A lot has changed in the digital marketing landscape over the past few decades. Technology became more and more sophisticated and in turn, it changed the way brands and marketers communicate with consumers. But even amid all these technological evolution and changes, email marketing hasn’t lost its value; it only got updated to suit the present trends. In fact, email marketing is still considered as a versatile and trusted form of marketing channel.
A 2013 Email Marketing Benchmark Report for UK indicated that the average email open rates have increased from 18.35 percent to 21.47 percent within the last 12 months. According to another iContact report, “average return on email marketing investment is $44.25 for every dollar spent.”
Social media is perhaps the hot-button today and almost all marketers are busy jumping into the bandwagon, but these reports prove that you cannot underestimate email altogether. Although haters have been skulking around for long now and have repeatedly predicted the demise of email marketing, this channel of marketing is still considered as a fundamental way to engage with existing and potential customers. This brings us to the mistakes that many marketers commit, knowingly or unknowingly.
The following are 3 deadly mistakes that can kill your overall email marketing efforts and business reputation in a jiff.
#1: Sending Emails without Permission
Never do this. How would you feel if someone is sending you emails without your permission? Those emails are most likely to end up in your spam folder or worst, you prefer blacklisting the sender. The same thing may happen to you.
You may have created a killer email campaign and thinking that it would really excite your readers as well, but before sending the email out you must have the permission of each of your recipients. Many marketers still buy email database from third-party companies and start sending out emails without even bothering to seek permission. If you too are following the same strategy, stop before it seriously damages your brand reputation.
A better option is to build your database in the right way i.e. encouraging people to subscribe to your feed and newsletters. Create progressive profiling forms and get your target audiences’ content before you start flooding their inbox with your emails and newsletters. Add an opt-in box on your website/blog to grow your list. Also, add explicit content and a punch line to entice your visitors to subscribe. For example, you can say that early sign-ups will receive discount coupons or exclusive offers etc.
In addition, you must also make it clear that by submitting their email address, your visitors are giving you the permission to send you email marketing. Using baffling language that confuse your readers is a big no-no.
#2. Neglecting the Needs of Your Target Audience
Digital marketing is a very noisy environment. Everyone is shouting to grab the buyers’ attention, but shouting alone isn’t really helpful. You need to be audible, but what you are saying is more important than how you are saying it. If you are talking about your buyers’ need then they are bound to listen and pay attention.
Unfortunately, not many marketers focus on the buyers’ need when designing email campaigns. They only talk about their products and services without considering the need of the people. We are not asking you to satisfy the different needs of your target audience as it is rarely effective, but you need to understand their combined need. Use segmentation strategies to create a psychographic profile that will help you understand the pain points and the specific needs of your buyers.
When you start talking about the pain points and requirements of your buyers over a private platform like emails, they start trusting you and your brand. They will value that you are paying attention to their needs. Continue to cater to their needs and your buyers will consider your brand as a friendly one and will soon become your loyal customers.
#3: Sending Emails Too Frequently
I once subscribed to an eCommerce brand that offered really great discounts and promos. But soon my excitement turned into a horrific experience when I found they are literally bombing my inbox with several emails a day. It was downright irritating and annoying; when I couldn’t take it anymore, I did what best suit me – I unsubscribed from their email list, blacklisted the sender and never went back to the website despite the lucrative offers and discounts they promised.
Emailing your subscribers multiple times a day will only add on to your email marketing horror stories. The best practice is to allow your subscribers to decide how frequently they want to receive emails from you. In your subscription form or opt-in box include options like daily, weekly or monthly updates that they would like to receive from you.
Your frequency must reflect your consumers’ preferences. If they are still unsubscribing, try to reduce your email frequency to a minimum. That being said, don’t end-up sending emails at irregular intervals. There should be a consistency; it is perfectly alright if you want to email your subscribers during special occasion or when you really have got something to say. But sending emails once in a blue moon is hardly effective. Make sure you consistently have something worth sharing with your subscribers once in a week or at least a month.
Many of us are guilty of committing these email marketing mistakes. Most importantly, email marketing mistakes are not just limited to these three; there are more and some of them are even more deadly. If you too have been committing these mistakes or others, stop now and re-evaluate your email marketing strategy. Think what you can do differently that would improve your open and click-through rates as the goal of any email campaign is to drive traffic back to your site and convert your readers into leads and buyers.
Also, remember that it is easy to repeat your mistakes that usually become habit after a certain time. So before you hit the ‘send’ button next time, do verify your email with your checklist as there aren’t any take backs once you send it to your subscribers.
Kunjal Panchal is a Digital Marketer at E2M, the fastest growing digital marketing agency in India. She is a social media geek, a complete foodie and enjoys trying varied cuisines. A perfect day for her consists of reading her favorite author with a hot cuppa coffee.