In this video, learn how to avoid common pitfalls that plague every email marketing strategy, including poor timing, sending too many or too few emails, missing calls to action, and more. When people learn to critically examine their entire email marketing strategy, their emails become useful and interesting to their audience.
- [Instructor] Email marketing is a low cost method of contact, and therefore pretty easy to take for granted or to overuse. If sales are down and you're in charge of emails, you'll probably have someone come to you and say, "We need to send more email". They may not know what they specifically want to send or even what segment of the list they want to contact, they just want results. Because sending email is so ubiquitous, it can be hard to explain to non-marketers that sending an email that gets underwhelming results can be worse than not sending one at all. Let's take a look at some of the most common pitfalls that you'll want to avoid. Number one, copying everyone else. Here's where a hefty dose of caution and a strong sense of your brand is necessary. Just because everyone else in the field is sending a message talking about a current issue doesn't mean that you have to, especially if the topic is sensitive. Here's an example from a provider of dog products, after they were challenged by their customers to follow up their social media posts about the Black Lives Matter with some action. Personally, I think the content was heartfelt and well-written, but it did give me pause. Number two, a rigid schedule. While I do recommend having a calendar that outlines what you'll send to whom and when, you can't let it get boring. One of the best mistakes I made was sending an email on a different day, a Sunday morning, to be exact. After that, I learned to shake up the schedule and see what my audience responds to. Number three, ignoring the data. Email tools these days will give you a ton of data about your customers and how they interact with the emails you send. If you think one image might work better than the other, for example, run them both in separate emails, this is called an AB test, and see what works. You could be right, you could be wrong, but let the data help you decide rather than guessing. Number four, failing to plan. It's hard enough to stay on top of the marketing demands for even the smallest of businesses. Without a plan, growth is less likely. This isn't to say that you can't act on sparks of inspiration or react to current events, but without some goals, a strategy for evaluating the results, and a workflow of production, you'll be letting one of your most valuable assets, your customer list, go to waste. Number five, bad subject lines. When I look at my over-packed inbox, a subject line has got to grab my attention and entice me to open it. I have to recognize the sender and I need to know what that email is about before I'm going to take the risk of wasting my time. One of the worst offenses I see regularly with subject lines is talking about yourself all the time. Here's just a few that I pulled out of my inbox recently. Number six, nonresponsive emails. Growing numbers of subscribers are reading your messages on their mobile phones and tablets, with mobile being the most popular. As high as 42% of all emails are read on mobile devices. This means that the emails you send must display on the mobile phone. In fact, most professional marketers now recommend that you start from the mobile design first. Your email service can tell you which devices your audience uses most often, and you can view your email in those different layouts. Number seven, not meeting expectations. This is probably the most important pitfall to avoid. If your emails aren't meeting reader's expectations, they'll unsubscribe and they might just mark it as spam, for a fact. Brilliant words, cool videos, and amazing headlines aren't going to help you if the email just isn't what the reader expected or wanted to receive. Two major pitfalls regarding expectations are frequency and content. If you promise to send once in a while, but send them every day, you're going to make your readers mad. If your readers were expecting weight loss advice, when they subscribed, and then you send them lots of products to buy, that just not cool. According to a recent email usage study conducted by Adobe in July, 2019, respondents claimed that they spend approximately three hours a day managing email at work, and another two at home, that's five hours a day working on email. Yeah, this totally proves that email is important, but it also says that there's a big opportunity for marketers to use their email to engage with customers in relevant and useful ways, rather than simply creating more.