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Oops! Email Marketing Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)

posted August 12th 2019, 11:15 am by Maddy Strange

Email marketing can be sadly neglected in this digital marketing day and age. However, email marketing is a valuable marketing tool in all industries. In fact, according to the 2018 Manufacturing Content Marketing: Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends–North America published by Content Marketing Institute and IEEE, email marketing is the most effective form of content marketing (75% versus 46% effectiveness of social media and 35% in-person events). Generally, these emails tend to be sent without much thought (especially if you send a lot of them), but this leads to common email marketing mistakes. Read on to learn what these mistakes are and how to avoid them. 

Oops! Email Marketing Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)

Mistake #1: No clear purpose

Before doing anything, really, we should have the "why" figured out. If we don't even know why we're doing something, how will anyone else? In email marketing, this applies to the purpose behind each email. You should know why each email is being sent. The purpose of the email might be to promote a deal, explain a product, or inform about a topic. No matter the reason, understand what it is before creating the email. This way, the purpose will come across to your email recipients as well.

Mistake #2: Hard to read on mobile

This is easy to check to see if you're making this mistake. Look at your emails that you send out on your phone and various other phone sizes (you can use your coworkers for this). Check the text sizes, links, and formatting. If there's any problems, fix them before sending out any more emails because more than half of emails are read on phones.

Mistake #3: No call-to-action

This mistake connects with the first mistake I talked about. Not having a call-to-action has a similar effect to not having a clear purpose to the email. An informative email is all fine, but will not generate clicks or conversion. Including a call-to-action (even if it's just to visit your website or read another article) engages the reader with your company. Engagement tends to lead to conversion.

Mistake #4: Boring subject line

Not every subject line needs to be click-bait ("You won't believe what happened!!!" or "These 3 products will change your life forever!"). However, subject lines should clearly relate to the email's purpose (see Mistake #1 above) and should be interesting to the reader. Keeping your target audience in mind, think about what would catch readers' attention. If your readers don't open your email, they'll never see the cool content inside it (including your call-to-action of #3). This means that your subject line should convince them to open the email. Using action words and clear language will improve your subject lines.

Mistake #5: No test emails

A/B testing is your best friend in the email marketing process. Here's a simple rundown of how to test your email marketing with A/B testing:

  1. Decide what one thing you want to test.
  2. Come up with two versions of your test subject.
  3. Send out one option to half of your audience and one option to the other half.
  4. Compare the results of each email.
  5. Use the more successful option for your later emails.

You can test most things with this straightforward process. For example, you can test subject lines, images, layouts, calls-to-action, and personalizations. Utilize this helpful process to keep your emails fresh and relevant to your audience.

Mistake #6: Not written for readers

If you don't write for your target audience, they'll notice. Vague topics and irrelevant information will turn readers away from your email. Write as if you're talking to someone personally by focusing on the topic that you have in common. Include images, articles, and links that will benefit them and apply to their needs. Refer to this blog post, about creating high-quality content for content marketing, for things to remember as we create/write content for our audience.

Mistake #7: No "unsubscribe" option

That may seem counterintuitive. But really, if you don't provide an "unsubscribe" option, your readers can't let you know that they don't like your emails. If you have a high unsubscribing rate, you'll know that you have to update your emails. Change things up a bit, survey your readers what they'd like to see, and test out your new emails if you have people unsubscribing in large numbers.

To talk about digital marketing, including email marketing, contact RedMoxy Communications or email us at [email protected]