Note: This is a guest post by Nick Sawinyh of Seomator. The author’s views are entirely his own and may not reflect the views of Deepanshu Gahlaut’s Blog.
As many email marketers can attest to throughout the world, mistakes can often be costly. However, it does need to be stressed that mistakes do not belong solely on the realm of stupidity. We have all done them and it is quite possible we will do more in the near future. After all, he who makes zero mistakes is he who works not.
That being said, the quite real possibility of an eventual error does not mean who should abandon ourselves to the inevitability that we will somehow slip at some point. A preventive strategy is key and our best shield against disaster.
Email campaigns are quite intricate, so everyone would be well advised to get educated beforehand on the matter, before venturing forth to a new marketing endeavor.
As we go through the most common and dangerous email mistakes possible in the following article, keep in mind that shit will happen at some point or another in your career. What matters most, then, is how you handle it: Keep your wits with you to make the best out of the best situation, should mishap occurs and you will do your reputation great good.
As you very well know, your reputation is important and you ought to guard it with your life.
A) Planning Mistakes
1. Low Quality and Unprofessional Content
Think all capital letters, spelling and grammar mistakes, boring prose, glaringly obvious and off-putting attempts to make sales. We have all seen and received these in our folders. They look akin to an underaged, poorly educated kid’s essays and they are excruciating to read.
Avoid falling into this trap as if it is the plague. It is no shame if writing is not your biggest strength – Hire a professional writer to do it for you, and save yourself the trouble.
2. Ignoring Analysis and Statistics
This is definitely a big one. Has there ever been a general who won a decisive battle with no intelligence gathering over his own strengths, those of his enemy and that of his war theater? Neglecting analysis of your own numbers – and that of your competition – is selling yourself short.
Never fail to keep track of how you perform, so that you can do all the necessary tweaks to steer you back into the right direction. What gets measured can be improved. What is not as prone to the unpredictable whims of luck – or lack thereof.
3. Ignoring Timing
This is one of the most important factors for your campaign’s success. Your efforts in getting the right content for the right people go to waste should the timing be wrong. You do not have the luxury of having your customer base clustered together when you run an online business. Instead, they are geographically dispersed, potentially across the whole world.
Do your best to customize as necessary depending on location and never forget to adjust your emails closely to your best offers. Informing your customer about an offer starting a month after your email is a sure way to make him forget it.
4. Not Testing Emails Beforehand
It is extremely important before your campaign goes live to have already tested your emails extensively. Links not working properly, emails hitting spam instead of inbox, HTML not appearing in a readable format and subject lines getting chopped are a no-no. Make sure everything works smoothly.
B) Greedy & Overzealous Mistakes
1. Emailing with No Permission
Thou-shalt-not become a spammer! I forbid you. And I am doing it for your own sake. Not only will your “audience” immediately trash your emails, as you will be unknown to them and, quite likely, your content irrelevant, but they will blacklist you and thus not read your next email even if it was worth it.
Try to stick to your opt-in lists. The addresses of people who have already subscribed to receive emails from your company. Doing otherwise rarely, ever does you any good.
2. Lacking an Unsubscribe Option
Not only does this show no respect for your consumers, it also achieves results alarmingly close to zero. You see, even if your mails lack an unsubscribe button, with a basic knowledge of how emails work they will flag you as spam or list you in their blocked email senders. In either case, you cannot force feed them your content.
Even though email targeting is a sound strategy, over targeting your audience by further segmenting them and filtering them again and again could prove hazardous. There is very high chance you end up eliminating people who were important for you to achieve high conversion rates. Keep that in mind and try not to lean too far towards overzealously.
4. Misleading Claims and Lies
A straight-up black hat tactic, making false claims and spreading could work in the short term. But I would like to think you are here to play the long game. This tactic will fail 100% after a while, and your audience will be completely put off.
They will feel cheated, your words and messages will lose all their gravitas and your campaign will fail to create a sense of urgency. Do not lie, nor overpromise. If your sales supposedly end in 48 hours, make sure they do.
C) Failing to Make an Effective Sales-copy
This is my personal favorite that could really evolve into an article itself. Even if you have avoided all the previous mistakes and done everything excellently you are still going to go nowhere if you fail to make an effective sales copy. To put it in simple terms: You need AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action)
Demand attention through a powerful headline and pique their interest by exploiting their human need associated with what you are selling. For example, financial security, if you are selling a consulting program, then provide details about your product.
Concentrate on how it will make them feel by subtracting “pain” or adding “pleasure” to their lives. Finally, end your pitch with a strong call for immediate, decisive action.
Proud father, husband, and corgi-owner, Nick Sawinyh has been working in SEO Industry for more than ten years now. He is a Product Manager at Seomator, an online SEO audit tool. You can connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.