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Email marketing is a popular tactic integral to many companies’ marketing plans – and with approximately 77% of consumers preferring to receive marketing communications via this media, it’s popular for a good reason. But, as with anything, email marketing is only successful if deployed properly… get more from your email marketing efforts by avoiding these common mistakes.
1. Not following up
A single email may get some results, but it won’t have nearly the impact of amulti-email or multi-channel campaign. Remember that newsletter communication should be regular - plan it then as a campaign. All too often, marketers send a lone email, waiting for that ROI – however, if you don’t follow up on that initial touch, you’re missing potential results.
2. Being a nag
While you need to follow up with prospects, there’s a difference between following up and being a nag. Don’t follow up every day or even every other – plan your communications smartly, pay attention to client data, such as who is opening vs. clicking, vs. deleting, etc. – and then leverage that data to follow up smartly.
3. Not getting permission
You know that 77% statistic up top? The key is that, according to Exact Target research, 77% of consumers prefer to receive permission-based marketing communications via email. Double Opt-in lists are vitally important – both to your future email efforts and also retaining prospects’ respect and openness to your communications. Don’t abuse that right – focus your efforts on getting permission to correspond via email before pushing your opt-out rate sky high. Note that it is right to include 'I agree...' checkbox in your sign-up form.
(Sign-up form: Blue Nile)
4. Missing relevancy
Not every email is going to be relevant to everyone on your list. Unless it’s a major corporate announcement, make sure to carefully cull lists and apply your email messages to your various segments. Consider where people have scored within a campaign, overall interactions, and prospects vs. clients and leads. Be smart about what you’re sending, to whom, and at what time in a marketing cycle. You newsletter should be precise.
5. Forgetting to spam score
Once you have opt ins, it’s up to you to get your messages to those people and to stay off the spam radar. All email providers use spam scoring of some kind, as they have responsibilities to the regulatory bodies – that said, if your emails’ spam scores are too high, you’re opening yourself up to not only having your recipients’ email clients flag your messages as spam, but also to having your permissions restricted… and that’s not fun for anyone.
6. Not paying attention to timing
There are tons of studies completed on the best times to Tweet, post on Facebook, and complete pretty much any marketing activity you can think of – but, while there are such studies for email marketing, your best queues come from your own efforts. Pay attention to which days of the week and which send times secure the highest (and lowest) returns – then, apply those lessons learned to your future iterations to test. Use tests created especially for email marketing: A/B Test or Send time optimization. They will help you to find the best time to send your newsletters.
Email marketing continues to evolve, and with that evolution comes the evolution of best practices – and mistakes. Pay attention and adjust course as needed. Then evolve again.