Email Marketing can be complicated. As a marketer you often receive emails right? Have you ever opened that email, and immediately got bored with it. But you opened it because the subject line promised you the exact solution you were looking for? But after investing a good 3-4 minutes reading you realized it was scattered and full of senseless words? Now put your prospective clients in your shoes. Here is my list of the Top Five Email Marketing Mistakes and Deceptions that I want to share with you.
1. Email is Too Long
Too Wordy? Who has time to read it? That first paragraph has to be clear and concise – easy to read, introducing your reader to the goal you have in mind. People are too busy today to spend their time trying to sort through the fluff. They want straight forward information. You can make the content interesting, even comical, but do not waste their time. Introduce them to those areas they did not know they were experiencing as pain points, and let them know there is a solution. My thought is, unless it is a tutorial, if you cannot say it in 500 or less words, then you are saying the same thing, over and over again, just different ways. You are probably either repeating yourself, or not sticking to the relevant facts. Either way, remember KISS? Keep It Simple S____. You can fill in the blank.
2. Subject Line Does Not Represent the True Intent of the Email Marketing
When people open that email, they are affirming that they have a problem that relates to your subject line. The subject line may state, “I Promise the World!”, but you can only deliver the flowers from your garden. Now don’t get me wrong, flowers are nice. But they are not what you told me to start. That is deception.
The person who opened that email had trusted you to solve their problem. At the very least, point them in the right direction. Do not send a hyped up email just to get an open rate. People do not appreciate the feeling of being deceived. Accurately disclose what your are about and how you can help them.
3. Image Only Emails
Nothing says spam more than an image only email. And a wise person does not allow images to feed through their email until they know what the content is. Too many surprises behind those image-only spam emails that leave indelible images on a person’s mind for life. Oh, and God help you if you child was standing behind you when you opened it. Not only that, there is the deception factor, because you have to open the email in order to unsubscribe from it. And, chances are, you have to wait 10-days before the unsubscribe goes into affect. I never understood that. Ten days to unsubscribe? A good company is on top of their email marketing and committed to daily review. In my opinion, image only emails are another potential deception.
Now I know bots cannot read image only emails, and that is fine if you are trying to send login credentials, but not marketing information. I have to say that it bugs the living kageebees out of me.
Oh, and while we are on the subject of images. Make sure they are high quality resolution and relevant to your email.
4. Graphic versus Text Emails
One word for text emails – BORING, right? Yes and no. While, images and fonts do create eye-appeal. And eye-appeal is what is going to get your reader interested in the information. Therefore an open rate. However, when you are trying to reach an individual for the first time, you may want to personalize the email with plain text. A quick and easy read. Plain text is in Serif font, the tail of each character leads to the next character. (It’s a graphic arts thing.) Serif is more distinct font. It allows the brain to process the letters faster.
In short, it is much easier for the person who wants a quick read. More importantly it helps the reader get the message without the brain spending extra time trying to figure out the letters so they can read the text. If you do create text emails, make sure they are short and to the point, and try to keep them personal. In fact, try to always keep your emails on a personable level.
If the individual remains on your list and they do not unsubscribe, then you can go on to full scale color, fonts, and graphics. After all, Did you ever date someone if you were not attracted to them? It is the same principle. The individual has to visually like it to read it. In the end, information content is most important.
5. Too Many Call’s to Action – Same or Different
We live in a cluttered world, and the average person cannot retain more than a list of three items at any given time. Now multiply that by the many emails a person receives in a day. You have the idea. Keep the Call to Action single-minded. In other words, shoot for one goal to be met. Make sure all paragraphs inform the reader and lead them to that goal. Focus on promoting that one idea in your email.
The point is to get the email read – true. However, it is equally important to show your reader respect for their time and intelligence when you sell. They will appreciate you for it.
6. Not Using a CRM or Email Program
Such as MailChimp, Aweber, Constant Contact, Infusionsoft (more robust, great email campaigns, but more expensive) and so on.
Do not, I repeat, do not send a huge mailing through your private email account. You will run the risk of being blacklisted and you will clog up your private email. A lot of people like to plug in their entire email list into the blind cc address line. I don’t recommend that. While it is blind, you do not receive open rate reports or A/B testing from that type of method. It is basic and quite frankly amateur.
By the way, MailChimp has a good list of resources to check if your email is blacklisted or you want to check the reputation of a domain, see below:
What do you do for Email Marketing?
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