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Avoid Making These Common Mistakes in Your Email Marketing

email marketing, drip marketing

email marketing
email marketing, drip marketing

You have a list of contacts and the time has come to start a new email marketing campaign. But you are silently asking yourself if the return results will be better than the last batch you sent out. In the field of marketing, we’ve all been there. It can be easy to fall into a trap of drafting up an email and blindly sending it out into cyberspace hoping for the best. If you want your business to prosper using email marketing and receive the best metrics, you’ll want to follow a strategy and avoid these common behaviors and mistakes.

Not Understanding Your Target Industry

If you expect to have any level of success with your email campaign, you have to set aside time for research. Having a list of contact information is a good start, but growing that list would be a waste of time if you do not understand your target industry enough to communicate with them over email. Key areas of your research should include finding industry pain points, reading up on current events affecting the industry, and learning language the target industry is familiar with. Completing useful research is good for both your response rate and proving to the recipient of your email that you have taken the time to understand them and their needs, fostering a more personal connection.

drip marketing

You Are Not Taking Social Media Seriously

Digital marketing expert and podcast host, Erik Harbison, once said, “If Social Media is the cocktail party, then email marketing is the ‘meet up for coffee’. The original 1 to 1 channel”. On average, most people who are active in their sales communications via social media are outselling their peers who are not. This is because those users have grasped that building a rapport through other networks can have a profound impact on their recognition within their target industry. Using professional profiles to message through Linkedin, Facebook, and- increasingly now, Instagram, can benefit your presence and open new channels for outreach. If a client has been familiarized with you through other networks, then receiving an email from you feels a lot less like “cold emailing” and more like a business discussion.

image of social media use

Your Subject Line Doesn’t Work

There are a lot of things that can make or break an email. Using the wrong subject line is the easiest way to break it before it has even been opened. Writing an effective subject line can feel like an artform at times, but the key takeaways are that the subject line should be short and valuable to the customer. It should form an interest or question worth opening for more details or a solution, and incorporate SEO that is relevant to the industry. Subject lines that typically don’t work tend to be lengthy, feel pushy or too much like a sales pitch- or even worse, read like spam. Finding balance and value to your subject lines is key to higher open rates.

image of an email inbox page

Your Email is too Self Focused

Nobody wants to read a novel length biography about your company first thing in the morning before they’ve even had their cup of coffee. Companies who write too much about themselves and what they offer in their emails will quickly lose the attention of their viewer. This is where your research will play a crucial role. Instead of trying to sell every service and benefit your company offers, try identifying the pain points you know the recipient’s business struggles with and offer a valuable solution through your own services. Always make sure you can route them to your website or other methods to contact you with a Call to Action link. While starting a dialogue through email is useful, getting the viewer to click on a call to action feature is perhaps the most important goal to accomplish in any email marketing campaign because it moves them away from a services pitch and toward your more interactive resources.

image of man surrounded by arrows

You are Not Rereading

I know this one seems obvious, but you would be surprised how often we see this in marketing. Someone has sent out what would be a phenomenal email with excellent structure and hitting all the right pain points, but they have misspellings, added spaces, or other editing errors on their page. As a digital marketer, these are not mistakes you want potential clients or partners catching. Our job implies that we are experts in writing and attention to detail. You can compromise your credibility by making amatuer editing mistakes on your emails. Always reread and edit your emails before sending them out.

image of email being reviewed

Neglecting A/B Testing and Metrics

Finally, an important step in the process of email marketing is utilizing an A/B testing strategy and paying close attention to the numbers. Despite how well you think your email will do, we can’t win them all on the first go. Never begin your campaign by sending an email out to several hundred recipients before you have tested it out on a dozen or so. You can generally get an idea of what does or doesn’t work in your email based on the metrics you receive. If your email has a very low open rate, that should indicate that your subject line is not effective. If your open rate is good but your clicks are low, you need to revise your content or find a way to make your call to action more enticing. After a few promising test results from smaller numbers of addresses, you will be ready to send them out to your larger list.

image showing a/b testing results

Final Thoughts

Email marketing is a difficult task. It takes a lot of attention and nuance to create a successful email burst, but with practice, research, and testing you will begin to see those replies come in and your business opportunities grow! Remember to be accessible through other areas of messaging like social media, and it never hurts to send a follow up email after a few days or a week to show your commitment to a potential client. Be confident the next time you hit “send”!