Email marketing mistakes to avoid
[To learn how to do your email marketing correctly take a look at our Profitable Email Marketing - the 19th July 2012]
When email marketing is designed and executed well it can bring in more subscribers and more sales, as well as building a relationship with your mailing list members. If it’s not run properly, it can have poor results and may even anger your recipients.
Despite many people using web mail services such as Gmail and Hotmail, Outlook is still the most used email client and you need to make allowances for it when you send emails. Outlook has a sophisticated Junk Filter that you need to avoid if your emails are to be read. However, many companies do not spend time learning about the keywords and symbols the default filter searches for. Some common and widely used words are almost guaranteed to send your email to the spam folder – such as using ‘FREE!!!!’ at the end of the subject line. The word ‘free’ doesn’t always arouse suspicion though, so don’t disregard using it altogether. When used properly, perhaps relating to free postage/shipping or a free sample etc, nobody can disagree that it is still the most effective email offer. The trick is to be aware of problematic words and how to use them so your email does not get caught by the spam filter.
Something else to bear in mind is that the subject line of your email newsletter must not be meaningless. For example, subject lines like “SEO Update #37” or “Internet marketing news” or “My newsletter” say nothing at all and are likely to be deleted unread. The sole purpose of the subject line is to entice the recipient to open the email. Make sure your subject line has information that will grab the attention of your readers.
The best email marketing services let you test your emails, both for compatibility with the various email readers and for spamminess. Regular testing of your emails can help you spot problem areas and refine your emails to get better results.
Successful email campaigns tend to be the ones that promote compelling offers. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to give away something for nothing or offer huge discounts, but you should make sure the offer is appropriate and offers value. The best email marketers segment their lists so they can fine tune their offers to make them as relevant as possible for each list member.
Sometimes you’ll find your emails are well formatted but are blocked by certain ISPs. For example, some ISPs block emails with HTML in them (links etc), they have their own spam word blacklists or they’ll filter messages out if many are sent at the same time. Keep an eye on your mailing statistics, especially those email addresses that appear to be bouncing (not being delivered) and look out for patterns relating to specific ISPs.
By bearing these points in mind when preparing your emails you’ll get a better open rate, more subscribers and hopefully more sales.
If you would like to start using email marketing to promote your business HodgesNet has an email marketing and autoresponder system that you can use from as little as £20 a month. It includes list segmentation, live statistics and a full testing system so you can fine tune your emails for maximum results.