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Commonly, marketers spend a lot of time growing a list, with the asset becoming integral to their business. However, simple errors can quickly erode the credibility that had been built up.
The vast number of emails most people receive each day means a business can lose engagement levels if they start to let quality slip. So, what are some of the common mistakes that harm the effectiveness of email marketing?
Sneaky subject lines
Low open rates are a common problem with email marketing. However, it is important not to start using misleading subject lines to get more readers.
A percentage of your subscribers will lose faith in your messages when they feel they have been misled, potentially damaging credibility with valued customers. Make sure subject lines are honest and avoid exaggerated spam techniques that can see messages flagged.
Impersonal sender emails
Marketers often use a no-reply email address to avoid getting flooded with responses. This technique is often done to streamline processes, with a helpdesk system in place to answer questions.
However, many readers will not engage with a message that has no personal sender attached. Rather than looking to avoid direct responses from readers, embrace the fact that people want to reply to the content you are sending and make it part of your operations.
While some marketers like focusing on text, many prefer attractive graphics that stand out in an inbox. These graphics are often created in a single image, though, which can take considerable time to load.
A message that loads slowly has a similar effect to a sluggish website, with visitors quickly losing interest. There is also an increased chance that a single image message will go into the spam folder, so look to combine graphics and text within your emails.
Inappropriate call to action links
Call to action links are vitally important to send readers to external content.
If you want to promote an offer or a piece of content, a call to action will be required. However, there should be an appropriate number of links, helping to direct readers without overdoing it.
A common recommendation is to include three links, but this might be excessive for a short paragraph of text. Also, look to include both text links and a button graphic.
Long paragraphs are not well received by email subscribers, with a lower engagement rate in most cases.
Readers approach email in a different way to an article, so it is important to bring a unique style to your content. Emails can be effective when they are long, but sentences should be short and snappy to maintain interest.
You can experiment with email length, but avoid blocks of text without breaks.
As your email list grows, the subscriber base will diversify. Some of your subscribers could be cold leads and others have purchased products. Not segmenting these diverse groups ensures you won’t receive the most engagement from a list.
Buyers, for example, won’t need to be treated the same as prospects who need to overcome some initial objections. You could, therefore, move buyers into the next stage of a sales funnel.
Sending the same email to everyone is an easy approach, but a lack of segmentation means you are never optimizing your list.
With a clear and focused strategy in place, email can be at the center of your marketing strategies. Most of the common mistakes are easy to eradicate, but many businesses start to neglect their email campaigns.
Email marketing requires the same level of diligence that a blog or paid traffic campaign demands, though, with small errors all adding up. Email offers a high ROI for businesses that get it right, so ensure that every email you send receives the right attention to detail.
— Dan Natividad, a Stockton native, is a Co-Owner and Managing Partner at Port City Marketing Solutions. Dan can be reached at [email protected]