You must have heard about the effectiveness of email marketing by now. It can convert clients better than almost anything else – particularly because you’ve got a captive audience who you can reach out to again and again. That said, there are a lot of ways that email marketing can go wrong. That’s down to set of common mistakes that people often make. These can turn email marketing from something that wins you customers into something that damages your images, your standing and what people think of you.
To help you identify the mistakes that you might be making, we’ve collected together some of the biggest and most common ones that people make here. In that way, you know what to look for. And, if you are making them, take steps to avoid them. In that way, you can boost the effectiveness of your campaign and start reaping all these benefits everybody is talking about.
Offering more than you’re delivering
Remember those clickbait stories that made the rounds on Facebook for a while? For a short time, they were immensely successful. Then people turned against them. I think I’ve never seen a fad come and go quite so quickly.
The reason? They oversold and under delivered. We were told we’d be moved to tear, surprised beyond belief, amazed, shocked or terrified. And 99% of them didn’t get more than a ‘meh’ reaction from us.
And, as the saying goes, once burned (okay, 50 times burned) twice shy (51st time shy?). We didn’t like how they were manipulating us and how they were failing to give us what they promised and so we turned against them. Hard.
The same thing can happen to your emails. Yes, your subject line is important in drawing them in. But if they click on your subject line and find out that the body of your email does not actually deliver, then very quickly they will actually get an aversion to your emails. Even if they don’t unsubscribe, they’ll stop opening them. And that’s pretty much the same thing.Email marketing is built on trust. Click To Tweet
Email marketing is built on trust. Remember that.
Forgetting about the preview text
Yeah, in the past people only received the subject and the name of the author. That time is long gone now. Now, we also get a preview text. This is almost as important as the subject itself. In fact, they often work in tandem. The subject grabs the user’s attention and the preview text shows them why they should click through to the actual article.
That one also is incredibly important. And yet, a lot people ignore the second part of that punch up. Don’t be one of them. Focus on knowing how long your previews can be and use that text to capture their attention.
Focus on putting a few keywords in there that will interest your readers and make them think the email will be relevant to them. That can significantly increase your opening rate.
Companies often seem to forget that we evolved to interact with other people. That’s when we feel at our most comfortable and natural. And so, they throw in things like ‘admin’ or ‘no reply’ in the sender line.
What a waste!
As I said before, users only get to see a small amount of information from you when you send them your email and before they’ve decided to open it. One of these bits of information is who sent it. In fact, there is even some evidence that who an email comes from is actually considered more important than the subject line! So put in an actual name – yours if you want to. Then people will feel they’re actually talking to a person and they’re far more likely to give them the time of day.
Oh yes, and while we’re on the topic of ‘no reply’, what are you doing making your emails non-repliable? It’s incredibly easy to get replies to your marketing email sent through to your inbox. So why not have that done? After all, it should be as easy as possible for your followers to get in touch with you – particularly as those who go through the trouble of doing so are often your most loyal followers.
So get rid of the ‘no reply’.
Only trying to sell them stuff
Yes, email marketing is about selling them stuff. You know that. I know that. Your customer probably knows that too. Nonetheless, that can’t be the only thing you’re doing. Very few people sign up to newsletters so they can give people yet another avenue to try to take their money.
Instead, they’re hoping that your newsletter will give them something of value such as hints, insights, ideas, tools, stories, background information or anything else.
In truth, you have to constantly be giving them a wide range of information that they find directly relevant and useful. If you consistently manage to do that, then not only will people open the emails you’re sending them, but when you get around to trying to sell them things, they’ll stick around and give you the benefit of the doubt. After all, you’ve won their trust and so they’ll give you the time of day you need.
Ultimately, if you give them the information they’re looking for, then when you do sell to them, they’ll be far more likely to actually buy it. So in this way your email marketing becomes win-win.
I know, you’re sending an email from a business. At the same time, that does not mean that your email should be entirely devoid of personality. Quite the opposite, in fact. For the same reason as I outlined above, we want to feel we’re communicating with people. This is something that’s only become truer as a result of the facelessness of the internet. Where before we shook each other’s hands and looked each other in the eyes (or at least heard their voices) now often the only thing we get is the words on the screen. That can already feel quite distancing.
Why make it worse by making your language devoid of feeling and seem like it was written by a robot or a two-dimensional salesperson who has no heart? That’s a terrible strategy. Instead, let your personality shine through. There are a lot of different ways to do so. For example, you can write a high quality text in which you share experiences, ideas and even fears with them to let it shine through who you are. By Demonstrating what you’re good at and what worries you, you will be able to give people a peek behind the curtain and thereby make yourself seem like the real deal.
And the great thing about this is that the more connected they feel to you and your business, the more loyal they will become to your brand. And in the long term that’s worth more than almost anything else.
Benefits not features
Also, remember that when you do get around to selling them things, don’t focus on the things, focus on how it will help the person you’re trying to sell it to. So, if you’ve selling air conditioning units, you don’t focus on the features (it can go all the way where water freezes!) but on the advantage that it gives to the person (your life will be eternally cool with this air conditioning unit). That’s how you really sell things.
There are a couple of ways you can pitch a product. The obvious way is to focus on how it will make their lives better (with this knife cooking will be a breeze!). But that’s hardly the only angle you can take. You can also focus on how it represents a certain ideal (This is the knife is made of recycled cans and so does not impact the environment) status (with this knife, your friends will know you’re the real deal) or belonging (this exclusive knife is used by the best of the best – become a part of the cooks collective). All of that will sell a great deal better than just focusing on the object’s features (this knife has a really sharp edge).
Email marketing can be incredibly effective if well done. The thing is, just because its only text doesn’t mean that it’s something you’ll immediately know how to do. In fact, it’s the opposite. Because you have fewer channels of communication than, say, in a video, you have to make far more use of the channels you’re actually using.
This will take some time and effort to learn, admittedly. So, try out some new strategies and keep learning. If you keep doing that, then you’ll figure out what does and doesn’t work quite quickly. The best strategy is to carefully track the numbers of the different attempts you’re writing up while creating small variations from one email to the next. In this way, you’ll be in a situation where it is much easier for you to know what’s working and what is not. And that will make it far easier to improve.
About the Author:
Alaine Gordon is young and talented content manager. She has been writing professionally since 2010 about almost everything, starting from psychology and to the finance. Alaine Gordon graduated from the University of Colorado with B.A. in Journalism, 2011. She is open-minded, creative person who loves to make the people smile. Her credo is ‘Life is a fun enterprise’. In her free time, she loves traveling, reading science fiction and knitting. Her huge dream is to visit every single country in the world.