5 Biggest Email Marketing Mistakes (And how to avoid them)

We’ve come a long way since email was invented in 1971. What started off as a medium of communication, evolved as a revolutionary alternative to traditional letter writing. Emails have had their own trajectory of growth over the past 20 years. Today, there are 3 times as many email accounts as there are Facebook and Twitter accounts combined! While many individuals choose to use emailing for communication, the area of email marketing is on the rise. Simply put, businesses are realising the importance of sending marketing emails to customers with the hope of increasing lead conversion.’

There are plenty of ways a business can choose to implement an email marketing campaign. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) softwares allow for automated templates and follow ups, while sites such as MailChimp do the work for you. That being said, email marketing is delicate, and will only reap benefits if performed the right way. Criticism of email marketing fails to account for notable mistakes that sabotage a company’s email marketing efforts. 

In this article, we’ve outlined the 5 biggest email marketing mistakes you might be making. We’ve also provided strategies on how to avoid these, and what to do instead. Take notes of these and you’ll be sending killer emails in no time!

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Mistake #1. Sending emails too soon, and too often 

You know that feeling when you attend a lecture or a seminar and the speaker just narrates a script word-to-word? It’s not the most engaging, and doesn’t get a lot of attention by the audience. Think of this mistake as something similar. 

Customers do not appreciate receiving emails they never signed up for. Sending them emails when they’re yet to familiarize themselves with your work is a huge mistake. First, they will disregard your email as spam, and then look for the ‘unsubscribe’ button. Did you know that 16% of emails never even make it to the inbox? Make sure each email counts!
Wait for the prospect to sign up for a newsletter or frequent updates. Once done, begin the email marketing campaign with a welcome email, and follow through with your automation plan.

That being said, make sure you don’t bombard them with emails too often! Depending on your target audience, the prospects would perceive emails differently. A teenager may have a higher chance of reading through your email versus a corporate professional who’s inbox is flooded with work-related emails. In fact, over 70% of millennials prefer business communications in the form of emails. Plan your automation strategy accordingly. This will ensure that your system sends the right number of emails to the right people. Choose a good-looking email design template and send that out periodically to keep customers within the loop.

Mistake #2. Not segmenting your audience

Contrary to what most marketers would like to believe, customers are becoming smarter by the day. If you send a generic, cliché stock email to each customer on your mailing list, things will turn sour. The language used in the one-size-fits-all template is easily identifiable as general. This approach could lead to the customer having negative perceptions towards your business. Generalizing the email is a sign of laziness, inhibiting the customer from reaching out. They will understand your motives, and delete the email within seconds.

Only 11% of email marketing efforts are segmented. Here lies the problem. Segmentation of your audience list can do wonders for your email marketing campaign. Think about it, the needs of a 25 year old female would likely be different from that of a 45 year old male. There are various factors that come into play, which you must take advantage of. Some ways of segmentation are:

  • Location (country, city, locality)
  • Age, gender and other demographics
  • Interests and browsing behaviour
  • Purchase activity (if any)

74% of marketers claim that segmentation is a valuable way to increase engagement. Customers are not interested in your product/service, they want to fulfil their needs. Address these needs by tailoring your email specifically to each customer and make them feel special. It’s possible that different customers are at different stages of your marketing funnel, keep a note of that. Fix this and you’ll see results in no time.

Mistake #3. Poor Call-to-Action in the email

Remember what we mentioned about addressing the customer’s needs? Well that happens with the help of a call-to-action (CTA). You may design your email beautifully, with visually appealing images and fancy text. However, the customers want to see their needs fulfilled. Having a CTA will help you reap the benefits of your email designing work. Use the CTA, to bring it all home. 

For example, if your business is currently running a special offer or a discount, use that in your email! Customers have to be informed about these pieces of information, so use a CTA to do just that. Some potential CTA options are:

  • Sign up here
  • Join our newsletter
  • Claim the discount
  • Learn more…

And so on. Make sure the CTA is easy to find, and is repeated at least twice to remind customers to click through. 

It’s also important to note that you don’t overdo it with CTAs, because the last thing you want is for customers to be clicking on different links altogether. Once you’ve defined your purpose, use a big, bold CTA button with flashy colours and animations. This will attract the customers’ attention when they open the email, increasing the likelihood of conversion. Remember that the customer’s time is limited. So it’s your responsibility to convey the message as soon and as efficiently as possible. Use a CTA, and let it all come together.

Mistake #4. Not optimising emails for mobile

We’re approaching the end of 2020, and smartphone usage has never been higher. According to research, mobile accounts for nearly 50% of all email opens, with 35% of business professionals checking email on their mobile devices. Additional research of 1,000 B2B companies found that 1 in 5 email campaigns are not optimised for mobile devices. While it may be easier for you to design your email templates for computers, you’re missing out on crucial leads. 

Before sending out your email campaign, make sure your emails are optimised for smartphones. Content aside, if your email doesn’t look attractive, you won’t be getting a lot of reads, let alone conversions. Keep the following points in mind:

  • Have a short and sweet subject line
  • Stick to 2-3 lines of text at once, avoid blocks of text
  • Appropriately sized images (or avoid them altogether)
  • Optimise the font, email dimensions and average scroll time

A good way to test your email is to send a test run across various devices. This will allow you to assess how your email looks on computers as well as smartphones.

Mistake #5. Not following up or scheduling updates

With nearly all forms of Marketing, staying on track with communication is crucial to see results. Email marketing is no different. Having a new customer sign up, or be converted into a lead is only the first step. In order to ensure they remain connected with your business, follow up emails and updates are needed. If you fall out of touch with your prospect, it won’t be long before they forget about the email and your product. Soon you’ll find them using a competitor’s services instead, because they addressed the prospect’s needs. That’s not ideal now is it?

Schedule certain follow up emails with relevant structures that go out to customers and keep them within the loop. However, do remember the first mistake mentioned in this list, of sending emails too often. It’s a grey area, but as long as you know when to send what, you’ll be fine. 

A good way to deal with this is to use an effective email automation system. This will help schedule emails at the right time, with the right content for respective customers. Rest assured, existing customers will receive updates on offers, while new customers will receive follow up emails and discounts. 

Plan ahead, and you’ll see more results in no time!

To conclude…

Email marketing is an age old way of reaching customers, increasing lead conversion and engaging with your audience. Regardless of what the skeptics say, it’s not going anywhere. Keep these 5 crucial mistakes in mind with your email marketing campaign and get ahead of the competition, each click at a time!

Insil is a boutique Australian Marketing Agency, dedicated to providing customers with a holistic approach to Design Thinking and Marketing Services
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What is email marketing?

Email marketing is the process of sending promotional and informative emails to customers in the hopes of converting them into a lead. Marketing emails typically include discounts, offers and deals and a business’s products and services. The short term goal is to convince customers to visit the company’s website, make a purchase, sign up, etc.

What's the difference between Telemarketing and Email Marketing?

Both are poles apart. Telemarketing relies on cold calling new customers and talking to them about the company’s products and services. There is personal interaction involved, and so the Telemarketer needs to have a powerful script prepared in order to succeed.
Email marketing does not involve personal interaction, as the emails are sent out to the prospect. The emphasis is on visually attractive templates, images and text that is designed to entice customers into following through. For more information on the differences between telemarketing and email marketing, check out our comparison here.

What's the right strategy for email marketing?

The best way to see results from your email marketing campaign is to have a specific plan before getting started. Like cold calling, having specially designed templates that are custom tailored to each prospect will increase the likelihood of success. Moreover, keep the 5 mistakes we’ve outlined in check and you can be sure to see more results with your emails!

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