5 Mistakes Businesses Must Avoid To Be Successful In Email Marketing
In a world filled with tweets, likes, and hashtags, when it comes to the best bang for your buck, email marketing for businesses still reigns supreme. Don’t get me wrong, we are HUGE believers in social media marketing for business as well, but after all these years, it’s impressive to see that email marketing is still so effective.
That said, some companies are still making mistakes in regards to their email marketing strategy. Hopefully this article will help you avoid the pitfalls that so many other great companies have encountered. What we are going to do is list out the top 5 mistakes businesses make with email marketing and then we’ll dig into each one. So without further ado, here are the top 5 email marketing mistakes businesses make:
- Using paper and pen to collect email addresses
- Sending blanket emails to your entire database
- Including too much information in one email
- Sending emails too frequently
- Forgetting to include a call-to-action in your email newsletter
There are a lot of other mistakes that far too many businesses make with email marketing, but these are my top 5 in that when made, they really can hurt your business. That said, these top 5 email marketing mistakes are also the mistakes that when fixed, can really improve your email marketing results.
Businesses Should Stop Using Pen and Paper to Collect Email Addresses
I have to say that I’m truly stunned when I walk into a business and they are still using the traditional paper and pen sign-up form to collect email addresses. There are so many issues with this tactic and now with the advancement of technology which has drove prices way down, there really is no reason for it. At least use a laptop… Collecting email addresses with paper and pen presents the following issues:
- Most of the time customers don’t even notice the sign-up form, so the business loses out on collecting those email addresses
- Someone must decipher people’s horrible handwriting, which allows for many mistakes, thus you lose a certain percentage of emails collected
- You have to pay someone to take the time to enter those email addresses into your email marketing software
- You cannot prevent duplicates, thus your email database gets cluttered
- Protecting the privacy of your customers’ information
By using OnSpot Social and an iPad to collect email addresses you can avoid deciphering bad handwriting. The hours upon hours that you pay someone to enter the email addresses into your database goes away as you can now upload them directly to either Aweber or Constant Contact. If you are using a different email service provider you can simply download a .csv file and upload it into your software. On top of all that, nobody is going to miss an iPad set up in your store. It’s going to attract many more customers, which will enable you to collect more email addresses.
Stop Sending Generic Emails to Your Entire Database
One mistake far too many companies make is sending the same email to everyone in their database. For small businesses this is an understandable mistake as they don’t have the resources to create segmented email lists in order to send each audience segment content that is relevant to them.
That said, any business that can segment their database, should. Think about it. Some people on your email list are already customers, others are prospects, more still are past customers who haven’t purchased in a while or didn’t renew their subscription. All of these people are probably interested in different content, so sending a customer a message that’s mostly geared towards encouraging a prospect to make a purchase is probably not relevant to a large portion of your list. If you have the time and the resources, you should try to segment your email marketing list, and then send those segments messages that resonate with that group.
Cramming Too Much Information Into Your Email Newsletter Frustrates Customers
Don’t you love receiving emails that make you scroll down for days? Some companies are still trying to cram too much information into one email. Now, the rebuttal to this may lead to our next point, in that because companies don’t want to send too many emails each month, they try to cram everything into one. That’s understandable, but there are better ways of approaching this dilemma. If you have a lot of information you want to convey, perhaps some of that information fits into one or more blog articles? You can write a few blog articles and then instead of putting all of that content into your emails, simply link out to the blog articles with a catchy headline within the email. This does two things, one it allows you to shorten your emails, and two, it helps you drive people to your website.
Yes, Sending Four Emails Per Month Is Too Much
Per the point above, sending one very long email per month is not the way to go, but sending multiple short emails per month probably isn’t the right tactic either. You don’t want people to opt-out of your email marketing program, so you have to come up with a viable solution to this issue. I’d say the same solution presented above will work here as well. Instead of sending multiple short emails each month, create one “monthly digest” email whereby you put the majority of the content on your blog or social media sites, and then you link to that content from your email newsletter. This way you can create one concise email each month, but can still ensure that you’re getting all of the relevant information in front of your customers and prospects.
Every Email Should Include a Call-to-Action
Last, but certainly not least, is that every email you send should have some sort of call-to-action. Whether that is “click this link” or “buy this product”, you cannot expect customers to take the action you want them to take if you don’t ask them to do so. Having a clear call-to-action in your email newsletter is extremely important. Also, don’t have more than one or two calls-to-action in one email. You don’t want to confuse people. If your email is about a new product or service, the call-to-action should be to buy it or come into your store to try it out. If it’s about a big event coming up, then it should be to buy tickets online or show up on X day for the event. Keep your call-to-action short, relevant, and in a location where the majority of readers will see it. Then sit back and watch the effectiveness of your email marketing campaign skyrocket!
Improve Your Email Marketing
What do you think of the list? What email marketing mistake did I leave off that you’ve seen far too many businesses make? Share your feedback in the comments section below and help our readers improve their email marketing for their business.