Unfortunately, many businesses make email marketing mistakes that cost them time and potential customers. Here are seven common email marketing mistakes most businesses make and how to avoid them.
Mistake #1: Not Segmenting Your List
Do you send the same email to every subscriber on your list? If you do, you’re missing a major opportunity to target each customer in a way that might influence a response.
For example, you can segment your list by customer type. You likely have people on your list who signed up for your newsletter, but have never purchased anything from your business. You probably also have people who made a one-time purchase, but haven’t purchased your monthly service. Then, there is the batch of regular customers.
Each of these segments will need something different from your email messaging. Prospects want to know why they should buy. Old customers need a reminder of the products and services you offer. Your most active customers don’t need to be educated about your products, so maybe you should thank them or offer them a referral discount instead.
By segmenting your email lists, you can deliver the perfect message to that group of customers.
Mistake #2: Not Personalizing Your Emails
How do you address your emails? One of the most common mistakes we see is simply starting an email with “hey” or “hello.” This practice often leads to emails ending up in the trash.
Customers want to buy from people that they know, like and trust. The fastest and easiest way to show that you know them is to address them by their first name (assuming you have that information available in your database for the contacts you’re emailing).
Including personal information about the sender of the email is another great way to personalize your campaign. For example, in our email newsletter I always include a note about something happening with me or my family. This helps to humanize your emails and build a personal connection.
Mistake #3: Not Tracking Your Emails
How many emails in your last campaign were opened? How many emails converted to actual sales?
To know how successful your email marketing campaign is, you need to track the performance of your emails. Most email marketing tools have basic tracking for opens and clicks. However, to track sales you’ll likely need to take this a step further. For e-commerce businesses, you can use Google Analytics to track the online sales. For businesses selling via the phone or in-person, you can use special coupons or tracking phone numbers.
It’s important to analyze this data fairly regularly to notice any large fluctuations. For example, if you suddenly lose a bunch of email subscribers, you want to look at the most recent campaign to see what could have caused that. Or, if your click-through-rate increases a lot you’d want to figure out why and repeat that messaging.
Mistake #4: Not Using Conversational Language
Email marketing is not the time to show people how professionally you can write. Inboxes are flooded with dozens of emails per day and the reality is people don’t have the time or interest to read all of them.
Your audience wants to read something that’s easy and gets to the point. Keep your emails conversational and make sure to tell them right away why they should keep reading. Keep your paragraphs brief so they can be quickly scanned. Save the most technical language for white papers and how-to manuals.
Mistake #5: Not Being Consistent with Frequency of Emails
Nurturing your list is an important part of email marketing and you can’t do that unless you’re consistent with sending out your newsletters.
Stick to a schedule, whether that’s once per week, twice per week, daily, or once per month. Keeping the frequency consistent helps subscribers to remember who you are and why they signed up to be on your list.
Plus, if you’re providing content that is interesting and highly engaging to your audience, they’ll come to expect and rely on your emails. Again, they have the opportunity to read dozens of other emails, don’t risk letting yours get replaced by not sending them out as frequently as you should.
Mistake #6: Not Providing Value in Your Emails
Because people are constantly bombarded with emails, they’re likely doing anything they can to free up space in their inbox. To reduce email clutter, they’re going to resent any company that wastes their time and they’ll unsubscribe.
Ask yourself what your email subscribers are really looking for from your email list. Do they want discounts? Reminders of sales days? Expert information? Recommendations and referrals?
Go even further than this and ask what topics they really want to read about. For instance, if you’re a dentist, what do customers constantly ask about? Try to provide this type of value to them so subscribers don’t just ignore your emails.
Mistake #7: Not Asking for the Sale
Perhaps the most common mistake it not asking for the sale. It takes a lot of time to craft wonderful and compelling message or provide customers with great information. You want to make sure that time pays off and in order to do that you need to convert subscribers into customers.
If you don’t tell them what to do next, you’re missing out on a major opportunity to drives sales for your business.
Many people fear looking too pushy and think they’re going to push subscribers away. However, if you never ask for the sale, customers aren’t going to buy. Remember to include a call-to-action for a specific offer that will entice people to do business with you.
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Main Street ROI is a digital marketing agency based in New York City.
Our mission is to help small businesses thrive. With our services and training, we help small businesses succeed with marketing regardless of their budgets.
Since 2010, we’ve helped thousands of small businesses create profitable digital marketing campaigns.
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