Email marketing is one of those marketing topics that seems to be coming back into conversation, and there’s a reason for it.
Email marketing is one of the most effective marketing strategies for nurturing and converting prospects into clients. And when done well, it can boost your reputation, revenue, and retention of clients.
But there are a few email marketing mistakes that you want to avoid as you invest more time and money into it.
What Is Email Marketing?
First, what is email marketing actually?
It’s a form of direct marketing that helps you promote your offer. Now, it doesn’t have to be a hard sell. It could be more of a brand awareness tool, follow-up tool, or engagement tool for the in-between purchase phase.
Regardless of how you utilize your email marketing, it’s a powerful tool to add to your marketing toolkit.
Why Should Your Business Use Email Marketing?
In our professional opinion, there is a place for email marketing in every business’s marketing strategy. There is so much diversity in what you can use this strategy for. Here are a couple of examples:
- Consulting → follow-up with referral partners
- Health and wellness → educational newsletters
- Marketing → long term nurture
- Consumer products → awareness of new products and/or offers
8 Email Marketing Mistakes To Avoid
Here are 8 email marketing mistakes to avoid so that each marketing dollar is spent well.
1. Using Your Personal Email Over A Trusted Email Service Provider
When you can, use a trusted mass mailing service, like Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Keap, Hubspot, or whatever email marketing software you prefer. This is your best bet because it establishes your professional reputation.
A trusted email service provider will make it easier for your subscribers to:
- Opt-in and/or adjust their email marketing preferences
- Receive your emails in their inbox
- Provide email statistics to base your decisions on
And those are just a few of the technical reasons to use an email service provider over your personal email!
2. Not Spending Enough Time On Subject Lines & Preview Text
Your subject lines and preview text are the 2 things that convince your audience to click on your email (apart from your stellar reputation).
If you need help coming up with subject lines, take a look at the emails that you open. What about them attracts you? Why do you want to open those emails?
If you’re really not sure what type of subject lines your target audience likes, then it’s time to test. Here are a couple of the subject line A/B tests we’ve run recently for clients:
- Dad joke vs. non-joke
- Question vs. statement
- Question that includes software name vs. question that avoids software name
3. Sending Bulk Emails To A Cold Audience
This is a biggie, and one that I made in my early email marketing experience. I sent an email to 27,000 people once but a good chunk of those individuals were a cold audience – those that hadn’t actively engaged with our previous efforts.
And I got blacklisted…
Email service provider locked me down. Domain was flagged. And all my big marketing tools for that company were restricted.
Let me tell you…It took hours to fix.
So if you’re going to send an email to a wide audience – especially a cold audience – break that audience down into smaller groups. It will save you a lot of time, stress, and heartache.
4. Falling Out Of Consistent Emailing
When you’re inconsistent with your emailing, your audience’s inbox isn’t going to treat your emails the same way as if you are consistent. While this may not be an exact science, we have learned from experience that consistency helps with the technical part of email marketing and with the customer engagement.
When you start to do email marketing, it’s important to find a frequency in which you can consistently email your audience. Whether that’s quarterly, monthly, bimonthly, or weekly…Whatever it is, find a frequency and stick with it.
Need help with consistency? We’ve created a guide that includes 52 email marketing prompts to get you through the rest of the year. Download that guide here.
5. Not Measuring Email Statistics
When you don’t use an email service provider or neglect to look at the email statistics, you are wasting a big opportunity to improve. We all know that marketing is a big experiment. Anyone that tells you one thing is certain in marketing isn’t someone you want to trust. So take the statistics (i.e. open rate, click through rate, opt-out rate, etc.) into consideration when determining which methods to focus your attention and others that may need to pivot.
6. Keeping Emails Impersonal & Vague
Your emails are a great opportunity to show some personality and build a relationship. Afterall, people do business with people they know, like, and trust. When you’re impersonal and vague in your email messaging, you lose the opportunity for people to know, like, and trust you.
Personalizations, such as their name, company name, and location, are great opportunities to break through the noise and personalize your messages. When people feel seen or heard, they are much more likely to engage.
Share the horror stories, lessons learned, big wins, and embarrassing moments. Share stories that will grab their attention and engage them. And since this isn’t a public platform like blogging, social media, podcasting, etc., it’s a more intimate environment to get vulnerable.
7. Sending Emails Without Testing Links
Another one of my email marketing mistakes include sending 25,000 emails with the wrong link. Facepalm. That’s why I’ve made it a professional rule, and even a standard, to always test links in emails. Depending on the software, send yourself a test email and click on every single link. You can also preview the email and do the same thing.
If you realize a link is bad after sending the mass email, send a quick follow-up email stating that you included a wrong link. This provides you an opportunity to remarket yourself. You don’t want to do this often because then it speaks to your lack of quality control (and you don’t want that).
8. Including Unclear Call To Actions
Lastly, be obvious with your call to actions. Be specific and focused. Avoid including a dozen different call to actions in your emails. Instead, choose one and focus on that one action.
It’s Time To Focus On The Right Things For Your Email Marketing
The first step to email marketing is demystifying that it’s some complicated marketing strategy. When in reality, it’s simply about having the right conversation at the right time. If you need inspiration about what to write in your email marketing, download these 52 prompts to get started.
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