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Yo Noguchi

6 Ways to Doom Your Email Marketing

Aug 31 2011, 08:39 PM by

Email marketing, when used strategically and in a way that appeals to (and does not repel) your readership, is one of the most profitable techniques to promote products and services. Unfortunately, many marketers repeat the same common errors that make email campaigns perform less effectively.

To honor the coming season of darkness and winter, let’s count down the following 6 ways to doom your email marketing to low click-throughs and obscurity.
1. Lack of Permission
Recipients have to voluntarily supply their email addresses along with either express or implied consent for you to legally send them marketing information online. Express consent means that they have filled in their email address or checked a box for the explicit purpose of receiving more information. Implied consent is when you have received their email address by some other means with the expectation of some further form of email contact.

The quickest way to doom your email campaign is to break the law! CAN-SPAM requires that users be allowed to opt-out of any email sending list that they are on, and that request must be honored swiftly or the sender runs the risk of serious legal trouble. Express consent is easy to obtain with opt-in forms and permission-based email marketing best practices, but implied consent is trickier to prove in a court of law. While it is true that CAN-SPAM is an opt-out focused legislation (and not an opt-in, as other countries use), marketers who make the argument that implied consent is good enough should expect open and click-through rates that are equally good enough. Don't settle for good enough. If you're serious about marketing, market better. Work harder for the opt-in and the subscribers you obtain will be worth the wait.
2. Poor Subject Lines
Make sure that your email campaigns are mobile-ready, exciting and spam free. Craft your subject lines to pique the interests of the shortest attention span in the room. (If users had the choice between staring at a shiny object and your newsletter, which would be the winner?) Statistics show that mobile messaging is on a course to dominate email readership. Customize your email marketing campaigns to support mobile viewing with subject lines that are eye-catching but succinct. For the user on the go, get them to engage at a glance.
3. Frequency
Do not overestimate the amount of emails subscribers can handle. Subscribers will quickly become irritated if you are too persistent.

Of course, some situations call for more emails and some call for less. There is no “industry standard” rate to reach out to subscribers. I don't care what you've read. Some large retailers can get away with multiple missives in a week. Some auto subscribers see no point in hearing from their dealerships until they're looking for a new car. Cautiously determine the rate at which you contact clients, and always keep their interests in mind.

If you haven't gotten the hang of your contact list yet and are new to email marketing, adjust the frequency depending on the specific needs of your campaign. Keep track of your opens and clicks and segment or cut your list accordingly.
4. Deficient Segmentation
Each recipient has different interests and concerns, which are easily gleaned from past interactions, purchases and responses to email campaigns. Always take note of subscribers’ interests, as reflected in past associations with them, then segment your database according to those interests. Create groups with focused similarities.

Do not make the mistake of thinking you can get away with sending the same email to everyone on your list. Your readers should believe they are snowflakes!
5. No Call to Action
The key to a successful call to action is for the contents of an email to elaborate on the promise of the subject line. It's a one-two punch. Hit them with an enticing subject line, then take it to the mat with the body copy.

A call to action typically consists of a brief imperative sentence that encourages recipients to pursue an email's offer, either by clicking through to a landing page on your site or visiting a store. Along with the subject line, the call to action is the most crucial aspect of any email.
6. No Social Presence
Always inform your subscribers about your social media pages by including buttons that link to your social profiles. Also, try creating email templates that invite subscribers to follow you on specific social media channels. Allowing the user to use social sharing buttons keeps you, your subscriber and your message integrated, and gives your campaign life beyond the inbox.

Your online marketing has the potential to go viral, so don't cut corners and don't ignore these 6 mistakes. Or doom surely awaits!

Posted in Tips & Resources, Deliverability, Email Design & Templates

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