When done correctly, email marketing can achieve a higher ROI than any other direct marketing method. Unfortunately, most companies mishandle their email marketing campaign, causing them to lose subscribers and earn low conversion rates. Most times, the mishandling of email marketing is due to one of these 7 deadly mistakes.
1. Buying your email list—While it sounds tempting to instantly buy a list containing thousands of subscribers, doing so comes with several drawbacks. Most importantly, it makes you a spammer. If you don’t have permission from the subscriber to email them, doing so is a violation of the CAN-SPAM act. And even if it isn’t spam, you’ll never receive the response rate you want because your list isn’t hand-built and highly targeted. Quality of subscribers is much more important than quantity.
2. Not offering quality, useful content—Firing off one advertisement after another is a surefire way to lose subscribers. Obviously, you want to market your products and services, but you also need to provide your readers with quality content they can benefit from. Think of it like a magazine. Magazines have advertisements, but they also give their readers great content. Balance the two properly to receive maximum results.
3. Emailing too often—A 2005 DoubleClick survey found that many people identify spam as “email from a company I have done business with but that comes too frequently.” So, even if you aren’t technically spamming your subscribers, emailing them too often will create the perception that you are. Experts recommend contacting your subscribers no more than once every 4 days.
4. Ignoring timing—When you hit the send button is one of the most important factors in your email marketing campaign. You want to make sure you’re sending your messages at a time when your target audience is around and when they’re able to take action. Segment your list according to geographic location, and determine what time of day your customers are likely to buy what you sell.
5. Linking to your homepage—Perhaps the biggest reason for a poorly performing email marketing campaign is the lack of linking to targeted landing pages. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come across links in emails asking the reader to take action (e.g. save 25% off sweaters today only) with a link to the home page. If you’re running a promotion on sweaters, link to a landing page that contains only your sweaters. Your readers don’t want to dig around your website looking for the offer.
6. Using spammy subject lines—Of course, you can’t expect to be successful with email marketing if your messages never reach your subscribers. Avoid overuse of spammy words and phrases in your subject lines. Common examples include: Make $10,000 today, Change your life forever, Buy now, etc.
7. Not proofreading your messages—Unless you want your company to look like a joke, proofread your messages before you send them out. Typos and poorly-worded sentences create an unprofessional image of your company.
Have you made any of these email marketing mistakes? Which mistakes would you add to the list? Share your thoughts in the comments.