by Elna Cain Let’s face it, everyone’s inbox is full. In today’s culture where people are more likely to send off an email than the...
by Elna Cain
Let’s face it, everyone’s inbox is full.
In today’s culture where people are more likely to send off an email than they are to pick up the phone, businesses – and their email marketing strategies – are forced to compete with work emails, spam mail, and the occasional email from mom.
Current times suggest that it’s commonplace for people to delete emails without ever giving them a second thought.
And with the average person’s attention span now down to just 8 seconds, you need to make sure your emails aren’t banished to the trash or deleted.
With the overwhelming amount of competition polluting your audiences’ inboxes, don’t make it harder on yourself.
Steer clear of these seven email marketing mistakes so that they’re not only spared from the trash, but actually opened, read, and clicked on.
Email Marketing Mistake #1: Your Subject Line is Weak
You wouldn’t publish a blog post without a captivating title, so why are you sending your emails out with a dull subject line?
The subject line is the very first thing people see when they check their inboxes. If you can’t win them over with your lackluster subject line, what makes you think they’ll take the time to open your email?
Keep the subject brief and on point. Give away just enough to tease your readers with a taste of what’s inside. Be sure to make the subject line interesting and original.
For example, take a look at Mariah Coz’s – of Femtrepreneur – email subject line:
Makes you want to open it and learn what happened, right?
Finally, don’t resort to trickery. Clickbait is a cheap tactic to draw in readers and a surefire way to generate many unsubscribes.
Email Marketing Mistake #2: Your Content is Long-Winded
Social media has trained us to read and write in bite-sized chunks. We’ve been conditioned to believe that if you can’t get to the point in 140 characters or less, you’re in trouble.
Of course, that’s not to say your emails should be relegated to the length of a tweet, but you don’t want to waste people’s time, either.
No one wants to open up an email only to be bombarded with long blocks of text.
With so many distractions and interruptions plaguing the average reader, you need to get to the point ASAP. (This goes back to that 8-second attention span we talked about.)
Be clear with your message and succinct in delivering it. A good tactic is to use short paragraphs, bolded statements and bullet or numbered lists when you draft your email.
Incorporating video into your emails is also an effective and worthwhile tactic to try out.
Email Marketing Mistake #3: You Don’t Make It About Your Target Audience
Think of your business as a popular rock band and your target audience as your company’s devoted groupies. They’re the ones who will be reading, sharing, and commenting on your content, so it’s important, you keep your audience’s persona in mind when drafting your emails.
Consider the information your target audience would want to read about.
The last thing you want to do is misjudge your demographic. Not only will it make you look foolish, but you’ll undoubtedly lose subscribers as a result.
Take the time to understand your target audience’s needs and figure out what types of content they respond to best.
This is accomplished by creating a buyer persona and then creating content around this ideal customer.
Email Marketing Mistake #4: Your Design Template is Loud or Hard to Read
The material you’re putting out there may be clear, to the point, and a worthwhile read for your target audience, but it’ll all be for nothing if your design template is unappealing or incomprehensible.
Skip the loud templates – with crazy borders and designs – and opt for a design that is simple.
Keep it professional yet inviting with a polished and uniform color scheme and easy to read fonts.
You’ll notice many marketers today are avoiding any over-the-top designs and going for a more simple and plain look to their emails.
Check out what Copyblogger sends out to their subscribers:
You’ll get a higher open rate when your emails look like something your audience would get from a friend.
With about 50% of email being opened on a mobile device, you’ll also want to ensure that you pick a responsive design that’s compatible with all mobile devices.
Also, be consistent with your vital information. Keep your company contact info, mission statement, and social media handles in the same place on all of your emails. This way, your customers will always know where to look if they want to get in touch.
Email Marketing Mistake #5: Your Tone is Too Robotic
You are not a robot. Your readers are not robots. So, don’t sound like a robot in your emails.
Impassive or generic emails that show little to no emotion are sure to be deleted. Incorporate a personal touch that shows you can connect with your audience on a more intimate level.
Don’t fall into the self-indulgent trap, either.
Exploiting your email subscribers to promote your company’s own personal endeavors and accomplishments is more than just frowned upon, it’s a great way to lose subscribers.
Your readers don’t have time to listen to your accolades; they just want to know what you can do for them.
Email Marketing Mistake #6: Your Emails Come from a Generic Address
How do you feel when you receive a note or letter from “The Team at [Insert Company Name Here]?” It feels detached and impersonal, doesn’t it? Well, guess what? Your subscribers feel the same way about the generic address you’re using to send out your emails.
If you’re the one sending out the email on behalf of the company, use your actual name in the from address field.
For example, Contena is a freelance writing job board, but emails from them come from Kevin, the owner.
Your readers want to feel special. Create the illusion of intimacy by making them think you took time out of your day to connect with them.
Email Marketing Mistake #7: You Don’t Have a Call to Action
This one’s a head scratcher.
If the point of having an email marketing strategy is to reach your target audience and convert subscribers into customers, then why wouldn’t you include a call to action?
Convey a sense of urgency to encourage your subscribers to take action right away. Lead them to believe that if they don’t act now, they’ll be missing out on something huge.
Draw people to your website with a call to action that links to your most valuable web pages and gives your readers an opportunity to engage with your long form content.
It’s also a good idea to reward your reader. If they’ve taken the time to open your email and check out what’s inside, consider rewarding them with some beneficial advice or a dose of inspiration.
Wrapping It Up
Don’t take your email subscribers for granted. After all, with one click of the mouse your email can find itself permanently living in the trash amongst all the spam mail.
You may have a hefty subscriber list, but don’t become complacent or lazy with your efforts.
Know that your subscribers will expect you to prove yourself to them with every email you send out.
So, what do you say? Are you up for the challenge?