Regardless of what you’ve heard, email marketing is still a top marketing strategy. You can personalize your messages, tailor them for certain individuals and make special offers to subscribers.
However, as effective as email is, it’s not effective if you’re making obvious email marketing mistakes. There’s no sense in sending email if it’s not getting opened or doesn’t get delivered.
Here’s a list of the most common and overlooked email marketing mistakes to avoid so you get the most out of using email.
9 Common and Often Overlooked email Marketing Mistakes To Avoid
To give you some examples, I chose 9 of the most common mistakes I’ve encountered with my email marketing list that’s helped me not only boost my open and click through rates, they’ve helped me increase sales simply by creating trust with my subscribers.
Email Marketing Mistake #1. You’re not being consistent with your emails.
Be consistent! Sending too much email or not often enough isn’t smart.
First of all, a subscriber that doesn’t hear from you for weeks at a time will forget who you are. I’m sure that’s even happened to you. You opt in to an email list for great tips or an awesome newsletter but get nothing for weeks. When you finally get something you opt out because you can’t remember who the heck that person is. Not good.
But don’t flood your subscriber’s inbox with thousands of useless emails either. Instead keep in contact with them regularly enough with useful information that your subscribers will perk up when they see your emails.
Fix: Plan an email schedule. Depending on your niche, you should be sending at least one email every 14 days. One email a week works fine for most niches.
Because I publish a blog, I have an automatic email that goes to my subscriber list that alerts subscribers when I’ve published a new blog post. It’s part of my Aweber autoresponder service that does two things for me:
- It keeps my readers coming back to my site.
- It’s automatic.
I can’t help but keep in touch with my subscribers, plus it saves me time and effort
Email Marketing Mistake #2. You Have NO REAL Relationship with your readers
You won’t be effective with email if you don’t have a relationship with your readers.
Email is not about selling stuff to your readers, it’s about building relationships that create trust and loyalty. That’s how you make sales. The better your relationships, the more sales you’ll make. That’s an honest to goodness FACT.
But how do you build those relationships for getting more results?
Fix: Connect with your readers. Get personal. Know what they’re feeling and connect with that. Provide information and ideas they can use and benefit from. Offer special discounts, free bonuses or sales.
*** Top Tip: If your goal is to grow your email list, establish relationships and increase your sales, I highly recommend “30 Days to a Bigger Email List, Better Relationships and More Results” by Contentrix. For only $20 this is an awesome, comprehensive course with copywriting tips, templates, swipe files, online training, a cool audio showing you how to profit offering free gifts, and more. There’s no other course I’ve found where you get as much bang for your buck.
Email Marketing Mistake #3. Your emails don’t fit with your target audience’s schedule.
Do you know when your emails typically get read? You should. To adequately know this use an email autoresponder that gives you feedback about the emails you send.
Generally the best time to send an email is when people are checking their in boxes. That’s typically between the hours of 9am and 4pm. But every business and email list is different, and according to the website Go Delivery, email marketers need to TEST.
Fix: Conduct tests by sending emails at various times before coming to any conclusions about the schedule of your readers.
Email Marketing Mistake #4. You’re Using Bad Subject lines.
Your subject line is all your reader has to go on for whether or not they want to open your email, so you don’t want your subject line to be so unappealing and anonymous that readers will dismiss it or worse yet it triggers the spam filters and doesn’t get delivered.
Fix: Here are two things to do when writing your subject line.
- Create unique catchy email subject lines.
- Avoid SPAM trigger words like free, cheap, guarantee, income, winner, subscribe, Money, Cash, etc. Here’s a good list of spam trigger words I found:
- Split test your emails. I never wanted to take the time to do this but it can increase your open rates by as much as 50%. Again my Aweber email service comes to the rescue. It has a split testing tool that makes split testing easy. Split testing works like this; if you have 500 people on your email list send 100 of them your email with one subject line and send another 100 with a different subject line. The email with the header that gets the most opens is the one you send to the rest of your list. Super simple.
Email Marketing Mistake #5. Not providing what your subscribers really want.
Anticipate the needs and wants of your target market by stepping into their shoes.
For example, a mom who home schools her kids probably needs organizational tips to help her optimize her time. She may also be looking for ideas to help her kids focus more or how about toys that make learning fun.
Fix: Get these ideas and more by simply visiting topic related forums.
Don’t make the mistake of sending email just for the sake of sending out an email. Whatever you send readers send your subscribers make it something they’ll benefit from.
Email Marketing Mistake #6. You’re not sending application specific email confirmations.
Nothing screams SPAM faster than sending your readers email that they didn’t sign up for. For example, a reader may opt in for your free e-book, however you didn’t tell them they’ll also be getting your weekly newsletter. Subscribers don’t like that.
Fix: When you send your subscriber their subscriber confirmation, be clear about what they’ll be getting. If you’re including them in your newsletter, say that. They may choose not to opt in but you won’t be violating CAN-SPAM rules.
Email Marketing Mistake #7. No contact details
Supplying your contact details is a trust thing. It symbolizes to a subscriber that you’re genuine and not afraid to post who you are and how you can be contacted. No contact information implies you have something to hide or you just don’t want to be contacted. If you’re genuinely interested in your subscribers and want to engage and help them, contact information clearly signifies that.
Fix: Include your mailing address and phone number. It’s perfectly acceptable to use a P.O. Box.
Email Marketing Mistake #8. There’s no way for subscribers to opt out
If your email doesn’t give a subscriber a way to unsubscribe, it violates the CAN-SPAM laws.
If you’re afraid of subscribers opting out then you’ve got the wrong mind set. Don’t waste your time and resources on people that aren’t interested? Let them go and make room for those that want your great information.
Fix: Include an option for opting out of your email list at the bottom of each post.
Email Marketing Mistake #9. You’re not proofreading Your emails.
A few years ago I had a rather awkward but necessary wake up call from a subscriber who commented after opting out of my list:
“Just wanted to say that your email lost it for me. Maybe you better start proofreading!“
Ouch! How embarrassing. But my reader was right. I reread my email and it had 2 spelling and grammar mistakes. If anything makes you sit up and take notice that will. But believe me; you don’t want to get to that point
Fix: Here’s what I do now to proofread my emails. I copy my post into a word document, or simply create it there. When the document is complete I run it through the spell and grammar checker. When the email looks good I transfer it to my email autoresponder and send a test to myself. Then I get up from my computer and take a break for about 10 minutes. When I come back I read the test. That’s when I generally notice spelling, grammar and flow errors that I might have missed. It adds another few minutes to the process but sending email out with mistakes is shooting yourself in the foot.
There you have it, 9 email marketing mistakes to avoid. What email marketing mistakes have you made? Or what mistakes annoy you the most. Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.