10 Ways to Avoid Common Email Marketing Mistakes in 2014
Email marketing has always had critics. These skeptics will tell you all the reasons why the email marketing channel will eventually fizzle out. However, recent studies have shown the average return on investment in email marketing to be anywhere from $32 to a whopping $44.25 for each dollar invested.
If you are not yet experiencing this level of ROI, use the checklist below to detect areas for improvement:
1. Disabled Images
- Studies show that up to 80% of your recipients have images disabled. Some are disabled by the email provider. Other people have made the choice to avoid downloading images.
- Take the time to insert alt text for your images. That way, even if they cannot see the image in your email, they know what is present.
- The search engines cannot 'see' the image. Your alt text lets them know what you have posted.
- People rarely take time to actually read the entire content of your email marketing. So, your message must be easy to scan. Even before the impatient buyers of today, professional copywriters honed the skill of scan-able content
- The scanning reader emphasizes the need for strong headlines and sub-headlines, plus bulleted lists
3. Mobile Ready
- Ease of reading has become even more important as email recipients are moving to mobile devices.
- Studies show that email is checked on a mobile device around 34 times each day.
4. Analyze frequency
- No one can tell you exactly how often to send emails to your target list. Frequency varies greatly from one industry to the next.
- Use your CRM software to set up dashboards to analyze open and click through rates. When you know what causes your sales lead to respond to your email marketing effort, you can apply that knowledge to the frequency of sending the group emails.
- Watch for unsubscribes. An uptick in requests to unsubscribe can mean many things such as poor value in your content. The most common reason for requesting to be taken off your list is that you send them emails too often.
- Try to keep your email lists chunked down into groups that share something in common. You may want to segment them by lead source first because that is relatively easy. Ultimately, you may want to segment the list by such things as order volume or even hobbies. The more targeted your email - the more relevant the message can be for them.
6. Personas - targeted and relevant
- Relevance is critical for your email marketing to be effective. For each segment, develop the persona of the ideal client within the category. This persona is a composite and fictitious human being that is at the center of all communication to each segment
7. Conversational language
- Once you have identified the composite persona of your best clients, write your emails as if you were sitting with them face-to-face.
- Formality does not have the power to engage and should not be used in email marketing. Even your C-level sales lead does not want a stuffy, formal email.
8. Pithy Subject Lines
- With the volume of emails received by your targeted message, getting the email opened is a huge challenge. Intrigue them with something that provokes curiosity.
- A/B test your subject lines. Some people get up to a 28% increase in open rates from changing only one or two words.
9. Engaging content
- When the recipient has opened the email, you better deliver something worth reading or they will quickly click away.
- Email marketing that essentially says "Buy My Stuff" become old very quickly. Give them something more and keep promotions to a minimum.
- Today's consumer wants to be educated and entertained.
10. Compelling call to action (CTA)
- It is a shame if you spend your time and effort following this list of tips, then leave it up to the customer to figure out what comes next.
- Give the reader a specific action to take once they have consumed your email content. It can be anything from "click here for a free report" to "share this story with friends" or anything else you want them to do.
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