With over 222 million users in the US alone, email has great potential as a marketing platform. Email is a versatile tool that can be used to warm up cold leads, communicate with existing customers and reach out to prospects to drive new business development.
Email marketing professionals understand the basics, such as the importance of crafting a compelling subject line and including a strong call to action. But even veteran email marketers can fall into the trap of using ineffective techniques or even email marketing strategies that can actively harm their brand. Here are five major mistakes email marketers make – and how to avoid them.
- Using a bad email address list. Whether purchased or compiled over time internally, a bad email list can spell trouble. Programs that are designed to counter spam look for the use of inactive email addresses, so multiple outdated addresses can get your company’s emails caught in a spam trap. Practice good data hygiene to make sure this doesn’t happen to you.
- Not using responsive design. About 50% of emails are now opened on a mobile device, so if you’re not using responsive design – a design standard that optimizes content for the device screen – half of your recipients will not be able to view your email without zooming in on the content and scrolling from side-to-side. Most will trash your message instead.
- Using customer communication platforms for email campaigns. Some email marketers buy lists and load them on platforms like MailChimp or ConstantContact, which are not designed for this purpose. In fact, it violates the terms of service and can get your account shut down and your domain blacklisted. Use a lead generation tool like Salesgenie instead.
- Buying lists for a too-good-to-be-true price. As in so many other areas of life, you get what you pay for, so buy your email list from a reputable source. If you pick one up on a DVD for $100, it will almost certainly contain dead email addresses, which can get your domain blacklisted. Clean lists cost money because it takes an investment to properly collect, scrub and maintain the data.
- Failing to target email recipients. An effective email campaign delivers the right message to the right recipient. Make sure your email list is targeted to the demographic you’re trying to reach. A spray and pray approach might seem like playing the percentages, but there’s actually a high latent cost to sending an email, so careful targeting is the key to success.
There are many elements that go into a great email campaign. The offer is obviously an important component. So is the messaging – from the subject line to the closing call to action. But it takes much more than an attractive product or service offer and effective copy to create a winning campaign. The email design and mode of delivery are highly consequential as well.
And up-to-date data – the right email addresses and relevant targeting information – is absolutely essential too. In sales, it’s all about getting the right message to the right person at the right time. This principle holds true in email marketing as well. If you can avoid these five email marketing mistakes, you’ll be well on your way to success.