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7 Common Email Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

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The Direct Marketing Association contends that email is a potent marketing channel for small businesses. If you handle your email marketing effectively, you can expect average returns of $38 for every dollar spent in promotion. In fact, reliable research reveals that email marketing done right is 40 times more powerful than social media! That’s likely completely at odds with what everyone out there seems to believe these days.

Everyone Nowadays Worships and Communes at the Altar of Social Media, but….

It’s possible to have an enormous following on social that doesn’t do a thing for you. You’re not in the business of collecting likes and shares, remember. You’re in the business of offering products and services that solve people’s problems. Every ounce of effort you exert should focus on driving sales and profit; otherwise, you’ll sink.

As a small business owner, you want to do email marketing effectively. You need to know the mistakes small businesses like yours typically make and sidestep them. It’s the only way to stay ahead of the competition. Avoid these 7 email marketing mistakes that small business make if you crave success and profits.

7 Common Email Marketing Mistakes

Email Marketing Mistake #1: Communicating everything in the subject line

If your email open rate is anywhere below 15%, you aren’t doing well. The average email open rate ranges from 15 to 25%. If you want to see great results, then a substantial chunk of your email recipients should start reading your messages.

But why are you seeing such a dismal open rate? It’s because you’re not giving people a reason to read your emails. That’s why. It’s because your subject line’s communicated everything already. A rational person would have no reason whatsoever to read further. Make sure to have an enticing subject line, but make them want to find out more.

Email Marketing Mistake #2: Not managing the preheader text right

Every email you send features a small snippet seen right below your subject line. Typically this snippet seems like a subheading of sorts or a second subject line. Since people read the subject line, make sure it’s captivating. But most small businesses don’t pay much attention to their snippet.

It’s critical to choose the snippet you’d like people to see. If you don’t, your email platform will decide what to display. By default, email platforms present the beginning of each email as the snippet.

Sometimes, however, your email platform might opt to have “unsubscribe” or “view in browser” as your snippet. Obviously, you’re not sending out emails so that people can unsubscribe! Fixing this problem starts with selecting the right email platform. The best options enable you to design your preheader text without needing to tinker with CSS or HTML.

Email Marketing Mistake #3: Inconsistent email marketing efforts

There’s a reason “out of sight, out of mind” became a cliché. People tend to forget things they don’t see often. You’re not the only person sending emails to your recipients. Numerous businesses keep bombarding them with emails. Naturally, email recipients only remember senders they keep seeing in the inbox. They forget everyone else.

Now many small businesses tend to be inconsistent when it comes to sending out email campaigns. They have a million things to do and virtually no time. So, sending out emails might not feel urgent.

Many small business owners handle this task last after they’ve spent every ounce of energy doing other stuff. Result? Weak emails delivered intermittently. What happens? A pathetic open rate and lots of unsubscribing. If you want your recipient to remember you, communicate consistently.

Email Marketing Mistake #4: Failure to leverage email automation

Automating your email marketing does two important things for your business. First, it saves you time. Tons of it over the long term. Second, it may give a huge boost to your revenues. Many businesses have email marketing automation to thank for roughly 20 percent of their revenues.

But writing different versions of what’s essentially the same email message is exhausting, boring, and time-consuming. Actually, it equates to wasting time. So, why not automate tasks such as welcoming new leads or thanking new customers who’ve made a purchase? Why not automate engagement of recipients who demonstrate buying intent?

Read More: Email Automation on a Shoestring Budget

Email Marketing Mistake #5: Unfocused emails

Marketing emails should be clear, concise, and compelling. But many small businesses tend to send out “all-over-the-place” sort of emails. Their emails require the recipient to take multiple actions simultaneously. They want them to forward the email to a friend, buy a product, and sign up for the newsletter!

So, before you hit “send,” ask yourself, “why am I sending this email? What am I trying to say? What’s the one message I want my recipients to understand and act upon?” Essentially, each email should communicate one message. And it should have only one CTA. So, design a specific CTA and focus on it exclusively. Some copywriting experts call that the Rule of One.

Email Marketing Mistake #6: Not A/B testing your emails

A/B testing your email templates helps you to know what works and what doesn’t. It gives you actionable data that guide you as you tweak your messages to improve the open rate. So, check whether your email platform supports email template testing. It most likely does.

Most platforms enable A/B testing different subject lines so marketers can see what would pack the heftiest punch. Testing your emails could supercharge your open rate by as much as 25 percent according to Salesforce.com. Remember: Over 45 percent of email recipients make the “open-not-open” decision exclusively on the basis of the subject line. Make your subject line captivating.

Email Marketing Mistake #7: Ignoring your email marketing stats

Email marketing numbers aren’t just numbers. They’re trying to communicate a story. It’s your job to mine the insights the numbers contain. Your account provider avails email marketing data for a reason. They give you hard numbers to help you quantify the effectiveness (or lack of it) of your strategy.

So, read every number and try to glean the information it hides. Finally, organize the insights you gather into a revitalized email marketing strategy — a strategy that moves the needle.

Final Thoughts on Email Marketing Mistakes

Knowing email marketing works is one thing but leveraging it to the max is quite another. Small business owners tend to make certain mistakes that sabotage their overall marketing strategy. To stand out, you need to handle your email marketing campaigns differently.

Here’s what to do. Write clear, enticing subject lines. Also, make sure to display compelling email snippets. Don’t stop there; automate your email marketing. In addition, make sure to send out laser-focused and personalized emails with only one clear CTA. And remember to A/B test your email templates. Likewise, study your email marketing data closely and tweak your campaigns accordingly. And finally, you’ll need the right tools for the job. The best tool saves you time, helps you minimize mistakes, and enables you design stunning campaigns. Using email templates typically makes more sense.

Veloxy Engage is hands down the best email template builder currently in use. Not only does it save you loads of time with ready templates, it also adds a myriad of added benefits. These include mail-merge, email tracking, engagement analytics, and most importantly, CAN-SPAM compliant bulk email.

Read more on Email Marketing:  Email Marketing Blog

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Peter Daniels

Peter Daniels

Peter Daniels has written 100+ blog posts on sales. From Salesforce adoption to email marketing, and fields sales strategies to cold calling tips—Peter's is committed to helping sales professionals all across the world.

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