Email marketing is a valuable part of the marketer’s toolkit. An array of digital services simplifies this process, to a point. Taking a step back, it’s good to remember that email marketing is a component of an overall marketing campaign and requires its own strategy, as well as established checkpoints to maximize ROI.
To optimize email marketing outcomes, avoid these top 10 all-to-common mistakes:
- Operating without a strategy
A strategy is mission-critical to delivering a successful email marketing campaign.
Design your strategy to complement the overall marketing strategy. Be sure to detail the reasons for the marketing email, audience personas, content, key messages and metrics.
- Using an outdated contact list
Periodically refresh your database of opt-in subscribers to increase open rates and reduce the number of undeliverable emails. Updating your contact list will help prevent your marketing email from being flagged as spam. Also, remember to add a suppression list to make sure the email goes to the intended contacts.
- Typos and grammatical errors
Proofread. Run spell-check. Run content through a web-based proofreading software. And, then proofread again. No matter how clever or motivating or humor-filled your content, all your customers will see is that one error that makes you look bad.
- Broken or missing links, or irrelevant links
Check to see that all links are functioning and connecting your readers to the correct landing pages on your website to further engage with your company’s content.
- Operating without an overall personalization strategy
Personalization is complex and multilayered. Yet, it’s worth the sweat equity with the potential to yield enormous benefits. Start small by adding simple personalization data to an email. Then, test each tactic to evaluate if it moves you more toward your goal. Finally, optimize and carry on. Use the test results from each step to identify and add another personalization tactic, perhaps a dynamic content module.
- Missing the mark with your top-line message
Since 70% of people use smartphones to read email, remember to optimize your marketing email for mobile use. This way, your carefully crafted headlines will come through as you intended to influence your audience.
- Testing on only one browser or operating system
All email systems will display your message differently. Test it on a PC, MAC, Android, iPhone, etc., and using multiple browsers, such as Chrome, Firefox, Bing, Duck Duck Go and others.
- Sending an email with placeholder text
A common practice in content development is inserting placeholder text while awaiting details and/or facts. Making a checklist of all pre-launch steps necessary to clear a marketing email to fly, and adhering to it, would help to prevent this type of error.
- Sending at the wrong time
Timing is everything! Consider time zones and related business hours. A recent study by HubSpot showed that 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday mornings is the best time to send. However, the rule is different for restaurants, especially pizza parlors. Promotional emails for restaurants are best delivered by about 4:30 p.m. when people are thinking about what’s for dinner.
- Missing metrics
Ignoring metrics means ignoring important elements of your campaign’s impact. An initial same-day report will show bounce rates, which can be used to scrub your list. A second-day evaluation will begin to show open rates, opt-outs or spam reports. As soon as you review your results, you can begin tweaking your campaign to be even more successful going forward.
For every email marketing campaign, regardless of complexity, multiple steps need to be conducted in sequence when developing the email itself and managing its distribution. But, things can’t always go according to plan. Information is missing, an important web page is down and anywhere Murphy’s Law can apply, it will. You can help erect guardrails against these common errors by planning well to keep the campaign on a steady path toward your goal.
A strategy, which functions as a roadmap for the campaign, and a checklist that details the sequence of all steps to take when conducting an email marketing campaign, will be valuable. Granted, they take time to create. But, think of all the time you’ll save in streamlining the process to make it virtually error-free.
For dynamic email marketing campaigns that drive ROI, contact The Quell Group.