A lot of people have been skeptics about the success of e-mail marketing for a while now. They believe that it is digital marketing platform that is on the verge of dying out. Despite their thoughts, e-mail marketing has survived until today and is actually the best asset when it comes to long-term engagement. It’s hard to ignore e-mail messages, and therefore, they more often read than not.
An e-mail is a cost-effective solution to connect with your customer base and measure impact. It can be composed according to any desired action, and sharing is simple. However, in this day and age, when your clients receive dozens of e-mails, it’s extremely important how you do it, and there is a number of mistakes that people tend to make. So, in this article, we are going to discuss the things you should avoid in your e-mail marketing campaign.
7 Steps to Avoid with E-mail Marketing
1. Sending e-mails without the option to unsubscribe
When someone subscribes to you, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they want to keep getting mail from you forever. There is a wide variety of reasons why someone would want to unsubscribe. Therefore, it is essential that you make it easy for them to do so with a clear “unsubscribe” option.
Without it, your users might decide to start marking your mail as spam in order to stop receiving it. The end result of this is that you could end up in their “blocked email senders” list. If enough people do this, the deliverability of your e-mails will suffer. They’ll end up in the spam folder automatically, or won’t be delivered at all.
2. Not building a database
In order to create an e-mail marketing strategy, you must have people you are going to e-mail. The list of your existing e-mail contacts is a start from which you are going to grow. There is a variety of ways that you can build your database – you can incorporate a newsletter sign up field on your website, import contacts that you have on Linked In, have a CTA button on your Facebook page, and ask your users to let other people know.
A thing that you must never do is buy an email list. It is shunned upon by e-mail service providers and the users that you are going to send e-mails to have no actual idea who you are. The only proper way to engage via e-mail is to reach out to people who have expressed interest in what you have to say.
3. Click-bait and over-hyped subjects
One of the worst things that you can do to your e-mail recipients is let them down. The fact is that if you choose to lie or place a spin on subjects in order for your e-mail to get opened more likely or generate more click-through rates, will do you a lot of harm in the long run. While at first you might get high results, your users will refuse to engage with you any further.
Click-bait titles and over-hyping what your e-mail is really about is only going to cause damage to your brand image. Think about long-term goals, rather than short-term wins that can harm your business.
4. Not including a call-to-action
All the effort put into a great subject line and high-quality content pretty much means very little if you don’t incorporate a proper call-to-action in your e-mail. After all, the whole idea behind an e-mail campaign is to get your users to do something – click a link, read your blog, check out a video that presents your product, etc.
CTAs are one of the pillars of digital marketing. You may have sparked your customers’ interest, but if you are making it tough for them to do what they’re supposed to do, your business will suffer. You need one dedicated CTA that will surely get you the most conversions.1
5. Sending self-promotional e-mails
It’s a bad idea to send out e-mails that only talk about how great your business is. The essential task of an e-mail is to provide your customer with something of value, in return for their engagement with you. Use the time that they are taking to read your message to give them a good reason to stay subscribed to you.
Too much self-promotion without providing anything useful to your audience isn’t the way to go. You can incorporate CTAs, but make sure that you also explain why what you are offering could help them.
6. Focusing on buzzwords instead of the story
The main job of your content is to make your audience feel like they need you. People generally won’t believe they need something unless they are engaged with a good story first. It has to be something that will resonate with them, and that they can connect with. The fact is that consumer behavior is constantly changing.
This means that your story should adapt too. If you focus too much on inserting buzzwords and writing in marketing lingo that is familiar to search engines but not people, you are going to lose the attention of your audience. If your story isn’t told naturally, it won’t be of any use.
7. Ignoring mobile
In this era of mobile devices, you simply need to make sure that your e-mails are mobile-friendly. Some of the best advice to follow is to stick to a single column. Traditional desktop e-mails are designed so that they can incorporate layouts with more columns, but on a mobile device, a 2-column e-mail will most probably take all the available width for it to be viewable. More columns than that will require zooming and scrolling, which is going to annoy your mobile users.
E-mail marketing is a digital marketing strategy that is still alive and kicking. While an e-mail is a cost-effective and engaging solution, it doesn’t mean that you can be sloppy or careless when writing one. Avoid the 7 pitfalls discussed in this article in order to make sure that your e-mail marketing strategy is successful.
David Koller is a passionate blogger and copywriter for Media Gurus, mainly interested in SEO and Digital Marketing.