It’s easy to get caught-up in superficial details when designing an email campaign. You want your brand to look professional, and we often equate professionalism with bells and whistles. You can spend hours trying to decide on the right font for your big Halloween campaign, but if it doesn’t get customers in the door of your businesses, you’re wasting your time.
This isn’t to say that the aesthetics of your email marketing campaigns are unimportant and there’s certainly a place for a little flair and pizazz. But with the holiday season in tow, it’s important not to allow the pretty snowflake gifs and colorful cornucopia vectors to impede your vision.
Flashy design isn’t a substitute for the simple fundamentals that have proved email marketing to be a powerful tool that can generate revenue for your business.
One of the beautiful things about marketing is that there’s always time to right the ship. Plus, with the new year nearly upon us, now is a great time to evaluate your email marketing efforts and ensure that you’re not making any of the following mistakes.
1. Emailing your customers too much.
Have you ever had a friend who always insists on telling you about their crazy dream that they had the night before, and despite your unmistakably apathetic response each time it happens, they insist on telling you anyway…. over and over and over again?This is what you are doing to your customers when you email them too often. You’re excited about your products and are eager to tell your customers all about them, but your messages will start to fall on deaf ears if customers feel as though they’re receiving emails from you constantly. They will simply start to ignore your emails, or worse, unsubscribe.
It helps to allow someone close to your business to screen your marketing emails. Is this something that they’d care about seeing in their inbox? If you find that you’re getting less of a response with each email you send, give it a week and let your customers breathe. Then, counter with a big offer that will remind them why they decided to subscribe.
2. Failing to periodically clean your list.
If you have a large database of customer email addresses, but the vast majority of your list never opens your emails, you are falling into a common trap. The quality (or likelihood that a given customer will open your email) is more important than the quantity of email addresses on your list.If you’re saying to yourself, but who cares, the more people that might see the email the better, we understand your point. It becomes a problem, however, when this starts to affect the deliverability of your emails.
This can be easily remedied by sending customers who haven’t opened your emails in several months a reengagement campaign. Going through this process once or twice a year will improve the health of your customer database and ensure that customers who love getting emails from you continue to do so and rescue your emails from the spam folder.
3. Sending emails with no call to action.
If someone came up to you with a wad of money in their hand and said, “They’re giving away $100 bills”, and walked away, you’d undoubtedly run after them shouting several questions so that you could get paid too. Where? Who’s giving it away? Why? Do you need an offer code?Chances are, your business isn’t just giving cash away, so customers aren’t going to feel inclined to work all that hard to get their hands on your products by asking for an offer code.
You must create a clear, unobstructed path within your emails so that customers will perform the action you want them to take, and there should always be an action that you want them to take after you’ve sent them an email. Whether you’re trying to generate more website traffic, increase sales or sell more of a specific product, you need to hold customers’ hands when you send them an email by including a compelling call to action.
A good way to get in the habit of this practice is to ask yourself what it is you hope to accomplish with each marketing email you send. Even if the email is purely informational, there should be a very visible button that is asking the customer to find out more.
People view email as a very personal communication platform and to your customers, it is a privilege to send them emails. You should treat it that way too. Don’t just send any old thing, just because. Put thought and effort into what, when, and why you’re contacting your customers.
Email marketing is an exciting and underutilized tool that can mean a world of difference to your bottom line, but if you aren’t using it properly, it can have the opposite effect and hurt your business’ reputation, ultimately costing you money.