Learning from past mistakes is the only proven path to success, but some brands are so entrenched in their bad email marketing habits that they no longer see the valuable lessons of their mishaps. That’s why a bit of guidance is necessary to shed light on their shortcomings and determine a set of best practices to replace the harmful ones.
To help struggling marketers break the cycle and start fresh with proven strategies for success, here is a look at five email marketing mistakes that everyone has been guilty of making at some point or other:
1. Sub-par subject lines
Everyone has opened up their inbox only to find a stale set of boring, uninspiring or downright irrelevant subject lines fill the page before them. While spicing up the subject line may seem like a very basic marketing tactic, it’s still a proven way to stand out from the crowd, especially as inbox clutter becomes a more daunting obstacle to overcome.
On the other end of the spectrum, it’s important to stay truthful and to-the-point when sending emails, as WebMarketingToday pointed out that many deceptive brands use methods of trickery to get clicks and conversions. When in doubt, strike a balance of style and substance.
2. Impersonal messages
Consumers don’t expect brands to send a highly individualized email every time, but there’s something to be said for a well-placed reference to a past purchase or the inclusion of a first name in the subject line to capture attention and boost engagement. One would be surprised to see just how much quality information exists in the database.
That being said, it’s important to find a middle ground between thoughtfulness and creepiness – some recipients may be put off by a message that includes too many personal details. Through experimentation and campaign tracking, a brand can figure out on its own how to best individualize its emails.
3. Sales-hungry emails
Marketers may have their eyes on the bottom line when launching an email campaign, but if every message is focused on plugging a promotion or encouraging a conversion, customers are likely to make a habit of ignoring the brand before long. The best campaigns balance sales messages with informative and interesting content.
“Even if you are an ecommerce site, try to occasionally send an email that is not all about the sales,” recommended WebMarketingToday contributor Pamella Neely. “Maybe it’s a gear list or maybe it’s a tutorial or how-to piece. Just add some element of “give” to balance out the “take” of all the sales emails.”
4. Shortage of options
Some recipients want to customize the types of emails sent to their inbox, while others prefer less frequent contact. No matter how a customer wants to experience email marketing, a brand should be ready to accommodate these expectations with personalized settings for delivery and frequency.
With more control over their subscription preferences, customers will be more likely to stick with a brand, opposed to a competitor that only offers a one-size-fits-all option.
5. Stubborn practices
With all due respect to hard-working marketing teams, there is simply too much work to be done in a modern email campaign to expect the in-house team to accomplish everything themselves. By reaching out and partnering with a proven service provider for consultation, automation and analytics, a team will be empowered with extra time and insight.
While every great campaign requires a degree of blood, sweat and tears to get off the ground, there’s no harm in leveraging a bit of expert assistance in an effort to take the impact of emails to the next level.