New email marketing tools continuously come up, and it gets harder and harder to navigate through the marketing world. But don’t worry — we’ve got some tips we cover in this article and our free webinar training. Below we’ve prepared a list of 6 common emailing marketing errors and how to avoid them.
1. Poor subject lines
Convince and Convert mentions weak subject lines is one of the ways emails aren’t as successful as they could be. To improve your emails, you should work on your subject line and make it compelling enough for your subscribers to open up your email.
We all receive a ton of email. As a result, many readers simply scan each email subject line for mere microseconds before performing a mass deletion of unwanted sales pitches.
Everyone has seen grandiose subject lines promising the reader they can drop 20 pounds in two weeks or generate six-figure incomes within the next month. Hyped-up email subjects scream spam, and readers often mark them as such to marketers’ dismay. Even when readers avoid labeling a particular sender as spam, proclaiming the impossible makes them roll their eyes and tick the delete box.
Subject lines that compel readers to open them and take action share several characteristics:
They don’t trick people into opening — they provide value
They’re short, sweet and to the point
They focus on the subject while avoiding fluff and filler words
They’re professional sounding, not sensational
They avoid yelling at the reader in all caps
Busy professionals eschew emails whose subject lines offer no perceived value. Emails deleted unopened due to lackluster titles waste marketers’ time while creating no additional revenue for their efforts.
2. Outdated mailing list
SendPulse Blog discusses how outdated mailing lists can harm your email marketing campaigns. Keep your subscriber list clean and have everything organized, so you know how to content and who are reacting to your regular newsletters and emails.
Mailbox providers use complex algorithms to decide whether to sort an incoming email to the inbox or spam folder. One of the algorithms is engagement-based: it includes such users’ actions as forwards, replies, and other important metrics, for instance, how many emails were moved to another folder, how many of them were deleted without reading, and so on. If a mailbox provider tracks no user’s interactions with emails, the message is more likely to be seen as unsolicited one and filtered directly to spam. Moreover, inactive subscribers can cause hard bounces and become spam traps, which altogether affects sender reputation and deliverability.
So, the number one rule is to keep your mailing list clean, delete any mistyped and invalid email addresses, as well as those users who have been inactive for more than six months.
3 Sending without testing
Many web-based programs online give you the option to test your email before sending it out. Mailup recommends using the testing feature so that you can look it over one more time before sending it to your subscribers.
It’s a jungle of desktop- and Web-based email software out there! That said, many businesses can spot and resolve problems in just a few minutes by testing a message on the most popular email clients (e.g. Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo!, Outlook,…). Make sure links work, images are loaded correctly (once permission has been granted), and that there are no grammar and spelling mistake. Then, focus on how the message is displayed across the different email programs. For a more in-depth review of the message, you can use a service like Email Analysis. In terms of testing the results of a campaign – if you are becoming a pro – you can use A/B testing to test variations of the same message on a small portion of the list, and then send the best performing one.
4. Not being consistent
Being consistent is essential when you have an email campaign, which is why Convince and Convert recommends sticking to an email schedule and not waiting another six months, for example, before you push out another email or newsletter.
Far too many marketers either grind too hard with unwanted emails or neglect keeping up contact altogether after launching one or two successful campaigns.
As much as some may love your informative content, letting too much time pass between correspondence distracts their attention elsewhere, and bombarding readers with daily emails when they’ve only signed up for a monthly newsletter exasperates otherwise loyal followers.
Ideally, allow site visitors to indicate their desired update frequency when signing up, and honor their wishes. Automate emails to send at regular intervals even while on vacation or leave to avoid communication gaps.
5. Wrong time and frequency
Sometimes you may be sending out your emails at the wrong time or on the wrong days (or both). To fix that SendPulse Blog recommends doing some testing to figure out what the best time of day and day of the week is to reach your audience.
It takes a lot of testing to figure out what time will hit it big with your target audience. However, there are several recommendations you can follow: if, for instance, you want engagement, try sending emails on Fridays, but if you are aiming at higher conversions, it’s better to choose Saturdays.
When it comes to frequency, you should know that 43% of subscribers prefer to receive emails from brands less often. Your primary goal as a sender is to respect your subscribers’ personal space and set their expectations in advance — inform how often and what content you are going to send. Invite your subscribers to set up their preferences and tailor your sending schedule and email content to meet their expectations.
For example, Huffington Post send emails every morning. It’s as plain as daylight for the subscribers when to expect emails thanks to the unambiguous sender name — HuffPost Morning Emails.
6. Not having a clear call to action
Do you have a clear call to action? Consistently promote your company by using a call to action in your newsletter, as Optinmonster tells us to do.
As you’ve undoubtedly read a time or two or ten, your content needs a call to action (CTA). This is true whether you’re talking about a landing page, a blog post, or an email.
Without a call to action, you’re leaving it up to your audience to figure out what you want them to do. Your readers are undoubtedly smart, but this is asking too much of them.
So before you compose your email, start with a clear vision of its purpose in mind.
What outcome do you want?
Do you want to promote a piece of content you’ve written? Do you want to inform the reader of an upcoming launch or event? Do you want to make a sale?
Focus your email’s text, images, and design to guide your readers toward this outcome. Then, before you send the email, make sure your call to action is clear, enticing, and points the reader towards the outcome you hope to achieve.
So how do you make a great call to action? Here are a few suggestions:
#1: Make Your CTA Easy to Find
Don’t bury your call to action in your email. Use bright colors, bold text, or large buttons. Display it prominently so that it stands out from the rest of your email.
#2: Use the Right Call-to-Action Words
Words matter. If your CTA is boring or vague, readers may skip right over it.
Use action words like “read more” or “buy now”. Use urgency. Foster curiosity.
#3: Don’t Muddle the Message
Like so many things in life, there can be too much of a good thing. If you have multiple calls to action in a single email, your message can easily become muddled.
Instead of taking the action you wanted them to take, readers will take no action at all.
#4: Repeat the Message
When it’s appropriate, repeat your call to action more than once.
You’re trying to make it as easy as possible for your reader to go straight from the email to your website or product. Repeating the call to action multiple times allows your reader more opportunities to notice and interact with it.
So far, so good. Now for the mistake that really trips up bloggers and marketers…
It’s normal to make email marketing mistakes — but it’s imperative to learn from them so you can continue to reach your audience and make more sales. To learn additional ways to improve your business’ profits and create a sustainable income online, join us for our next free webinar training.