persuade subscribers to click on your emails.
Not Sending Welcome Email
A customer has shown interest in your business by going through the trouble of signing up for your email list. This is your chance to establish a relationship with your new subscribers. Instead of going radio silent, make sure you immediately send a welcome email to every subscriber.
Your business is fresh in a new subscriber’s mind. Make the most of this opportunity by sending a welcome email that introduces subscribers to your brand and gives them an idea of what to expect from your upcoming emails.
Waiting for Certain Number of Subscribers
Are you still waiting to hit a certain number of subscribers to start your email campaign? If so, you should stop waiting and start working on a new email sequence right now. Every customer is important for your business. So you can’t make them wait for updates and other valuable content!
Even if you have just 20 subscribers, you should start sending out emails regularly. Not only will this keep your customers in the loop, but it is also a way to learn more about email marketing. This is a great technique to figure out which strategies work well for your organization.
An unclear Call-To-Action is something that can reduce all your hard work to nothing. A subscriber has made an effort to open and go through your email. Now what? Without a clear CTA, your email campaigns will fail to achieve your marketing goals.
Whether you want readers to share your blog or head over to your website to complete a purchase, you must include a clear CTA that is easy to spot.
Disregarding A/B Testing
Are you struggling to find out what kind of emails will resonate with your audience? Instead of wondering, you can easily compare different emails with the help of A/B testing.
If you are torn between two subject lines, put them to the test by sending one subject line to one half of your audience and the second one to the other half. This can help you determine which subject line performs better.
The term A/B Testing is often used interchangeably with Split Testing. And if you want to learn more, Style Factory has an in-depth guide to split-testing.
Failing to Utilize Sign-Up Sheet
A sign-up sheet in the corner of your website’s homepage is not enough to build an impressive email list. You need to incorporate a sign-up sheet on your website in multiple creative ways to catch the eye of your visitors. Use pop-ups, slide-in forms, gated content, and so on to generate more subscribers. You also need to ensure that the sign-up forms pop up at the right time, not too late or early.
Complicated Sign-Up Sheet
Check the number of questions you ask in your sign-up sheet. Are they all really important? A complicated sign-up sheet can adversely affect your odds of winning over new subscribers. Keep your sign-up sheet as simple as possible. Visitors should be able to fill out the form without too much hassle.
Though the baseline for email marketing is driving sales for your business, you cannot package your emails with that mindset. Exclusively sending promotional content can get you emails marked as spam and even increase unsubscribe rates.
Your emails should offer value to readers. Rather than just sending sales emails, make your content entertaining, informative, and valuable. Instead of blatantly promoting your products, share content to explain how your products can solve your target audience’s unique problems. Customer-focused content is key for a successful email marketing campaign.
Not Staying Consistent
Sending three emails in a week and then dropping them off from the face of the Earth isn’t a sustainable email marketing strategy. Consistency should be an innate part of your email marketing campaigns.
If you don’t have a regular emailing schedule, your subscribers will forget about your brand. Rather than just sending an email when you have something to sell, share content on a regular basis. When you are sharing interesting content at a specific time and day, subscribers may even start looking forward to your content!
Sending Lengthy Emails
Let’s be honest. No one has the time to go through a lengthy email sent by a business. Readers will probably skim through a long email and miss out on important details or CTA. Short emails are easier to comprehend.
That being said, the length of the email also depends on your audience’s preferences and your content style. If you’re sharing information that cannot be condensed, then go ahead and share the more extended version. Again, it would be a good idea to use A/B testing to ascertain which copy works better for your organization.
You want every one of your subscribers to feel special and seen. You can achieve this by personalizing your emails. Something as simple as addressing a subscriber by their name instead of using a generic salutation can boost your click-through rates.
On average, a customer can receive around 100 emails every day. And an overflowing inbox is nothing short of an inconvenience.
While being regular with your emails is important, you should beware of sending too many emails. Giving consistent updates is different from spamming.
Spamming can have dire consequences for your email marketing efforts. If too many people mark your emails as spam, the email system may blacklist your domain. This implies every email sent by your blacklisted domain will be automatically marked as spam.
Overlooking Message Previews
A single typo once is perhaps not the end of the world. But if your emails are usually filled with grammatical errors, missing or broken links, it is an issue that needs to be immediately addressed.
Before clicking send, start previewing your messages. Message previews allow you to see how your emails will appear on different devices. Previewing emails is an excellent way to identify typos, detect grammatical errors, fix broken links, and improve layouts.
Your email list is bound to have certain contacts that never open your emails or delete before even opening. There’s no point in having inactive subscribers on your email list. They will just make a mess of your open and click-through rates.
It is a good practice to routinely go through your email list and remove dormant contacts. Moreover, every business should constantly make an effort to grow its email list. Even if it seems like you have a decent number of subscribers, there never can be too many.
Forgetting Audience Segmentation
Audience segmentation is imperative to ensure the effectiveness and relevance of your email campaigns. Segmenting your subscribers on the basis of various factors can be helpful in sending targeted emails to customers. Dividing audiences on the basis of gender and age is a good place to start. Then you can further segment by analyzing purchasing habits, geographical location, and other factors.
Neglecting Mobile Users
The number of mobile users is growing at a rapid rate, and if your emails aren’t mobile-friendly, you’re missing out on a major opportunity. An email may look great on a desktop, but unless it’s optimized for smaller screens, it is not going to appeal to mobile users. Make sure you format your emails to fit mobile devices. Since there is limited space to work with, stick to short copies and minimum graphics.
Sharing Image-Heavy Content
There is no question that graphics are a lot more visually appealing than just text. You should certainly include relevant images, gifs, and other visual elements to make your emails interesting. However, avoid using too many graphics that can make your email difficult to load. And always add alt text to ensure readers know what the email is about even if the images aren’t loading.
Not Giving Option to Unsubscribe
You may think that providing the option to unsubscribe or hiding the link will prevent customers from unsubscribing from your email list. But while they might not be able to unsubscribe, they can still report your emails as spam. And as mentioned earlier, being marked as spam by too many users can get your account blacklisted. It is best to give your subscribers a clear option to unsubscribe.
Sharing Irrelevant Information
When you are creating content for email campaigns, you should start by understanding your audience. Different audiences prefer different styles, formats, and tones. If your readers prefer long-form content, then sharing concise emails isn’t going to generate desired engagement. Do your research to find what your target audience likes and accordingly create the email content.
Choosing Wrong Days & Times
You may be losing conversions because you’re sending emails on the wrong day or time. Yes, something as simple as choosing a day and time is crucial for the success of your campaign. The right day and time will depend on your business and target audience. Test different days and times to find the perfect option for your organization.
Failing to Make Use of Social Media
Apart from your website, you can also utilize social media to build your email list. On Facebook, you can add a sign-up button that takes users directly to your sign-up sheet. You can include a link to your sign-up form on Instagram. If you have Twitter, you can also add an email opt-in button, which allows users to sign up without leaving Twitter.
LinkedIn is another useful platform for growing your email list. You can leverage your connections as well as groups to increase your subscribers. Click here to learn how do I export my Linkedin contacts.
Instead of making your business look like a faceless entity, make your emails more professional and genuine by signing off with your name.
Not Paying Attention To Analytics
Sending out emails and hoping they work is not an effective strategy. To determine if your efforts are driving results, you must pay attention to various analytics. For example, looking at click-through rates can help you understand whether you share engaging and persuasive content. Constantly monitoring analytics is necessary if you want to improve your email marketing strategies. If your business heavily relies on email marketing for conversions, you should think about hiring email marketing services.
Not Utilizing Automation
When you’re just starting out with email marketing, it may be possible to handle everything manually. But as your business and email list grow, doing it all on your own isn’t an efficient option. It would be best to invest in email automation that will streamline your marketing efforts.
Email automation offers a multitude of advantages including, saving time, reducing costs, and better targeting.
Whether you run a small business or a large corporation, email marketing is a must for every marketing strategy. Don’t send sporadic emails just for the sake of sending emails. Put in the time and effort to come up with well throughout campaigns that work for your brand. And, of course, beware of the mistakes mentioned above.
Stefan Smulders is a SaaS Entrepreneur | Bootstrapped to €3M ARR in just 1year | Founder of Worlds safest software for LinkedIn Automation Expandi.io | Vegan | Father