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It’s easy to assume you’ve grasped the general etiquette of email marketing. You know not to be too corny, too critical, too bossy or too bland. Heaven forbid you send a subject line in all caps, or accidentally forward an email meant for 10 people to your entire contact list. However, there’s an underbelly to email marketing that may seem foreign to some, and innocuous to others. But the fallback of these common email faux pas is toxic; they can leave your message unopened, your email unsubscribed, and your website untouched.
Here are the blunders to always stay clear of.
Most subscribers know the personalized email they’re receiving is actually automatized, but that doesn’t mean you should remind them.
Emails sent from admin and no reply addresses plaster impersonality on your brand and only serve as a roadblock to communication. After all, what you really want is engagement from your subscribers – not for them to feel like you don’t want to talk to them. Your email should be stamped with a bright “hello, my name is” sticker and welcome clients in with punch and party favors.
Don’t opt for anonymity. Instead, it’s best to put in the name of a familiar face, such as the director of marketing, or use a contact@ or info@ email. You should also encourage subscribers to reach out at any time, because that flow of communication can lead to more customers.
We’ve all been there. After crafting a perfectly witty email, we realize we have a grand total of four people to send it to. The quick fix? Purchase an email list and send it out to hundreds of digitalized strangers.
Unfortunately, you’re better off channeling your marketing budget elsewhere. The people in this list may have never heard of you, and may have no relevance to the type of service you provide. If the first time they’re seeing your name is when it slips through the cracks of their inbox, odds are they either won’t read it, or they’ll complain about how it got there.
Continuous cases of this will eventually garner a poor reputation for your business, causing you to be ignored, blocked, or even blacklisted. This is also risky because purchased lists can be swamped with fake or extinct emails, which increases your bounce rate and sends your emails straight to the spam folder.
We get it, you’re excited about your sale on slip-on loafers, and you have every right to be. But that doesn’t mean you should embellish this offer as the greatest thing to happen to the internet, or worse: lie about it in the subject line. Creating crafty click-bait one-liners may lead to an opened email, but it might be the last one opened.
You need to make potential customers trust you. When your email’s body has no substance and doesn’t fulfill what the headline promises, you end up shattering your relationship with the people you’re interacting with. You may have good intentions, but that doesn’t mean you should be misleading – you’ll only end up soiling your brand’s integrity. Don’t be the brand that cries wolf.
We know that the ultimate purpose of your email is to convert views into clicks and readers into customers. You want to make a sale. While it can be tempting to swarm your emails with dozens of CTAs that reflect all your awesome services, you can’t be too obvious about your intentions.
Too many CTAs will confuse people on what to do and where to go, leaving them not doing anything at all. This method simply demands too much. The fact that someone already opened your email over the 500+ ignored emails crowding their inbox is an accomplishment. Don’t push it by leading them to three different landing pages for three completely different products. Having one clear and powerful CTA will get you the clients you need, without overwhelming readers.
This might seem to contradict the general advice crowding the internet that says not to make emails too word-heavy, but the same concept applies to an overload of images.
Completely replacing text with images might work if you’re selling specific items, but either way, only 33% of email subscribers actually have their images turned on. Your email may leave your inbox looking like a beautiful stream of photos, but it can enter subscribers’ inboxes as a succession of empty boxes.
Gone are the days when email opening was solely reserved for a desktop computer.
A study by Qualtrics and Accel found that millennials check their phones 150 times a day. That’s a lot of chances for you to grab their attention with your poignant subject lines and alluring deals. If you forgo optimizing your emails for mobile devices, you’re missing out on substantial opportunities, because people will automatically delete a message if they can’t properly see it.
Try to opt for single column templates when laying out your emails, and always test them before you send them. Also make sure you reduce image sizes and resize them in proportion to the smaller screens.
It’s no secret that the needs of internet users vary. Just because they’re all subscribed to your home goods service doesn’t mean they’re all seeking the same thing.
Sending out a generalized mass email is one of the deadliest sins you can commit in the email marketing field. You should make friends with your subscribers. Get to know them. Dig into demographics such as their age, location and income, but also look into what problems they want solves. What keeps them up at night. What they really need. Know what stage they’re at in the consumer cycle and tailor your emails to that.
Using segmentation or personalization in your emails allows you to market yourself in the best possible light. You show people that you care about serving them.
We can’t emphasize this one enough.
Don’t give your copy a rough edit and assume your email is ready to be sent. Make sure you test every aspect of your email, including the links, images, content and CTAs.
Besides the basics, take this opportunity to learn more about what your consumers like through A/B split testing. Send out two versions of the same email, study what people respond to the most, then test that again. You want your marketing skills to grow alongside your brand, and testing is how you can do that.