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14 email marketing mistakes to avoid

Jennifer Lonoff Schiff | Dec. 15, 2016
Email marketers and small business owners share their tips on how to decrease the likelihood of your emails being immediately deleted by prospective and existing customers.

Mistake No.3: Focusing only on promotion.

Instead of using email marketing exclusively as a sales tool, “use it as a medium to engage your customers and build customer loyalty,” says Doug Sechrist, vice president, demand marketing, Infusionsoft. “Of course, your ultimate goal is to promote and sell your product. But to see better results from your email marketing program, focus on engaging your customers [with helpful or useful information, not necessarily involving your products or service] instead of bombarding them with promotional content. In the end, engaged subscribers are much more likely to open emails they receive from your brand.”

Mistake No. 4: Having a confusing, deceptive or boring subject line.

The subject line “is the first thing that we see in our email inbox,” notes Kate Chan, full stack marketer, Rabbut. It’s also “what makes people want to click on your email or not.” That’s why it’s important to spend some time crafting a subject line that will really grab your readers’ attention. Better yet, test different subject lines to see which one works best.

“Subject lines can make or break your open rate,” says Gil Resnick, marketing automation specialist, Repsly. “A good, catchy subject line will draw a reader in for more and get them into the email itself. Boring subject lines often result in clients deleting the email or simply skipping over it to get to more important things.  Give [your] subject lines some jazz, but keep them on topic. Overuse of exclamation points and even certain words, such as ‘free’ or ‘money,’ can trigger the spam filter, meaning your email never had a chance.”

Also be careful about being too catchy. “While catchy subject lines are good at grabbing your recipient’s attention and increasing your open rates, they’ll only work if the email [delivers] what [has] been promised,” says Sechrist. “Nobody likes to feel deceived. [So] it’s imperative not to over sensationalize your subject lines and instead align the subject with the content.”

Also, keep in mind that “clear subject lines receive 541 percent more clicks than clever ones, according to a study by AWeber Communications,” says Mike Madden, demand generation program manager, Marketo. And by clear, he means subject lines “avoid tricks, clickbait and questions about what the email actually contains [and] are consistent with the body of the email.”

Mistake No. 5: Embedding your message in an image.

“Avoid putting all your text into images,” says Sam Binks, digital marketing manager, TeamSnap. “If there's an issue and images don't load for some reason, guess what? Your text doesn't either. What a waste.” The solution: “Balance images (don't make them huge) with clear and concise text in the body of the email. That way text will always be readable and your message gets through.”

 

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