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Email Marketing 101: Top 8 Mistakes You Should Avoid Before You Press Send

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Before you press “send” on your next email, you should be aware of the cringe-worthy mistakes that can do more damage instead of benefit for your brand. To avoid these mistakes in the future, read on about all the things you should avoid when drafting your email marketing campaign:

1. You come up with annoying subject lines

  • Whether it’s a clickbait subject that doesn’t have anything to do with its content or it’s an insult of some sort to the recipient that aims to push them to open your email, shocking subject lines whose content don’t measure up in any way to its subject line is a no-no any way you look at it. Any forms of communication from your brand is a way to either close the deal or make them close their email so be careful in your words so that through careful planning and time, you can build the trust of your email recipients enough to make them a loyal customer someday.

2. You are spammy

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  • Now that we’re on the subject of annoying, nothing is more annoying than emails to receive unsolicited spammy emails. How your email sounds to your potential customers will spell the difference between those who knows how to write a marketing plan and those who doesn’t…. listen to the tone of your email as you compose your draft… does it sound like an overzealous sales person put under a time limit to sell houses at the mall? If so, know that hardselling a product never works at all. Instead on forcing your products/services down your email recipients’ throat, go for a helpful neighbor approach and provide a service or solution you have for their dilemma. Increase the value of your email by giving them something that’s valuable so that you can build a relationship with them. Once you are categorized as someone they can trust, it will be a lot easier to convince them to purchase your products/services in the future.

3. You ask a non-professional to design your email marketing campaign

  • Budget constraints can make it tempting to ask someone around who has a bit more knowledge in design than you to create the graphics of your email. Time constraints and budget can be a hassle for any project so in trying to cut costs and save more money, you may ask a non-professional graphic designer to create the lay-out of your email. Although seemingly a good idea in terms of economics and budgeting, asking a non-professional to design your email can lead to disaster rather than savings and benefits as a non-professional may not know anything about professional-looking lay-outs with the right spacing, the brand’s specific color combination, your logo and making a design that looks great yet can load easily on its recipient’s email.

4. Your email is too long

  • People are always in a hurry to do something else and coupled with the current generation’s short attention span; you wouldn’t want readers to flock away from your email at the first chance they get. So keep your emails short and direct to make it easier to read not just through drafting short content but also by making sure that the font is big enough for comfortable reading, the colors are not too bright and too many and there’s a right amount of contrast between your font and the background. To test if your email is too long step back from your computer and see if it’s one big chunk of email that’s hard to read. If it is, break it down into groups of sentences and dividing your email into bullets and sub-headings for easier reading.

5.  You use a no reply address

  • How can you hope to make a sale when you yourself don’t trust the recipients of your email? This is what you convey when you send your email marketing campaign from a “noreply” email or when you use a generic email such as “admin” and disable the email recipient’s capacity to reply. Remember communication is always a two-way street and always add a touch of humanity in your email communications by making yourself as available as possible for those who may reply with questions about the campaign or the product/service you are offering. So state your email address clearly in your campaign and encourage your target audience to send replies and queries.

6.  Your email is impersonal

  • Make your email void of any personality whatsoever just like any auto-generated email and I can guarantee that people will ignore you. When creating email marketing messages, inject a touch of your own voice so that people will feel like they are actually talking to someone rather than just being sent impersonal emails by bots. Showing your voice will assure readers that you are a business that won’t just sell products and disappear right after but someone reliable who will still guide them long after the sale has been created. As mentioned above, it’s not just about closing a sale but also building trust and relationship with people you will talk to or email for the first time. Make your email more personal by telling stories people will be happy to hear about or sharing insights and personal opinions that are helpful for the customers.

7.  You are not clear on what you want your readers to do

  • Drafting an email marketing campaign is not a time to be wishy-washy or vague about the action you want your readers to take. Focus on one action you want your email recipients to do -whether it is to visit your website, get a discount, register for an event and so forth- and be clear on instructing them to do it by featuring just one call to action button instead of creating a campaign with too many call to actions that may confuse and frustrate your recipients and induce them to simply close your email without getting to the bottom of it.

8. You hastily draft a last-minute email

  • One way to guarantee commission of mistakes is by creating a last-minute, deadline-pressure email marketing campaign. With very little time to go over the details, your email will be prone to grammatical errors and typos, formatting mistakes, wrong info and details and content and design that will have a “hurried” look.

As a final note, always draft your email marketing campaigns as if you are the one who will be receiving it and act as if you are reading an email from a random company and then honestly ask yourself: Is this email interesting enough to read till the bottom? Will I be compelled to do what it tells me to do? Does it give me value and offers me something I can’t get from anywhere else? If you can answer yes to these questions, then go ahead and press “send”.

Author: Ryan is a Digital Marketing Specialist at the Bradford based Digital Agency Harrison Mann. Being in the digital marketing field for 7 years now, he enjoys keeping up to date with the latest in all things digital and search. As a silent type, Ryan expresses plenty of his thoughts through writing.