7 Ways You are Sabotaging Your Email Marketing Efforts

By on April 18, 2018

Email marketing can be an absolute godsend for small businesses. It’s cheap, provides a direct way to reach audiences, and can deliver a serious ROI.

However, this form of marketing can be a tricky, especially if you’re just starting out. There are plenty of businesses that fail when it comes to email marketing, decide that “email just doesn’t work for them”, park their efforts and move on.

However, when email marketing doesn’t deliver for you, it’s probably because you’re making mistakes. Using these 7 tips, take a look back at previous emails that you’ve sent which didn’t deliver the results you expected. Did you make any of the following blunders?

  1. There was no plan

Like any type of marketing, working from a clear plan is key. It’s important that you establish what you want to achieve from the email campaign. This could be an increase in online orders or to generate new business leads. Whatever your objectives are, make them clear and measurable.

Plan every step, from the content to the follow up emails and actions your team will need to take. You’ll want this process to be as smooth as possible, so be sure to consider every stage of the process and plan accordingly.

  1. There was no time set aside to write the copy

This seems obvious, yet it’s a hurdle where many businesses fall. Good content is absolutely crucial. Spelling mistakes, an impersonal message, and uninspiring text just won’t cut the mustard. In fact, your email will land straight in the bin.

When devising an email campaign, make time for the copy. Keep it personal, and really speak to the person opening the email. Don’t brag about how good your business is, all the awards you’ve won and why you are the number one skincare reseller in the UK. This is tiresome, and frankly, people don’t care.

Instead, show a vested interest in the person opening the email. What problems do they have that your product or service can help with? Is there a way you can save them valuable time? By showing you have an interest in them, the recipient will be far more likely to show an interest in you and your brand.

Remember to keep is succinct (around 250-300 words) and get your message across clearly. Sending War and Peace is not going to get you anywhere…

  1. The analytics were not reviewed

The beauty of email marketing is that you can easily track open rate, click throughs and forwards. This is brilliant data and shows who exactly has interacted with your email and who hasn’t. It separates your warm leads from the rest of the pack and enables you to decipher who is interested in your communications.

Email analytics can also show when your messages get the most interaction. This could be on a Wednesday at 12pm or a Thursday at 5pm. Over time, you will see a pattern and ensure that you hit send when it works for you. To help, here’s a useful infographic on the best time to send emails.

  1. The email database was poor

If you didn’t set out to create a carefully curated email list then you were fighting a losing battle to begin with. Emailing people without their permission (i.e. a not subscriber or bought email address) is also about to become a punishable offense when the GDPR regulations are implemented next month. Be sure to familiarize yourself with guidelines, as businesses that don’t could be subject to fines.

When you build your database, start with people you know and make your emails easy to share. This will help you to generate more subscribers through recommendations and referrals.

Take steps to ensure it’s easy for people to subscribe to your emails like using undisruptive pop-ups and plugins that incentivize users to take action. To help, here’s a useful guide on building an email list from scratch.

  1. The subject lines were uninspiring

This is ultimately your hook. It’s what makes your email stand out and compel the recipient to click. Therefore if your subject line is dull, uninspiring or spammy, it screams “Delete me. I’m of no use whatsoever.”

It’s therefore crucial that you focus on those few words. There’s no key formula that works as all businesses are different. However, by keeping it personal, friendly and providing value, you’ll be more likely to hook people in.

  1. The email looked unprofessional

Poor images, a disjointed font and unclear message? Are you going to act on what that email is asking you to do? Probably not. Sending out unprofessional emails is more damaging to a brand than not sending anything at all. If you look incompetent, then people are not going to invest their money with you.

When building an email, whether plain text or in an eshot template, always check every element. If you plan to include images, make sure they are eye catching and interesting, not grainy and pixelated. The same rule applies to any artwork, icons or graphics.

Before you send it’s always best to get a second opinion. Make sure it’s proofread by someone else, because when you’ve been staring at the same text for a while, small mistakes are easy to miss.

  1. You didn’t target your audience

Blanket sending to a huge database is a big no go nowadays. Inboxes are crowded places and people only have so much time. Remember, it’s all about offering value and being personal.

So, start by segmenting your audience. For example, a sports shop could have a database of 1,300 subscribers. They break this down into categories such as age, gender, location and spending habits. When they introduce a new women’s running shoe, rather than sending an email to the entire list, they’ll target by category. This will enable them to get far more personal with the email content and show how the shoe can benefit that specific audience.

In taking such a targeted approach, the shop would no doubt see a much higher open rate and ROI.

Conclusion

Email marketing can reap real rewards for small and large businesses alike when executed well. Remember that competition is fierce and to get those all important opens and subscribes, you have to be personal and offer value. Really think about your recipient and how you can make their life easier or offer something that interests and helps them.

About Ryan Del Villar

Ryan is a Digital Marketing Specialist at the Bradford based Digital Agency Harrison Mann. Being in the digital marketing field for 7 years now, he enjoys keeping up to date with the latest in all things digital and search. As a silent type, Ryan expresses plenty of his thoughts through writing.
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