Four Worst Email Marketing Errors


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At least once a week, someone writes to ask me why their email list is dwindling in readership and subscription rates are dropping.  Almost without exception, the answer can be narrowed down into one of four mistakes.  Although it seems to be in fashion to let the instant connection of social media bleed over into email marketing efforts, this mentality poses the problem of overexposure and violation of spamming laws. 

In both instances, avoiding these email marketing blunders can help reach customers and avoid losing potential sales:

1.  Customer Centric Information:  The most common unfounded belief is that customers are waiting to receive an email about what YOU are doing.  So many times, business owners focus their newsletters and emails around promotions and marketing of events.  In truth, giving readers information to help them solve a problem or answer a question makes you an expert in the mind of your customer.

2.  Permission is Precious:  The worst offense any business owner can make when using their email list is forgetting that email is not the same as social media, even if that is how you gained permission to use someone email for contact.   If you want to keep your email marketing list strong, then ask yourself these important questions before you hit the send button—

  • Does it serve a purpose for my customer or is it just marketing for my business?
  • If I had to call my customer on the phone instead of send an email, would this message be adequate reason?
  • Would I be annoyed, as a customer or business owner, to receive the same email in my inbox? 
  • Would I stop to read it and start to anticipate the next email?

If the answer to any of these questions is a resounding NO, then take a few minutes to consider how to correct the problem before sending the email.  By remembering that every person on your email list can remove their name by simply clicking a button or report you to your email provider for spamming, the goal of providing quality email marketing messages mixed with strong informational content will keep your readers both interested and involved.

3.  Time is of the Essence:  Many business owners’ loose subscribers merely due to the amount of email they send to their list.  Sending email two or more times a week can lead to overexposure and be a huge reason that email recipient lists drop in numbers.  Instead of sending several emails a week, it is better to schedule your emails on the same day of the week and set a time for delivery.  For example, print out a calendar and mark all important marketing events.  Then, back up several weeks and plan to send email blasts on consecutive Tuesdays very early in the morning.   By sending on the same day every week or month, you teach your customers to anticipate your email connection instead of resent it.

Note:  Studies show that email promotions sent out early Tuesday morning achieve better results because Tuesday is a breather day in the work / activity schedule for most people and early morning puts your emails at the top of the inbox.

4.  Your Partner, Your Problem:  Partnerships have become very common place between small businesses.  Although cross promotion can be very valuable in reaching out to new potential clients, it is vital that the “special offers” be more valuable to an email list than to the business owner.   By sharing partners with your email list, you endorse the services or goods of your partner to people who trust you.  If you send them an offer that is not specific to their needs or solves a problem they encounter, then they will click the unsubscribe button.

Although many business owners slip into the mentality that the loss of subscribers is acceptable because they are not interested enough to purchase, this is a waste of marketing dollars and can cost the restriction, or possible loss, of an email marketing database.

Plus, without argument, eliminating these four errors from your email marketing will help you achieve your real goal in engaging in email marketing:  increased customer loyalty and higher sales conversions.

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About marketinggoddess

I live to market...its really that easy. Making the magic of that "Ah ha" moment happen for each business that I work with...second best th

Posted on November 7, 2009, in Branding, Business, Copywriting, eMarketing, Traditional Marketing, Viral Marketing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Diana, very helpful and accurate. I can’t tell you how inundated my email box is from speakers selling their upcoming events. While some of the information is helpful, the communication is too frequent.

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