Welcome to Benchmark!

Common Email Marketing Mistakes

Aug 22 2009, 03:34 PM

Email marketing, if carried out in the right way, is extremely economical and can provide you with some spectacular results. Best email marketing results require a moral, and extensively detailed plan to be in place. Setting this plan in place usually takes up a substantial amount of thought and energy; this is something a lot of email marketers fail to give consideration to.

To avoid making typical beginner mistakes, take a look at our list of common email marketing mistakes.

1. Marketing without permission
Sending emails without the explicit permission of your recipients makes you a spam sender. This is illegal and is an excellent way to destroy your reputation.
There are a lot of email marketers out there who take the easy and wrong way out; they purchase email lists, or create lists unethically by compiling them from the Internet.
The first step for you as an email marketer is to gather permission from your customers. This step should be carried out before you start pumping in money and effort in your marketing endeavour.
Getting permission is not all that difficult and goes a long way in reducing your spam complaints and legal issues, increasing deliverability and vastly improving your open and click through rates. For tips on increasing your list, click here.
2. Ineffective List Creation
Your email list is critical for successfully managing your email campaign. In fact, your list is so important that it is what determines the success or failure of your campaign.
True, it is not always the easiest thing to choose the perfect list. However, there are a number of tried and tested techniques that should work well for you.
At the same time, there are certain common mistakes that are made frequently by email marketers and should be avoided at all costs. For instance, using outdated email lists that have been collecting dust for over a year will provide you with nothing but inactive emails.
Similarly, renting shady lists will simply result in you illegally sending out spam mails; this could lead to you getting caught as a spammer and you would then have to pay the consequences.
Another common mistake is bringing back to life inactive house lists; this is another sure fire way to be labelled a spammer. Avoid these mistakes at all costs.
3. Bad subject lines
As an email marketer, your goal is to get your recipients to not only open your email but also to read its content. Your subject line plays a huge role in making this goal a reality.
Unfortunately, many email marketers fail to see the correlation between an effective subject line and a great response rate. Many times the subject line is a last minute effort and at times it is even left as an empty field.
It is not a question of filling in the subject line; your heading must be relevant, effective and something that grabs the attention of the recipient. Your subject line must give the recipient a feel for the content of your email.
Keep your heading simple and honest; avoid trying to hard sell your email with subjects such as “Huge Discount”.
4. Going for one time sales rather than relationships
The mistake here is that email marketers tend to use email explosions to carry out their campaigns. Launching emails at unknown recipients is a complete waste of effort.
What must be understood is that a successful email campaign is one that is targeted at the right people and slowly but surely builds a long term relationship. Sending out emails to random people is about as subtle as throwing a bomb; all you will be left with is a destruction zone.
You need to work on those people who have given you the green flag in terms of permission; these people want to read what you send them, are interested in providing you feedback and are a good investment in terms of time and effort as they have the potential to become long lasting relationships.
So don’t bomb your recipients; build them up.
5. Failing to test your campaign
Unfortunately a lot of email marketers realise too late that their marketing strategy could have been vastly improved upon before launching it full scale.
This is because they tend to launch their campaigns without any prior testing. The result? Absolutely no response. This is a shame especially since email newsletters are such a prime method of testing different options.
Try out different subjects; change your content around, experiment with images and pictures and test them all out on a sample group. Once you see what combination gets the best result, that’s when you should start sending your emails out to your entire email list.

Posted in Tips & Resources, Deliverability

Related Blogs

Comments

Scott Hardigree | Indiemark

Sep 30 2009, 05:55 PM

Great post. Here's an article that speaks about setting mutual expectations, another often overlooked key to email marketing success: http://marketingtechblog.com/email/secret-to-effective-email-marketing-subscriber-expectations/ Cheers, Scott