Common Email Marketing Mistakes To Avoid
Making Email Marketing Mistakes is Easy!
Email is Alive and Well!
Contrary to popular belief email marketing is alive and well. Many consider it to be an outdated marketing tool in the age of social media and instant messaging. Actually, email marketing is a highly effective way to reach a different target demographic. Remember, not everyone is on social media, and some people still don’t really surf the web. Especially an older target demographic may never come to your website unless you email them about it. But you have to avoid making some common email marketing mistakes to get the best results.
Email marketing is a simple and cost-effective way for small business owners to get a big bang for their digital marketing buck. If you are just starting out, you may want to consider an email service provider like MailChimp. It is free for lists of less than 2,000 subscribers, making it perfect for startups and small businesses. For those of you who have more than 2,000 subscribers MailChimp has a paid service, our you can check out email marketing specialists Constant Contact.
For those of you looking for full-service email marketing check out HubSpot, Marketo, or Pardot. All of them will help you avoid the first common email marketing mistake, staying out of the spam folder, by being fully compliant with the 2003 CAN-SPAM Act.
And there is another important benefit to using an email marketing program like the above. Professional email marketing services use high-speed that send an individual email message to each name on your list rather than a bulk email. And guess which stays out of the spam filter most often.
But You Have to Avoid Email Marketing Mistakes
But there are a few more things you need to be aware of as you start your own email marketing campaign. Email marketing is a great way to reach and engage new customers, as long as your email actually gets read instead of ending up in the spam folder. Even digital marketers with the best of intentions can make email marketing mistakes.
New and improved spam filtering systems, the ever decreasing attention span of your readers, and increased competition to rise above the digital noise make it even harder to avoid these common email marketing mistakes. Luckily they are all easy to avoid in the first place, or fix if you already made one. Here is what you need to avoid:
5 Common Email Marketing Mistakes
This is one of the most common email marketing mistakes, and one that will cost you the most subscribers! Remember, your email newsletter recipients must agree to receive your email marketing messages. Simply having someones email on their business card or from their LinkedIn profile does NOT give you the right to email them!
Make sure your subscribers know exactly what they are signing up for by using a double opt-in process to ensure absolute transparency. Sending unsolicited emails, or buying huge email contact lists and emailing to all of those, is a very effective way to get marked as spam!
Maybe you have every intention of providing thought-after, engaging content in your email newsletter. Content that appears to be spam is among common email marketing mistakes that many small business owners may not even be aware of. If you want your content to appear relevant and not spam you need to look out for these common email marketing mistakes:
Misleading Subject Lines
Another of the more common email marketing mistakes is often made to make it appear that the sender already has a relationship with the recipient. And it is perfectly fine to include FW or RE in your subject line, as long as you have previously emailed the subscriber about the same subject. Otherwise this will definitely get you marked as spam.
Avoid any links to unreputable websites, or any unsavory website content for that matter. and do not use URL shorteners like Bit.Ly for your email content (YES, they are OK for social media.)
Many people make this common mistake; they create email content in Microsoft Word, and then cut and paste it into their favorite email newsletter app. This adds all kinds of extra formatting to the code. For most human visitors it may look OK, but it definitely raises your spam score.
Never, ever, use special characters in place of actual letters! Nobody likes to learn that they are indeed your Fr3e W!nn@r. This has to be one of the more puzzling email marketing mistakes, but some marketers think it is cute.
Using All Caps
Nobody LIKES GETTING YELLED AT! Your message will be so much more effective if you use your normal tone of voice. Or in the case of your email marketing, upper and lower case. Many subscribers consider this to be one of the most annoying email marketing mistakes, so take notice.
Incorrect Image Use
This is one of the more recent email marketing mistakes. Once again, this is perfectly fine for your business Facebook or Google+ page, but Memes (images with embedded text) are a no-no for email marketing. It is especially ill-advised to send an email message only containing an image!
Another of the more common email marketing mistakes made by newbies, and one that can get you into big trouble, are legal violations. We already mentioned compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 earlier in this post. ISPs (Internet Service Providers) are weeding out any emails that are not in compliance, so make sure that …
- You have an Unsubscribe prominently visible in all emails
- You honor all unsubscribe requests within 10 days
- Your “from-email” address is accurate (this is the email address displaying in the readers email inbox)
- All of your subject lines are relevant (see above)
- A physical mailing or business address is included in all emails
As we already mentioned, if you use an authorized email service provider most of that is actually part of the service. All you have to do is to follow all unsubscribe requests; failing to do so will definitely get you marked as spam!
Unauthenticated Sender ID
ISPs need to authenticate sender identities to ensure that email messages are actually coming from a legitimate source rather than a spam server out on the Worldwide Interweb. But especially small business owners with tight marketing budgets who decide to send their own emails often do not authenticate their server ID correctly.
One of the more technical email marketing mistakes is sending emails from a company server that is not fully configured, resulting in the dreaded spam flag! Once again, if you use a professional email marketing program like the ones we mentioned above you are already covered.
No Appealing Content
And the last of our common email marketing mistakes is content that is not appealing to your intended audience! The other day we received this wonderful newsletter, great design and engaging content. Unfortunately we do not need pressure washing equipment at the time. If you want to avoid ending up in the spam folder you have to send messages that prove their relevance and value. In order to do that you need to:
- NOT send messages to recipients that you have not contacted in eight months or more. Remember, even if you did at one time receive permission to email a subscriber that permission goes stale after about 4-6 months. If you haven’t emailed your list in the last half your you need to start a new list.
- NOT send email newsletters to subscribers that repeatedly delete them without opening. That alone should tell you how much they actually appreciate your content.
- NOT send email messages several times a week if you mentioned “occasional updates.” Likewise, if you promised frequent regular updates you better deliver those as well.
- NOT use misleading or inaccurate subject lines. We may have mentioned this before, but it really is that important. Your reader’s time is short. Respect that and tell them up front what to expect.
Avoiding Common Email Marketing Mistakes
Now that you understand the most common email marketing mistakes you can avoid them. If you are sending high quality, engaging content that your readers are eagerly waiting for you will most likely avoid the spam filter. Selecting and using a professional email marketing provider is a great first step towards email marketing success.
Once you stay clear of the most common email marketing mistakes you need to focus on the ongoing creation and delivery of content that is both relevant and of benefit to your audience. What exactly that is depends on your specific industry, service or product, as well as the expectations of your audience.
One way to avoid ending up in spam is to open and read one of your email newsletters. Why would you read it? Now put yourself in your reader’s shoes. Why would they read it? What value or incentive do you provide?
The failure to create ongoing content is not often regarded as part of the most common email marketing mistakes. But after fixing all other email marketing mistakes the failure to create ongoing engaging content is the biggest reason email newsletters are tossed instead of read.
We Do Email Marketing!
Here at ESPRESSO.digital, we offer a full range of email and content marketing services, including digital marketing services and content strategy and creation. Contact us to learn more about our small business email marketing services, and how our team can help you avoid making common email marketing mistakes.
And if you are still not sure about how to avoid making these email marketing mistakes, don’t worry! Simply reach out and contact us. Our expert team will listen to you, answer your questions, and determine the best way for your business to maximize your email marketing efforts. That is one of our specialties, after all!
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