The Deadly Sins of Email Marketing

How did you start your day? The first thing most of us do is grab our cellphone and start sifting through the almost unmanageable amount of emails we get on a daily basis (after we hit up our Instagrams, of course). How do we decide what to open? What catches our attention? It takes a lot to get consumers to open emails they don’t necessarily remember asking for.

Running an email marketing campaign offers such huge potential for businesses to rake in more cash and increase interest in their products and services, yet so many marketers make mistakes that could potentially lessen the effectiveness of their campaign. What’s the point of taking the time to build an email campaign if brands aren’t doing it right?

Marketing gurus shouldn’t get discouraged since avoiding deadly email marketing sins might be as simple as making a few smart changes. If you want to avoid recipients unsubscribing left and right, here are a few email mistakes you should try your best to avoid.

Laws? What laws?

Ever heard of the CAN-SPAM Laws? Hopefully it’s something you haven’t overlooked, or you could be saying hello to some irritated email recipients. Ultimately these laws are about avoiding deceptive subject lines, ridding your emails of false or misleading header information, making sure your recipients can unsubscribe, and honoring opt-outs within 10 business days.

Need clarification? Google some of these cardinal rules before you send any emails to your email list. Doing so could save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run.

Will You Open This Email?

A boring subject line isn’t going to get you far. If your readers don’t even want to open your emails, there’s no chance they’re going to see your content. Don’t put us to sleep with “Read about our new award!” or “People LOVE our products!” Give us a good enough reason to open your emails and we’ll do it!

Stay short and sweet, avoid ambiguity, and create a sense of urgency. Get creative and figure out the best way to catch your audience’s attention. Focusing in on your brand and what you want to accomplish should help you come up with something spectacular.

And…what’s next?

Part of running a great email campaign is getting your audience to the next step. What do you want them to do with your email once they open it? Where do you want them to go from there?

Forgetting to include a call-to-action is a big no-no. Failure to place it in a highly visible location is also a mistake. Make it clear what you want your readers to do with the right wording. REGISTER NOW, JOIN NOW, and CLAIM YOUR PRIZE are all great examples of an effective prompt that will catch the attention of your subscribers.

Images Vs. Text

Ah, yes. You’re been enticed to open that email. What do you immediately see? Are there bright images that seem to overwhelm your computer screen and make you want to close your laptop?

Drama aside, it IS important that you follow the text-to-image ratio of 60/40. If your emails contain too much text or too many images, you’re increasing the chance this electronic mail won’t make it through the spam filters. Correctly integrating text will make your emails more visually appealing for your recipients, so try to keep the 60/40 ratio in mind.

It’s A Snoozefest

You crafted that amazing subject line. You thought long and hard about how you can make every attempt possible to follow the CAN-SPAM Laws. You take pride in your decisions as an email marketer. But…your content is just too dull.

Why aren’t people clicking through to your websites or claiming your offers? If your open-rates are high, but you’re just not converting those recipients, it probably has to do with your content. The best way to lose subscribers is by offering them nothing in terms of email content, so make emails worth their time and attention.

You Didn’t Proofreed

Proofreed? Proofread?? If an email is filled with mistakes, it won’t represent the brand in a positive light. Your recipients will know you didn’t take the time to double check, and who wants to work with a company that doesn’t seem to take pride in their business? An occasional typo here and there won’t make or break your email campaign, but it’s always worth looking over a few times. If you find this occurs a lot, let a pair of fresh eyes check out your email before you send it out.

Fancy-smancy HTML

Many email marketers spend a lot of time designing the HTML for an email campaign, but they tend to forget about designing a plain text version. Providing this option might not seem important, but it can sway the success of your campaign if you don’t include both. Drafting a plain text version in addition to HTML can increase accessibility, improve deliverability rates, allow you to test engagement, and give your recipients options. Any device and email service will display plain text and some recipients will choose to block HTML, so you’ll have a better chance of reaching more recipients if you include both.

Mobile, mobile, mobile

One of the biggest deadly sins to keep in mind nowadays is when recipients cannot access your emails through their mobile devices. If your emails are unreadable on smart phones or tablets, potential customers might not find it worth their time and attention. If you remain unconvinced about the power of mobile marketing, keep in mind that in 2013, 62% of emails were opened on a mobile device. Also, more people own a mobile device than a toothbrush, so that should give you some idea how critical mobile marketing is.

By avoiding these deadly sins of email marketing, you’ll immediately make your email campaigns stronger. Seemingly little changes can sometimes make a huge difference.


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