If there’s one thing technology has brought to the marketing world, it’s hyper-targeting. There’s enough data out there to deliver the perfect message to potential customers at the perfect time. Are you using it?
Email marketing is a great example. Instead of throwing out a billboard design and hoping some people notice it, you’re popping into your customers’ inboxes whenever you want.
As invaluable as email marketing is to any modern marketing strategy, there are plenty of big mistakes that can destroy your ROI. Are you getting in your own way with these blunders?
Big Mistakes in Email Marketing
You can take solace in the fact that most email marketers are making at least one of these mistakes. Still, simple changes can make a powerful difference in your results. Make sure you aren’t committing any of these offenses.
Not Asking for Permission
We’ve all been on the receiving end of marketing emails we didn’t sign up for. We do one of two things: delete it and forget it or mark it as spam. Every time you receive an unsolicited email from that same sender, you’re more likely to click that “spam” button.
The same thing happens when your customers get emails they didn’t sign up for. Maybe you’re cramming your subscriber list with ever email address you get your hands on. Maybe you’re going the quick route and buying lists.
Either way, it’s a problem. When customers mark you as spam, their email services may apply that to other customers too.
For instance, if many Gmail users mark you as spam, Gmail learns this and adds it to their spam filter. This could keep active subscribers from seeing the emails they actually want.
Underthinking Your Links
Links within your marketing emails are crucial. After all, it’s the primary way a reader starts the process of becoming a customer.
Don’t link to everything and anything you can think of. Having too many links in your email is a common indicator of spam, so you could end up in customers’ spam folders.
Instead, limit your links to a few highly specific ones. As Kaladan Marketing suggests, you can also design unique landing pages for the ads. Those landing pages should be designed to convert customers from this distinct email.
Using Boring Subject Lines
When a customer sees your email in their inbox, they decide whether to open based on the only two things they can see: your identity and the subject. That makes your subject one of the most vital parts of each email.
Avoid boring subjects like “April Newsletter” at all costs. Instead, tell customers why they want to open the email. Something like “Your April savings are here!” is more effective.
Having Subtle Calls-to-Action
Did you know the average person only focuses on a single task for eight seconds at a time? Those low attention spans are often even lower when we’re flipping through our emails.
Most of us scan through our emails in a hurry as we wait in line at the store or do other tasks. If your marketing emails have subtle calls-to-action that require three screens of scrolling to see, you can bet customers will miss them.
Make sure each email has a prominent call-to-action. It shouldn’t require too much scrolling to see and it should make its destination clear. For example, you don’t want your CTA to say “shop our sale” and the link takes customers to your home page rather than your sale page.
Using a No-Reply Email ID
A no-reply email ID is an option in most or all email marketing software tools. That doesn’t mean you have to use it.
If you aren’t familiar with the term, a no-reply email ID means that readers can’t click “reply” on your marketing emails and reach you. Many businesses do this because they worry that they’ll get flooded with spam if they allow replies.
You’re tossing out the baby with the bathwater, though. Not all your customers are tech-savvy and they may think replying to those emails is a good way to reach you.
If a customer reaches out from your email, it’s likely to be for one of two purposes. First, they may be trying to make contact in order to buy from you or find out more. You never want to miss out on a qualified lead.
The other possibility is that they may be trying to unsubscribe. If their attempt to unsubscribe doesn’t work, they’ll start marking you as spam. This could start landing you in your active customers’ spam folders instead of their inboxes.
Not Analyzing Your Results
One of the best features of email marketing tools is that they collect many types of data for your use. The problem is that so few businesses ever use that data. They send an email and move on. Maybe they look at the increase in revenue it brought, but that’s it.
To truly fine-tune and improve your email marketing, you need to see where you’re losing customers. Are too few subscribers opening your emails? Are they opening emails but not clicking through?
Maybe you have great open rates and click-through rates but your revenue isn’t where you want it to be. That would mean you have to focus on growing your subscriber list.
Make a point to compare your campaigns every month or every quarter. Look at how the data changes if you adjust your sending time, add personalization, or change your subject lines.
Savings for Them, Success for You
When it comes down to it, email marketing is all about creating a win-win situation. You want to deliver something to your customers’ inboxes that they want. That could be discounts and sales or maybe it’s interesting and helpful content.
Avoiding the big mistakes above isn’t a matter of “tricking” anyone into opening your emails. It’s about creating emails that offer value to a customer and letting them know about it. The end result is better brand recognition and higher revenue for you.
If you want to tighten up other aspects of your marketing strategy or business plan too, check out our business tips blog.