Wouldn’t it be fantastic if you had the ability to reach out to any number of potential customers across the globe in an instant? Imagine getting your marketing message across all of these people at the push of a button. Well, this is not science fiction; it’s reality. You can do all that using the power of email marketing.
In this article, we lay out typical mistakes any newbie email marketer can make. We also provide ideas and suggestions on how to avoid these email marketing mistakes.
Mistake #1: Sending emails to a dead list
An subscriber list will become unresponsive fast if you don’t communicate with your contacts regularly. Even if there are people there that once opted-in for your newsletter, if they don’t hear from you often it’s likely that they forget you.
This might have happened to you too: If you don’t send emails to your subscribers frequently, there’s a great chance they’ll ignore your messages because they just don’t remember they signed up. Marketing to a stale email list can increase your “bad” metrics, such as bounce rates, unsubscribes, and spam complaints.
Avoid using old lists that you haven’t contacted for over 3 months. Then, create a campaign schedule to prevent a list from going stale.
Spring clean your lists every 6 months or so by asking people who haven’t opened your emails for awhile to reconfirm their subscription. Don’t hesitate to remove subscribers that are completely unresponsive. This might sound scary, but it will actually improve the health of your list and will increase your open rates and click-through rates.
Mistake #2: Sending without permission
A commmon mistake beginners make is trying to find a shortcut to success. With regard to email marketing, buying an email list might seem a fantastic growth hack. Well, it’s not!
Building a quality list of prospects takes time, work and patience. You need to have a signup process in place to get people’s emails. This will grant you permission to send them marketing messages. Having a transparent sign-up process is necessary to be compliant with anti-spam regulations and GDPR, but it also guarantees that you are growing an audience that’s well aware of and loyal to your brand.
In most cases, it is recommended by email marketing companies to add subscribers to your email list through a double opt-in process. This usually starts with a signup form, where people type in their email, and then they receive an automated email so they can confirm their request to subscribe. This method is called double opt-in.
Here are two tips to remember when it comes to permission-based email marketing:
Tip #1: Consent
See to it that you have consent from all your list members recipients before you hit the “send” button. Growing a healthy list and getting permission is easier than you think (read this guide we wrote) and the benefits of proper email marketing practices might surprise you: fewer spam complaints on your campaigns, improved deliverability and higher open and response rates are only few of the benefits.
Tip #2: Expectations
The second tip to consider, is that all recipients should know what exactly they’re signing up for before they receive any message from you. Your opt-in form should make clear what type of email messages you’ll be sending out, and how often. And since customers can occasionally forget that they ever registered at all, it helps to provide a short reminder in each and every of your first emails to remind them how they opted in. A permission hint can be a short line at he beginning of your email copy that tells subscribers they’re getting an email from you because they voluntarily subscribed.
Mistake #3: Not knowing how spam filters affect your campaigns
We’ve tackled the topic of avoiding spam filters before. Spam filters use a long list of rules to determine whether or not your email will be placed in a recipient’s inbox or spam folder. The list of spammy factors is constantly adapting and growing because filters learn more about what spam email looks like whenever someone indicates that “This is junk” or clicks on “Mark as spam” in their email client.
There’s no magic formula for eliminating the risk of your campaigns being marked as spam. However, there are some ways beginner marketers can use to avoid the most typical mistakes that get marketing emails look spammy.
Build a good sender score and sending reputation. Some spam filters will flag your email campaign if you share the same IP address with a spammer. Most email marketing services offer shared IPs with their basic plans. That’s why they are very strict with spammers, so they keep their sending reputation intact. Read the terms of service your email marketing platform sto see what measures they take to stop spam.
Use newsletter templates that have a good text to code ratio. This means that you need to avoid too much inline CSS code, extra HTML tags and useless code, that can be generated by rich-text editors. This also means that you shouldn’t use software like MS Words to generate a newsletter template; MS Word is not a templating tool. Hire an expert designer or use on of your email platform built-in templates to create a minimalistic and beautiful newsletter. Run A/B or multivariate tests to learn how small changes made to your email content can affect deliverability or engagement.
See a comprehensive list of email testing tools here. Looking for more detail on this topic? Check out this article about how to avoid being marked as a spammer. It’s perfect for email marketing newbies.
Mistake #4: Sending without previewing and testing
The newsletters you build using the built-in editor on your email marketing platform will often look different that when viewed in your recipients’ inboxes.
Different email software clients and desktop or mobile devices display HTML emails slightly different, depending on to their individual rendering engines. That is why, before you send out a campign you need to preview the email using a tool like Inbox Inspector.
Are you making these email marketing mistakes?
Last but not least, a major mistake that beginner online marketers make is to buy email lists. When you do that, not only are you violating anti-spam laws but also neglecting the fact that when a list is for sale, it’s already been bought by lots of other email marketers – and some of them will have worn out the list with irrelevant emails. A lot of people on that list will have pressed the “Mark as spam” button already. So, your chances of landing in their inboxes is slim.
What about you? Are you making any of these email marketing mistakes? What changes will you make today to correct them? If you need help with crafting a solid email marketing strategy to grow your list, engage your subscribers and turn prospects into customers, then check out our Done For You Email Marketing service where we write, build and manage your email campaigns for you!