Top Email Marketing Mistakes By Pat Ryan & Jae-ann Rock

Posted on Mar 8, 2016 in Blog, Meeting/Event Planning, Training and HR

Like most companies today, you may be leveraging email marketing to reach out to prospects. Pat B&W photo

But, are you getting the best possible results? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do SPAM filters often stop your emails from “getting in”?
  • Do your campaigns result in a low % of “opens” and “click-throughs”?
  • Are you experiencing an increased rate of unsubscribes?
  • Do you see diminishing returns from your email campaigns?

If you’re not getting optimal results from your email campaigns, there is a high likelihood you’re making at least one of the common email marketing blunders listed below.

The good news: Identify the issue(s) and make some necessary “tweaks” to fix the problem(s). You will then be well on your way to improving the results of your email campaigns!

So…let’s get right to it. Here are the Top Email Marketing Blunders to AVOID:

  • No enticing subject line
    Making sure your email is OPENED is the first critical step to any email marketing campaign, right? After all, if the prospect doesn’t open the email, it’s over. So, why do many campaign subject lines look like they were an after-thought, just “thrown in” after all the hard work of creating the email was done? The only thing prospects see to determine IF they will open your email is the subject line. You have less than a second to answer this question in the reader’s mind: “What’s in it for me?” Think about this carefully. But, you must also watch out for #2…
  • SPAM-detecting words in your subject line
    If you are too aggressive in your subject line, you might not even make it through your prospects’ spam filter. Spam filters determine what to let in, and what to block based on the words in the subject line. So – AVOID use of common “spam” keywords in your subject line such as: Free, offer, trial, clearance, sale, buy, order, click, call, deal, guarantee, compare, sign up, urgent, open, opt in. In addition, use of all CAPS or exclamation points in your subject line will also trigger red flags in an email spam filter. Avoid these like the plague!
  • No “Teaser” – Do you give away the whole enchilada at the get-go?
    If the body of your email contains your entire message, your reader will have no reason to click through to your website. Making readers click through to read the full article allows you to capture data about WHO is actually interested in reading your content. If they are interested enough to click through, then they are interested in your message (good information to know, right?). Bottom line: Good teasers drive traffic to your web site. To accomplish this, you have to “tease” the reader by offering a few hints about the benefit they will derive by reading your article. If you have reached your target audience (find out how), carefully-crafted hints should entice them to click though the email to read your article.
  • No bullets in your teaser
    People are BUSY. People don’t read your email – they skim it. Bullets allow someone to quickly see whether it contains something they are interested in or not. If you make them read paragraph content (i.e., no bullets), they may skip it altogether.
  • No Value-Added Content
    If you’re using email campaigns to “pitch” your product or service – DON’T. Don’t try to masquerade your sales pitch as an article. Instead, provide value-added content, industry insights, or thought-leadership content which will help your prospects in their business. However, there’s nothing wrong with having a related link to the “offerings” section of your website included in the teaser or in the article itself. But, be sure the content of your campaign is curriculum based.
  • Not tracking or calling click-throughs
    If you are not closely tracking email campaign results and following up, there is little purpose to your email marketing campaigns. Track campaign results to identify:
    • How many opened the email?
    • How many and who “clicked-through” to read the message?
    • Who reads your emails regularly over time?
    • What types of companies are responding to the message?

   Those answers provide vital feedback to inform:

    • What is working? What is NOT working?
    • What should I do more of, or less of?
    • What are my “sweet spots?”

What about calling the click-throughs? Do you have a plan in place to follow up?

After all, once you know who is “paying attention” it only makes sense to reach out to them on the phone. Plus, calling on “click-throughs” within 48-72 hours becomes a warm call instead of a cold call: “Hi Joe, my name is Bill Smith with XYZ Corp. I noticed that you read our recent article about XXX and I’m calling to follow up to see I can answer any related question for you.” This is the beginning of a dialog that is vastly easier than making a straight cold call.

  • No regular email schedule
    If you’re going to run an email marketing campaign, you must send content on a regularly schedule. Sending an email once a month is a great start. Twice a month is even better, to keep you in front of prospects regularly, especially at that elusive time of need! However, don’t send emails too frequently or people may begin to unsubscribe in droves. Establish and stick to an email marketing schedule, so your prospects know what to expect. (Tip: Track and analyze your unsubscribe rates based on content type and frequency, and modify your email campaign strategy accordingly.)

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