5 Common Email Marketing Mistakes

5 Common Email Marketing Mistakes

Email marketing is far from easy, and if you are new to sending email marketing newsletters there are many potential problems that you should learn to avoid. Some of them could completely ruin your list, forcing you to start over again from scratch.

Here are some of the most common email marketing mistakes that we see often:

Not sending out emails regularly

As business owners and now internet marketers, we’re busy people. We’re usually juggling a bunch of different projects at any given time, and sometimes a few get put on the backburner and sometimes certain tasks get neglected completely. However, you should make sure you never neglect your marketing and part of that marketing should incorporate staying in touch you’re your email lists on a regular basis. At a minimum this should be monthly so don’t let several weeks or more go by without you sending out anything. It’s a common mistake, but one that can quickly cause your list to decay.

The key to good results from email marketing is sending out emails at regular intervals, never letting too much time pass in-between. If you do, chances are your subscribers don’t even remember you once you finally send something new out to them and they will unsubscribe! This will leave you starting from scratch to build a new email list.

Only sending out promotional emails

You’ve probably been on at least one list like this, where the owner does nothing but send out offers on a daily basis until you’re forced to unsubscribe. The reason people do this is because, believe it or not, it does work and it does get results. However, the results are purely short-term, and marketers who follow this strategy need to continually add new subscribers or eventually they’ll be marketing to no one. It’s always better to focus on delivering good value, relevant content and expertise in your emails and building a long-term relationship with your subscribers.

Making it impossible to unsubscribe

This is a very common beginner mistake. For some reason, some email marketers believe that by making it difficult or impossible to unsubscribe, their subscribers will simply be forced to read their emails and buy their products. Well, think again, because it will cause them to click on the ‘Spam’ link instead, which is definitely not good. If enough people on your list, click on this link you can actually get banned or have your account closed by your service provider!

Hammering the list with advertisements

Some marketers who are out to make a quick buck and build a list as fast as possible sell solo ads and do ad swaps with affiliates to accomplish their goals. Nothing wrong with that, if it’s done tastefully and rarely. If it’s all you do, you’re not going to build a good relationship with your subscribers as it’s basically the same thing as only sending out promotional messages.

Importing a list from a social media stream

I’ve seen clients regularly import their list from Linkedin or another social media platform and the results are never good. This is not a quality list because they’re used to seeing you on a social platform with updates, not via email. These types of subscribers normally unsubscribe quickly, wonder how they ended up on your email list and report the list as spam even if they love hearing from you on the social media platform. Just don’t do it!

There are many more mistakes that beginner to email marketing can make. A simple rule of thumb is that if the content is quality content that your subscribers originally opted in for, then they will love your content and stay an avid reader of your email newsletter.

What is List Building?

What is List Building?

List building is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: the process of building lists! Generally, though the term list building is used to describe a specific kind of list with the most common being email marketing lists.

Here the term list building refers to the creation of a list of email addresses or other contact details that can then be used as part of a marketing campaign. This is a big aspect of digital and content marketing and one of the more effective ways to reach a large audience, engage and build a relationship with them online.

Things to consider

The thing to be cautious of when list building, is that the lists need to consist of emails for people who have happily shared their details.  These subscribers are granting you permission to contact them (double opt-in processes are great for this). It would be very easy to create an email list of a million emails long or to purchase a list. If you did not care in any way and added every email address you could find, this would do more harm than good and you would not be engaging your target market. – see Why You Shouldn’t Buy an Email Marketing List.

If you send out emails to people who haven’t given you their permission then not only will you potentially face some legal issues but you will also likely damage your reputation and not get any sales or newly engaged subscribers anyway. They will unsubscribe from your email straight away and then report your content as spam because they are not engaged in what you are saying, nor are they interested in the information that you are providing.

Effective marketing of any kind should be targeted so that your target market are receiving your messages. Otherwise, it is not worth putting the time and effort into collecting the contact details.

Methods of list building

So how do you go about list building?

The most popular method online is usually to have a sign up box on your website usually with an incentive. Using incentives to engage subscribers is a great way to build your list.  The sign up box can go in your side bar, on the front page or sometimes in a ‘pop-up’ that will appear when you view the website. This will then give the visitor the opportunity to ‘opt-in’ to your messages and to receive communication from you. This is what you call an engaged subscriber.

Having an added incentive to try and encourage more people to subscribe themselves to the mailing list – either providing discounts, an ebook or other opt-in options can really boost your email marketing list to skyrocket.  Sending relative content after can increase sales and engagement.

The Power of Pop-Ups

The Power of Pop-Ups

Is it a good or terrible idea?

Nobody likes pop-ups, they can be pretty annoying especially when you are halfway through reading that article. Fortunately we’ve come a long way from the internet of the past which used to open about fifty windows (remember that?)  Now most pop-ups just bounce up as you enter or scroll down or go to click on the close of the page without opening a multitude of windows.

They are making a comeback though. And actually? You might want to join them and this is why?

Pop-ups for email collection

The perspective in which pop-ups seem to be making something of a comeback is in their use as a list building method. If you go onto many relatively big blogs (and some not so big – Adminaholics included) within a few minutes of being there, you’ll often be greeted by a pop-up window inviting you to hand over your email address, hopefully there is an amazing incentive to engage you to do so as well.

This includes the websites of some of the top bloggers who have an email form that either pops up or shows at some stage while you are reading the blog. With most of these pop-ups you won’t be able to continue reading until you add your details or hit cancel. Okay, so it’s not a separate window but it definitely has the potential to annoy and certainly makes you either subscribe or cancel. What do we realise from this?

Pop-ups for list building

Well to begin with, this should tell you just how important these highly successful bloggers, businesses and websites think it is to collect email addresses.  Most bloggers know that these pop-ups are potentially annoying and essentially feel guilty in some cases for using them. Nevertheless, the benefits of having them drastically outweigh the cons/guilt! So is this something you should consider as well?

Are you really against pop-ups?

The answer to this question will depend on how you feel personally when your own reading is interrupted by such a pop-up. The key point to remember is that the bigger bloggers have millions of regular readers who aren’t going to be put off by such tactics, but pop-ups can still annoy so if you make them generally unobtrusive until you get more comfortable, it will allow you to build your list without driving away too many future visitors or put them off of revisiting your site.

An important tip!

The most important tip. If you do decide to use pop-ups, then don’t make them too irritating. Make sure they don’t keep popping up, make them easy to close and make them generally as simple and unobtrusive as possible.

6 Tips for Writing Better Email Subject Lines

6 Tips for Writing Better Email Subject Lines

Writing email subject lines is something of an art form that only a few businesses really gauge and understand the secrets of. Even small changes can have a massive effect on open rates and give your business that extra flair!

Here are a few tips that can help your open rates on your email marketing campaigns:

Keep it short

Shorter subject lines consistently do better than long ones. Ideally you want to try to stay below 50 characters. The trick is communicating everything you need without over doing it, and this is something you’ll learn with practice. Do a test and limit yourself to 50 characters for your next few emails and see what happens!

Tell, don’t sell

Your customers, although they’re your customers, they don’t like being sold to, that’s a fact! If your subject line is the least bit “salesy”, chances are it will go straight to the deleted folder. What you want to do instead is engage your readers (or rather give them a hint) about what’s inside. It should be something that gets them curious enough to open your email.

Personalise if possible

A personalised subject line will always grab better open rates than its one-size-fits-all standard subject lines. Don’t think just inserting the first name of the recipient is enough though, because it’s not. Actually doing that can even have the complete opposite effect, as most people have gotten wise to this technique and now consider it spam. What you can do, however, is mention something like their city, their occupation or whatever other data you have that could be relevant. Make it personal.

Controversy is still powerful

Readers can’t help but feel drawn to controversy or a drama, so if you can construct a subject line that has some of that they’ll be jumping at the chance of opening the email to see what it’s all about.

Use shortage techniques

A trick that’s been used since the dawn of advertising is telling readers there are “only 48 hours left on the sale” or “just a few hours left before we raise prices again”. The fact is these techniques work, but you need to be honest about it. Don’t go telling your readers or customers that you’re increasing prices when you’re actually not, because that will lead to a backlash sooner or later. If you can back up your sales pitch and you have something people are actually interested in, this can boost your open rates through the roof.

Always split-test your subject lines

Don’t forget to always split test your subject lines to find the ideal strategies for your business. By doing this you can improve your subject lines with every email you send out.  You will understand your audience better and it can increase your conversions.

These are just a few ways in which you can write better email subject lines to boost your conversions and open rates.

Why You Shouldn’t Buy an Email Marketing List

Why You Shouldn’t Buy an Email Marketing List

Email marketing starts with building a list, buying your list is the most effective way right? No it is not and please do not buy a list! There are much better ways to build your email marketing list than buying an email marketing list.

Buying an email marketing list can cause more harm than good.

Just remember that good email lists are NOT for sales so if you do purchase a list, these subscribers have not subscribed or double opted in to receive your content and they may not be interested in receiving information from your business or yourself.  Sure you may score 1 or 2 purchases from that list but is it worth harming your brand to be known as a spammer for the sake of those two sales.  Don’t forget that most people are pretty savvy now and they quite often unsubscribe and flag your content as spam which can then halt your email marketing program.

Consider this when you open up your email and you are getting the latest news from businesses that you are subscribed too you are interested enough to take the next step and click on the links to be really engaged with what they are saying. When you get an email from a business that is not familiar for a product or service that you are not interested in how do you handle it? You unsubscribe, flag them as a spammer and then delete it.  Well I do anyway!

If you want to be looked at as one of “those” companies that send out unsolicited information than by all means go ahead and buy the list but you should know that in most cases the consumer is irritated by receiving unsolicited information. As a matter of fact it is a huge waste of time and there is a very good chance that you will lose leads instead of gaining leads.

The right way

Does it take longer to build your email marketing list on your own? Yes of course it does but it really comes down to quality over quantity. What is the point of having a list with 5000 names and only 3 of them are interested in your business? List building can take a little while but it is well worth the effort. You will build a list of interested and engaged subscribers which means you have a much better chance of building a lasting relationship with customers that are interested in your products or services.

There are many ways to build a list and we have discussed some listed in our recent post ‘Using Incentives to Engage Subscribers‘ which are listed below:

  • Ebook
  • Videos
  • Discounts/Specials
  • Events
  • Membership
  • Book a free consultation

It may take you a little while longer to build an engaged list but your new customers and profit margin will appreciate the effort!