With e-mail marketing, you have just two seconds to make a favourable impression on your target audience. This is how long people typically take to process an e-mail from marketers and decide to open it. When they do open it, if the content doesn't move them within the first couple of seconds, it's gone, deleted – the e-mail and your opportunity to make a conversion.
So to help you avoid that fate for your next campaign, we've put together some of the most common mistakes that businesses make with their marketing e-mails. By using this information, you will be well on the way to understanding what separates good advertising e-mail campaigns, from bad ones.
How e-Mail Marketing Campaigns Fail
The overarching benefit of using e-mail to market your business is that it allows you the opportunity to reach a wide and willing audience, whilst keeping costs relatively low and producing a good ROI. However, if mistakes are made, you'll be throwing good money after bad – so it's important to get a handle on what's going wrong if you're not seeing the results you expect.
Here are some common reasons why people do not open, read and click-through marketing e-mails:
The e-Mail Is Being Sent From A Personal Account.
In an effort to save money on hiring e-mail marketers or purchasing their own dedicated e-mail addresses, many businesses opt to use a generic e-mail provider, such as Gmail, Yahoo or Outlook. This will be seen as unprofessional in the mind of a customer – they expect individuals to send e-mails from such accounts, not businesses that may be able to offer them something they need.
Having your own dedicated e-mail address will show a person that you take your business seriously and it makes it immediately clear who the e-mail is from – helping them to make that crucial 2-second decision.
Permission Wasn't Sought.
Anyone who has experienced unasked e-mail spam will know just how frustrating it is to have their inboxes breached by anonymous marketers – it's hardly going to win them over to their services, is it?
The only way to ensure that this doesn't occur is by introducing a double-opt protocol that requires people to sign up and then confirm that they did so. Whilst this extra step may be seen as time-consuming, data has shown that message opens and click-throughs vastly increase with a double-opt campaign. After all, by confirming that they're interested in e-mail marketing, people are indicating that they truly are interested in what you have to sell.
e-Mails Are Sent To Bad Addresses.
Bad e-mail addresses are accounts that have been closed or abandoned. If you're using an e-mail service provider to send your marketing, sending to bad addresses presents two major issues:
To remedy these, you should ensure that your target addresses are validated before each mailing.
Your Content Isn't Right.
Content is king in digital marketing – if you cannot persuade your e-mail list that you can provide them with something they need (and why you're the best option to provide them with it), then you simply won't be making sales.
You should research who your customers are and what they want before constructing your messages. How does your business appeal to them? What separates you from other services? Also, don't fall into the trap of using titles and terms that may be deemed as (bad) 'clickbait' – yes, the point of e-mail marketing is to get people to open the e-mails but more often than not, content that has intrusive clickbaity titles (such as 'click for an awesome deal' or 'this is what you're looking for'), simply do not live up to it (and they look unprofessional too).
There'sa reason why clickbait exists – it's a way to generate clicks for poor content. Great content does not need to be overly-hyped, it simply needs to be promoted in a way that isn't intrusive to the customer and appeals to them.
Your e-Mails Aren't Personalised.
People are more likely to feel engaged when they're addressed personally, rather than as a constituent part of something – it grabs their attention (vital, if you want to sell them something). By personalising your messages, you'll be showing a degree of apperception for them having signed up to your e-mails, working to boost their perception of your brand. Once you've got that positive outlook sorted, it becomes far more likely that they will engage with what you have to say – make your messages good and appealing and you'll likely see click-throughs increase.
You Aren't e-Mailing Enough.
A rule of thumb to learn about e-mail marketing is that a customer won't necessarily click-through every single e-mail – they may be interested in what you have to sell, the content is good and personalised but for whatever reason, they still may not click-through. No matter – e-mail marketing is about more than quick wins, it should also be about building a long-term relationship.
By e-mailing on a regular schedule, your recipients will become used to seeing your business name in their inboxes. With this familiarity comes comfort in them knowing that whenever they need what you're selling in the future, they'll be able to click-through and buy.
This isn't to say that you need to send multiple messages constantly – this will be seen as intrusive and lead people to unsubscribing. Understand what an apt mailing schedule for your business would be – and stick to it.
You Have Too Many Call-To-Actions (Or You Don't Have A Single One).
A Call-To-Action (CTA) is an instruction for the reader on what to do next – in e-mail marketing, this could be anything from a click-through to access something; a coupon code, a product page, downloading a report, etc.
What's important is that the content you're trying to drive the customer to should be framed in a single, well-defined CTA. Forgetting to include one won't help to drive clicks (considering a CTA is a perfect place to have hyperlinks to your content). Conversely, having too many will not only seem like you're performing a hard sell, but it will also make CTA's compete against each other too. Mixed messaging is never good for sales.
Your Landing Pages Aren't The Best.
Finally, it's worth considering that issues with your e-mail marketing may not be coming from the messages you send, but from the landing pages you're sending your recipients to in your CTA. If the page isn't well-designed, responsive to their browsing device or the content isn't helpful, then you're not likely to score some conversions.
Marketing e-mails and landing pages need to work as a team – they can't close sales if one doesn't compliment the other. By harmonising the two to communicate what you can offer your customers (and why they should choose you), you will be well on the way to closing those vital sales.
And this is where we can help.
Promote Agency: Making The Most of Your e-Mail Marketing
Here at Promote, our experienced digital marketing experts can help your business to establish a pitch on the vastly competitive marketplace offered by the World-Wide-Web. Having assisted many clients throughout the UK, we have a proven trackrecord of improving the rankings, reputations and sales of all manner of business operations – from long-established companies, looking to reach a new audience, to brand-new start-ups who are needing to hit the ground running.
To learn more about how you can carry out effective e-mail campaigns for your business, you can get in contact with a member of our friendly e-mail marketing team by calling 0845 050 2500. Alternatively, you can send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org (personal, as well as and professional addresses, are welcome!).