Love it or hate it, email marketing delivers results, especially when done properly. In today’s world of ever-changing technology, emails marketing is a fantastic way to connect with your customer base and reach out to prospects and turn them into new and loyal customers. And it’s a relatively inexpensive way to market your small business that can have major payoffs.
The average consumer gets hundreds of emails a day. Many have multiple email accounts, one for personal use, one for work use, and maybe even one for “spam,” like their coupons and sales alerts. That makes it tough for you to get ahead, and it means your email marketing game has to be on point at all times.
Creating successful marketing emails requires planning and an understanding of the marketplace. To stay ahead and get your emails read, we’ve rounded up eight things that make your marketing emails look unprofessional and you might be doing wrong so that you can avoid these common mistakes and craft effective, engaging emails for your audience.
The data is yours
Speaking of analytics… email is the best platform for getting your hands on the cold hard facts you need to do your job. For example, it’s super easy to track what your audience is and isn’t responding to with email.
Want to know which blog posts got the most clicks in your email? That data is all yours. Want to treat your returning customers to a special discount code? You can send out an email specifically to them. You can easily see the best times to send emails to subscribers, what your conversions are for sales, and you’ll often have access to data about your subscribers, such as their location.
You can find important analytics regarding your emails through your email provider, Google Analytics, and sometimes your website’s back end. With some subscribers, you’ll be able to refine your email strategy with real-time campaign and website analytics that you can view when you access your account. Plus, you’ll be able to easily link site content like blog posts or new products directly to your email with one click. Use the nitty-gritty data to learn what content leads to higher engagement and track your metrics from send to sale.
Having a “no-reply” sender email address
Receiving an email from a “no-reply” address leaves a bad taste in the reader’s mouth. Getting an email from email@example.com automatically shuts down any notion of two-way communication and comes across as promotional and impersonal, which can be off-putting.
The best way to avoid turning your readers off before they even open your email is to have a dedicated email account from which you send your marketing campaigns. This email address can include a first name (firstname.lastname@example.org) or an informative phrase (CustomerService@mysmallbusiness.com). This way, recipients feel encouraged to reply if they have a question or comment and have a real point of contact within your small business. It’s a simple way to start building relationships with your audience and giving them away to communicate with your business proactively.
People are already wary of spam and phishing emails, so do yourself a service by adding these sender email addresses to your account.
3. Segment your customer list
If you’re email marketing to your entire list with the same emails, you’re going to lose subscribers… Today’s consumers are susceptible to irrelevant sales pitches, which is why it’s so important to segment your list based on consumer wants, needs, and demographics.
Let’s say you’re a home builder who does new builds, renovations and works with realtors to sell developed homes. When you send an email out to your entire list about a home you recently renovated, only one-third of your list is going to care. For the other two-thirds of your email marketing list, homeowners looking to build a new home, and realtors looking to partner with you to sell a new home, your email is not applicable. They don’t care about renovations, so they’re going to delete your email.
Worse, they might start to think that “this is a builder who doesn’t care about what I’m looking for, so I no longer see the value in subscribing to this newsletter. ” Herein lies the benefit of email marketing segmentation. You can send that awesome home renovation to subscribers you know interested in renovating and send your full-build subscribers information that’s more relevant to them. That way, everyone is happy. Sure, you sent out an extra email, but you’re more likely to get a better response rate from emails that are precise and relevant than blanket emails that go out to your entire subscriber list.
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4. Your subscribers are yours to keep
It’s not uncommon for social media platforms to do purges of “fake followers.” And it’s really not fun to wake up and find your follower count dropped overnight. Not to mention, even popular social media channels can shut down without warning. Social media can be a bit of a gamble. While email subscribers can choose to unfollow your emails any time they want (legally, you must provide them with this option), no one else can remove subscribers from your email list.
When it comes to email, aside from the risk of having a natural amount of “unsubscribes” each time you send an email blast, you aren’t at risk of losing access to your email list. Furthermore, even when someone unsubscribes, you’ll still be able to see their history of how they interacted with your emails, which can provide insight.
Too many images.
When emails are chock full of images, it comes across as busy and cluttered. As a result, it’s hard for readers to get the intended message and often results in emails being sent to the trash before they get to the good stuff! Also, since people are viewing their emails more and more on smartphones and tablets, if your images and videos are not optimized for mobile, they’ll likely show up as blank boxes, which look very professional.
Instead, use one image or logo in each email campaign and include alt text (descriptive text of your graphic or photo) for each image, so a description appears even if the image doesn’t render. Use an email service that optimizes for mobile and desktop to ensure your recipients see the email the way you want them to. This way, your text, and images show up properly, which reinforces your legitimacy.
6. You Can Increase Sales and your website Pageviews
Here’s a fun little fact for you, 60% of consumers said marketing emails influence their purchasing decisions. Email marketing is a really amazing tool when you consider that, unlike paper junk mail that people receive from stores unwillingly, customers choose to sign up for your email list. They want to learn about your new products, sales, and any content you’ve produced. Take advantage of that fact, and don’t be afraid to use email as a platform for increasing sales. Remember all that handy data you learned about earlier? Use it to your advantage and learn how to best sell to your audience.
You may also want to integrate your website with your email provider to increase your sales and pageviews. For example, some platform also allows you to take advantage of a feature called “abandoned checkout recovery.” This feature will send automatic emails to customers who have walked away from the checkout process. Basically, for zero minutes of extra work, your customers will receive reminders to make a purchase they expressed interest in. They also have features that allow you to customize transactional order emails to send to customers, like emails about purchase confirmations, order fulfillment, and refunds.
7. No Unsubscribe
If you email market, you have to have an unsubscribe button. Besides the fact that it’s the law, most consumers abhor being trapped in an email subscription that they can’t get out of and aren’t likely to subscribe in the first place if they know it will be difficult to get out.
Try not to hide the unsubscribe button either. As tempting as it may be, the average consumer is likely to give your company more respect if you continue to give them control over the communication they’re getting from you. And really, you don’t want to be sending out emails to people who don’t want them and don’t care — it’s a waste of everybody’s time.
8. Not Measuring your Success
The absolute best way to kill your list when you’re email marketing is to never look at your metrics. Every email marketing tool provides some level of metric reporting for a reason, so you can evaluate how well your outreach is doing and what your ROI is. If your emails aren’t generating any results, you need to try something different. On the other hand, if the emails you send out at 3 pm on Thursdays are seeing remarkable engagement, that’s something you need to know so you can keep doing it.
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To have a successful email marketing strategy, you need to look at the data and often. The more informed you are about the hits and misses of your email marketing campaign, the more prepared you’ll be to succeed in the future.
Email marketing is a key aspect of any digital marketing or inbound marketing strategy. With these “what not to do” tips in your back pocket, your small business is equipped to send great marketing emails that encourage loyalty and sales. Keep this list handy, so you’re always prepared to create the best marketing email campaign possible and sidestep any unnecessary blunders to build a trustworthy and professional business reputation.