With the vast majority of businesses maintaining an email newsletter strategy, email marketing remains enormously popular. It is cheap and fairly uncomplicated, and it presents an exceptionally high return on investment compared to almost every other area of digital marketing. However, given that some 100 billion business emails (many of them spam) are sent out every day, it is not always easy to stand out. If your email marketing strategy is failing to deliver the results you expect, consider the following mistakes that could be holding you back:
1 – Not Seeking Permission
Sending unsolicited promotional emails is the quickest way to get you labelled as a spammer, and it is also breaking the law. Even if you purchase a mailing list from a supposedly reputable company, you won’t be getting much in the way of quality, relevant contacts. Building up a quality, opt-in mailing list takes time, but it is also extremely valuable. Ensure that you have explicit permission from all recipients.
2 – Not Providing an Unsubscribe Link
The law demands that you include an unsubscribe link in all promotional emails, and you should never try to obscure it in any way. Additionally, the law also requires that you include your business’s address in any business emails. As far as recipients are concerned, a clear and easy option to unsubscribe helps to instil a sense of trust, provided that the link works correctly.
3 – Not Writing an Engaging Subject Line
The subject line is always the first thing that people will see when your newsletters arrive in recipients’ inboxes, and given that the average inbox is rather crowded, it is essential to craft an engaging but accurate and relevant subject line that encourages people to take a further look. If your subject line is not exceptional, the vast majority of recipients will either ignore the email, bin it or even label it as spam.
4 – Not Using a Mobile-Friendly Design
More and more people are checking their emails from their smartphones or tablet computers, and the number of mobile-only Internet users is also growing rapidly. If your emails newsletters don’t feature a mobile-friendly design, you’ll end up with a far higher bounce rate. Always use a responsive design, ensuring that the most important information is close to the top of the email.
5 – Not Providing Sharing and Forwarding Options
As far as marketing is concerned, email and social media should work closely together. You can help to facilitate sharing by integrating social media buttons in your email newsletters so that people can easily share content that they like on Facebook and other networks. It is also important to track sharing and forwarding rates by providing specific buttons for these functions in your emails.
6 – Not Providing a Call to Action
A promotional email needs to be actionable, and this means that it should feature a clear call to action that guides interested readers towards the next step. Whatever the goal of a particular email newsletter is, it is important that this call to action is close to the top of the page. If recipients have to scroll down to find it, your click-through rate will likely plummet.
7 – Providing Promotional Content Only
Email newsletters should be seen as a content marketing format in that they should not always be purely promotional. After all, consumers are surrounded by advertising everywhere they look, whether in the real world or in the digital one. Your email newsletters should focus on providing genuinely interesting content to such an extent that your recipients will actually want to hear from you.
8 – Not Testing before Sending
Before you send out your email newsletters, be sure to test them by sending them to yourself and your colleagues. Make certain that they look the part on any screen size and in any email client. After all, the number of different ways in which people access the Internet and check their email is greater than ever before, and you need to be sure that everyone can receive your message.
On a final note, be sure to plan your email marketing strategy carefully, and start tracking your performance from the very beginning. Among the most important metrics to watch are the growth of your mailing list, the deliverability of your newsletters, open rates, click-through rates and conversion rates. Fortunately, most email marketing service providers offer useful tools to help make sense of the data.