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Don’t Fall Off the Cliff: 9 Pitfalls in Email Marketing

Don’t Fall Off the Cliff: 9 Pitfalls in Email Marketing

Email Marketing…seems like a simple concept. You want to catch your customers’ attention, so you send them emails. It’s the very definition of great marketing – meeting customers where they already are. There are 3.6 billion email accounts in the world, and 91% of consumers check their email daily. You want your message to be one of the many they’ll read today.

Even with the simplicity of the delivery method, there is still so much that can go wrong:

1) Not knowing or following the rules.

You can be fined for doing it wrong – up to $16,000 per email by the FTC. That’s because anti-spam laws have very specific rules for who you can and cannot send email to and how you can send it.

2) Blocked attachments.

We run into clients who don’t know how to make their emails lovely and branded. So they create a document and make a PDF or a JPG and then attach it or embed it in the email. The problem is that it won’t make it through many of today’s firewalls. That’s because attachments automatically raise a red flag as containing potential viruses.

3) Bad or too good subject lines.

One-third of email readers report opening an email based on its subject line. But there’s a fine balance to be found here. Some key words like “free” sound enticing to get people to open. But they can also trigger spam filters and prevent customers from receiving your email at all. Be honest and direct about what your email is about and your customer will open it if they’re interested.

4) It’s all about you.

The best content marketing isn’t about you; it’s about your customers. It’s about their interests and making them smarter. Think about your content in terms of how it helps them and not about how it serves you.

5) Not respecting customers’ wishes.

You have to actually let your recipients opt-in to receive emails. You need to tell them what you want to send them and get their consent to receive it. AND you have to let them opt-out at any time and then respect that request. This is one of the ways you can get into trouble with the FTC (see #1 and the big fines).

6) Sending from your own email.

“Why should I use an email delivery service? I have my own email.” Yes, but if something goes wrong and you end up on a blocked list, you won’t be able to send regular email correspondence from your address. That means disrupting your business and getting on a blacklist that you may never get off of.

7) Linking to nowhere.

What do you want your customer to do? If you don’t include a Call to Action, especially a trackable Call to Action like click-throughs, then you are missing the opportunity to follow-up with your customer.

8) Looking bad on mobile.

Approximately 64% of decision-makers read their email via mobile devices. So if your email doesn’t translate well to a smartphone, you’re missing almost two-thirds of your potential audience.

9) Learning nothing from your email marketing campaign.

The best campaigns are ones that you can track. Who opens your emails? When did they open them? Where did they click? Most email delivery services offer robust reporting platforms that give you data to fill in your marketing and sales team about how people are engaging with you. It’s a bit creepy just how much you can learn from an email, but we’ve never been ones to turn away data about customer behavior.

Email can be an incredible asset for marketing to prospects and engaging and retaining current customers. Don’t fall off the cliff into one of these email marketing trenches.

Karen Vance is the Director of Digital and Content Marketing for The Deciding Factor, Inc. She keeps busy by running her two teenage boys to sporting and musical activities. She and her husband run a baseball empire called Galaxy Baseball with 15 teams and about 160 kids. Factoid: You can find her on the weekends ringing the bass bells in her church Handbell Choir or scorekeeping baseball in the stands.
(513) 548-4059