Recent statistics show that more than a billion emails are sent every day. These include business communications, letters from relatives and friends, spam and emails from mailing lists, and more, all conspiring to cram inboxes around the world to breaking point. This level of digital noise makes it incredibly difficult for an email marketing campaign to stand out and connect with its target audience. You may have the longest email subscriber list in the world, but if you neglect to put the work in to ensure your message isn’t ignored, then you will undermine the hard work you put in building it.
Keeping your campaign out of the trash
Email direct marketing isn’t easy. It takes time and effort to do well, which is the only way you want to do it. Attempting to take short cuts or send out sub-standard work will make no impact at all, or worse, negatively reflect on your brand. The following steps will help your marketing campaign make the right impact.
Unsolicited mail is the bane of email users everywhere. If users haven’t explicitly signed up for a mailing list then sending a mass email will not be greeted well. Email outreach is a different story as it targets individual users. Bulk mail outs however, these are considered intrusive and will be marked as spam or junk, losing the potential customer, possibly forever. Building an engaged list can be a frustrating and slow process, but taking the time to get permission will give your message a better chance of being well received.
Not testing before sending
Testing takes two forms. Firstly, before anything is sent anywhere, you must ensure the images are all formatted correctly to look their best across a range of devices. The links in the message should all work and go to the right destinations. Internet users are savvier than ever before and failure to make your email look professional and well made on a visual and UX level will arouse suspicion. Cheap or hastily thrown together email content will raise a red flag with the receiver, making it more likely that your email will see the junk folder in a hurry.
The second type of testing is A/B comparison. This involves sending out multiple versions of the email to see which one has the greatest impact and yields the better results. This is important as it will show you where improvements can be made and what tactics work better with your particular audience. Taking the time to create different versions and track their results will lead to a better ROI and ensure your emails don’t simply disappear into the cyber ether. Email generally provides a better ROI than other digital marketing channels including SEO.
Lack of an unsubscribe link
While it may seem strange to give people an easy way to stop receiving your messages, by law everyone has the right to opt-out. The Spam Act 2003 states that every commercial email must include an unsubscribe link. Failure to adhere to this law could land your business in legal trouble, but also damage your brand. Word travels fast online, with more channels open to users around the world to spread information and stories about the malpractices of businesses.
The best types of unsubscribe system simply require the email address in question and for the user to push “submit”. The worst examples require the user to log in with the email address and a password that you can’t remember, which requires “Forgot my Password” email, then you need to adjust your mailing preferences. This time consuming process is often by design and the logic behind it is that if the process is made complicated, fewer people will actually make it off the list. The easiest way to safeguard your email reputation is to use the most simple and effective unsubscribe system. Often users aren’t unsubscribing because they don’t like your company, simply they receive too many emails and are trying to de-clutter their inbox.
The email isn’t optimised for mobile
More people check their emails on their smartphones than ever before. This makes it important to ensure your marketing emails are designed to look great on a smaller screen. The text needs to be easy to read, the links well spaced to make them easy to click, and the images must be scaled correctly. If I receive an email on my phone and I can’t read it, or the link isn’t simple to click, or the image is massive and requires me to spend time getting my bearings within the message, I move on. I don’t tend to wait until I get back to a desktop. I simply swipe it away and forget about it.
Content that is worthless
Customers like to window shop. This is true for physical stores and online shopping, which means that even if they don’t want to purchase immediately, you need to remain present in their thoughts for future conversion. This requires a value proposition that is engaging and interesting. Simply sending a digital business card and hoping they know how your business can be of service to them won’t cut it. You must build a relationship through storytelling, special offers, discounts, information about special events and new releases, educational posts, and more.
Engage powerfully with a comprehensive email marketing campaign
Avoiding these basic errors will help your business engage more honestly and effectively with your audience. Today’s Internet users are more technologically astute than ever and have more channels of information competing for their attention. Your content must be enthralling and valuable, giving them no reason to ignore or delete your email.
Image Credit: Email