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Inbound Marketing Tips: The Top 10 Reasons Your Emails Suck
Posted on December 5th 2013
I'm baaaaaack! I know you have missed me telling you how much your blog, homepage, and landing pages suck. So I've been thinking. Lately, I feel like everytime I pick up my iPhone I have 30 emails in my personal inbox and approximately 28 of those automatically get deleted. I'm a pretty girly-girl that sometimes likes to pretend I'm a princess, so I can understand why I get the occasional Disney emails, but when I start getting coupons for Huggies diapers (and I don't have any children), it's a little bit embarassing.
Did we forget how to send a good email? An email that people actually want to read, that is related to something they are even remotely interested in and doesn't automatically get marked for spam or trash? We send emails to bring value to others and to nurture the relationships we've formed with our customers and leads. So if you forgot how to do that, I'm here to help you. I'm here to tell you the top 10 reasons your emails suck, and what you can do to fix them:
1. You're emailing the wrong people
You want to send a segmented list to the right group of people (leads, customers, people that have downloaded your advanced content, subscribed to your blog) so you reach your correct buyer persona. You don't want to aim in the dark and email your entire database. You also need to make sure you are not emailing people that have unsubscribed from receiving any content from you and be sure to include a hard bounce list when sending out emails. And don't even get me started on purchasing email lists.
2. You're making the email all about you
It doesn't matter if you're sending out the last email in your lead nurturing campaign to bottom of the funnel leads that have downloaded multiple case studies- you want to continue to show your readers the value of what you are offering them in your emails. Don't make it all about you or be too sales-y. Focus on the reader and what they would be interested in reading.
3. Your emails are ugly
Luckily we have some pretty cool people here at the LyntonWeb corral that have made some pretty sweet email templates for us. We use different email templates for featured emails when sending out new advanced content, when sending out monthly newsletters, and when sending lead nurturing emails. Remember people use different operating systems and web browsers, so be sure to include a plain text email version.
4. Your emails have no goal
If you don't have a goal when sending your email, then how do you even know if it was an effective email or not? Set a goal of a certain click through rate, be sure to include a call-to-action or a next step for your reader, and be sure to analyze your email after it was sent to see what worked and what didn't.
5. Your emails are boring
It really doesn't matter what industry you're in or who you work for, you want to speak to your buyer persona and keep the reader interested. Include a relevant (funny) picture, try a GIF, a joke, maybe a line or two from a rap song. If you're bored when you're writing the email, chances are your reader will feel the same way.
6. Your emails have mistakes
Before we send anything out here at LyntonWeb at least two extra people double check for grammatical errors, check that links are correct, and that we are following best practices. We also send out a test email to make sure the formatting looks okay and we don't embarass ourself with a silly misspelled word.
7. Your emails aren't personal
You don't want your reader to feel as if they are talking to a robot. You want them to know they are reading a real email from a real person, and that they are receiving a personal experience. Write in second person, ask questions, and write "you" in emails to make your email that much more personal.
8. Your emails are too long
If you're like me in the morning, you have about 3 minutes to read 30 emails. So you need to remember that your reader's attention is limited. Keep it brief and less than 200 words. When we send out a featured email to announce new advanced content (eBooks, infographics, etc) we send out an email with a picture of the cover of our eBook, one or two lines describing the eBook, and a call-to-action to download. Keep it concise.
9. Your subject line sucks
The subject line is the first thing your reader will see. If you aren't clear about what is inside the email, and the subject line doesn't grab the readers attention, chances are your email is headed straight for the trash bin. Give your reader a sense of urgency and a reason to open the email. "Read me now" is a lot different than "Only 2 days left until..."
10. Your emails are sketchy
If we sent emails from "Lynton Team" sent from email@example.com, it will probably be opened a lot less then an email from "Jennifer Sanchez, LyntonWeb" sent from firstname.lastname@example.org. Also think about the time of day you're sending your emails. Don't be that creepy person sending out emails at 3:00 am. Remember to keep your emails personal, real, and relatable.
So there you have it. The top 10 reasons your emails suck and what you can do to fix them. Goodbye selfish, ugly, boring, impersonal, long, sketchy emails. Hello valuable, pretty, engaging, personal, brief emails! Do you have any other pet peeves that makes you send an email straight to the trash bin? Let me know!