Avoid Email Marketing Mistakes with These Best Practices
Everybody makes mistakes, and they can be embarrassing. Luckily, most of the time a simple “whoops” isn’t fatal. Unless you’re sending email to a large list of customers, because in that case simple email marketing mistakes can give your business a big black eye — or worse, land you in trouble with regulators.
Let’s talk about some common email marketing errors and some best practices you can use to avoid them.
1. Create Good Copy
Misspellings, repeated words or phrases and awkward sentences find their way into written communication from time to time. Because email is a rapid, often informal communication tool, most people will forgive typos in one-on-one dialogues.
Commercial marketing messages, however, need to be as pristine as possible, not only to avoid embarrassment, but also to prevent costly miscommunication. Transposed digits in a price, for example, can create an expensive “teaching moment.” The data also shows that typos in a subject line can have a drastic effect on the number of opens an email receives.
Fix: Proofread more than once. If possible, have more than one person check the copy before the email is sent, and remember you can’t take that email back after it’s out.
2. Present Compelling Offers
No matter how good an offer, if it’s not of interest to the email recipient, you’ve just wasted your time and theirs. Repeated mailing of irrelevant offers will cause list members to unsubscribe — or worse, report you as a spammer.
Fix: With YNOT Mail’s Pro and VIP tiers you can segment your email list by consumer interest, and then send each segment only marketing messages in which members have expressed an interest. Save your best offers for email campaigns, which trains your audience to look for your emails and actually read them. The more engaged your audience, the more they’ll get delivered to inboxes.
3. Time is of the Essence
Little aggravates email recipients more than salivating over an offer they can’t wait to take advantage of, only to reach the call-to-action and realize the promotion already ended. Make this mistake even once, and list members will drop their subscription like a bad habit.
Fix: Double-check all copy and artwork to make sure there are no “leftovers” from previous campaigns. Be especially diligent about dates and discounts. Give your subscribers time to receive the offer and act on it to avoid the common email marketing mistakes around stale offers.
4. You Break It, They Won’t Buy It
Broken links are at the top of most email recipients’ list of frustrations, and frustrating readers can be a problem. Sending them to the wrong page — or a page that doesn’t exist at all — not only will cost you sales, but also may cost you subscribers and generate complaints on social media.
Fix: Again, double-check everything. Click all the links in each marketing email before sending it, even if you’re reusing a link that worked last month. Like everything else online, websites are subject to changes.
5. Get Personal
Nothing says “I value your business, you faceless, nameless schmuck” more than a subject line or internal greeting with visible code or an impersonal address. If nothing else, “%username%, have we got a deal for you!” or “Dear [firstname]” make your operation look careless. Readers may suspect that your carelessness with email marketing could reflect equal carelessness with the product.
Fix: If you allow subscribers to omit some information on sign-up forms, pick a default setting for those data fields so you don’t end up with naked code parading around in public. Also, always, always send test emails internally before finalizing a campaign. Others among your crew may spot coding and other email marketing mistakes before the public sees them.