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Stop Making These 10 Email Marketing Mistakes and Drastically Improve Your Traffic

Written by on July 24, 2017

Email marketing, when done correctly, is one of the best ways to drive visitors to your site and create new customers. It’s been a staple tool of online marketers for years now. As this is the case, you need to be using it correctly in order to get the most from it.

No matter how experienced you are though, there are going to be some mistakes that you’re making with your emails. These 10 mistakes are the most common ones that happen in email marketing. Here’s how you can stop making them and drastically improve your website traffic.

1. Sending email without consent

This should be obvious, but it’s amazing how many businesses still send out marketing emails without the recipient’s consent first. It’s a tactic that just isn’t going to work for you. After all, how many times have you received spam email that you’ve simply ignored and deleted? Exactly.

There are still businesses out there that are selling packages of email addresses, and the temptation can be to buy them. However, they’re never a successful tactic. You don’t know who you’re writing to, and it’s likely that all you’re going to do is annoy them.

Also, you should remember that sending emails without consent can lead to penalties and legal issues for you. You can risk fines and penalties by sending out these emails without checking if recipients even want them. It’s always better to gain the recipient’s email address by open and legitimate means.

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2. Using automated systems to send generic emails
Use MailChimp to send newsletters to your customers.

There’s lots of automated email services out there that can really help speed up the email marketing process. People like MailChimp and Mad Mimi all help in helping you send off marketing emails to your entire contacts list at once. However, this does, and can, lead to some incredibly generic emails.

Imagine that you’re the recipient, and you’re opening an email that wasn’t addressed to you specifically. It has details of an offer or campaign that may or may not have any relevance to you. What are you going to do with that email? That’s right, it’s going to get deleted.

The way to stop this is write emails that tell a story. For example, if you’re promoting a podcast, it could read something like this:

‘We’ve been sitting on this announcement for weeks now, and we’re delighted to finally tell you that our podcast is up and running!

This is something we’ve wanted to work on for a long time. Those of you who’s asked us about starting one will be happy to hear out good news, I’m sure.

So, if you want to check it out, it’s available here on iTunes. We’d love to hear your feedback, so don’t hold back!’

This is personal, warm, and includes the reader. Aim for a more personal tone when you’re writing.

3. Not carrying out tests

Use Litmus to test your emails before sending them.

If you just fire off an email campaign without even testing it, you can run into all sorts of problems. Not everything in your email will work right away. Sometimes certain email providers will block it, or send it right into the spam folder. Maybe some of your links won’t work. Whatever the problem is, by the time it’s in your recipients’ inboxes, it’s already too late.

You can easily stop this by running tests before you send that campaign out. You can do them manually, but there are online services, such as Litmus or Active Trail, that can do it for you. Catching these issues early means that you can avoid a lot of the problems before they even start.

4. Not segmenting your client base properly

Have you ever bought an item online, and then got an email not long after asking you to buy that same item? It’s irritating, but it happens much more often than you’d think. This is what happens when you don’t segment your client base properly.

If you’re measuring your analytics properly, then you’ll know that there will be different customers that you need to be targeting. In the simplest terms, you can create separate mailing lists, depending on the needs of the customer. That way, you can ensure that the right emails are going to the right people.

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5. Not proofreading and editing your emails

It’s actually astonishing how many companies don’t check their emails over before they send them out. Like testing, proofreading and editing is something that must be done before you send your communications out to recipients. Failure to do so can lead to your emails looking unprofessional, or even like spam.

If you can, leave some time between writing and proofreading so you can get some distance from the text. Make sure you really spend time proofreading your posts, to ensure that you don’t miss anything. Also, try using proofreading and editing tools such as ProwritingAid and UK Writings. You can use online tools to proofread yourself, such as Easy Word Count.

6. Your team isn’t working together

If you have more than one person sending out emails, it can get out of control, fast. There may be no consistency between branding, tone, or content of your emails. You may even be sending out duplicate emails, because you’re not talking to one another. The upshot of this is that your recipients will have an inbox clogged full of your emails, which will probably prompt them to unsubscribe.

To avoid this, the best thing to do is bring your team together. Using a scheduling app can be very useful for this, as can an online calendar. Plan when you’re going to send communications out, and when. You can even collaborate on what’s going to go in them. Do this, and you’ll have a much more cohesive system.

7. Not personalising your emails

Personalisation doesn’t begin and end with using a customer’s name in an email. In fact, you can gather all kinds of data in order to send them an email that’s targeted towards them. If you don’t do this, you could be doing yourself a disservice.

This can be as simple as asking them what they’re interested in when they come to your site, or asking them to fill in a short survey. You’ll then have the data to laser target those emails. Getting a targeted email will show the reader that you’re paying attention to their needs, and what they want from you as a company. Because of this, they’re much more likely to buy from you if you take care to personalise those emails.

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8. Not finding good copywriters

Like any other communications you send out there, you need them to be written professionally. This isn’t something you can just type out in a few minutes and then send out. You need to be writing high quality, professional copy.

If there’s someone in your company that can do this, then that’s great. If there isn’t though, no need to worry. You can hire expert copywriters online who can do this for you. For example, the writers at Academized can write excellent emails for you.

Good copy can go a long way towards increasing conversion. It shows that you’re a professional company that cares about the image they’re putting out. As well as this, they can create emails that really have value for the reader.

9. Not using the right sender name

The right sender name can be a hard balance to maintain. If you send it with just a first name and a sales style subject line, it can look like spam. If you send it with just a company name, it’s easy to ignore. What’s the middle ground?

The best way to get your email read is to use a combination of first name and company name. For example, you could use:

  • First name at company name
  • Name @ company name
  • First name from company

Using these formats will show the recipient that you’re a trustworthy sender, and that you’ve actually put thought into what you’re sending to them.

10. You’re just sending emails to everyone

Not everyone in your client base will need every email that you’re sending out. However, some businesses will just send every email out and hope that the right client base will read them. When you’re getting multiple emails that aren’t relevant for you, though, it’s going to get old.

Instead, start putting together different client lists, and decide who needs to get what. For example, clients who have been with you a long time aren’t going to want to receive welcome emails. Start building your lists, segmenting your clients and working out who wants what. If you’ve been paying attention to your analytics, this shouldn’t be difficult.

These ten mistakes are some of the most commonly made mistakes by marketers. If you take care to avoid them and tweak your email marketing strategy, you can really create campaigns that will work.

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  • Aaren

    Nice post. I don’t think that the email marketing software providers are to blame – it’s the users. The solution is to start segmenting the customers and give them the information that they need. Not everyone in the group will be interested in the same topic or promotion. That’s why email marketing needs a bit of strategy as well as good personalization. I’m using GetResponse’s solution for marketing automation and while it may seem that you’re sending off mass emails, there’s definitely a strategy behind the messages you send. It’s all about testing, analysing what the people who follow your business are interested in and giving them the kind of information that they require.

    • You’re making some very valid points Aaren. Thanks for sharing your insights!

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