What are the biggest email marketing pitfalls to avoid?

Experienced executives and experts share their advice and fixes for your challenges in business.

No one wants an email they just spent precious time perfecting to end up in a recipient’s digital trashcan. Eight in 10 people say the marketing emails they receive go mainly to their primary personal email account, displayed alongside their personal emails, according to a 2012 Blue Kangaroo Survey on Marketing Emails. With the opportunity to reach so many potential customers, what are the biggest email marketing pitfalls to avoid? We asked three local experts for their advice.

Bo White, CEO, Click Here Publishing

Not understanding the audience you are attempting to communicate with, and not having a clear and properly structured message, are two of the biggest pitfalls to avoid when considering an email marketing campaign. It’s critical that you first identify the audience that you are targeting, and then tailor your message to encourage your recipients to take the action you desire. If the email is a simple announcement, it’s usually best to keep it short and succinct. If you are advertising a product or service, include a clear, bold “call to action” telling the recipient what you want them to do.

However, the biggest mistake—and often the most commonly overlooked—is not accounting for the destination website to which your email recipients are often directed. The appearance and messaging of that “landing page” is equally as important as the email itself. The landing page is often where the desired “conversion” occurs. Simply put, a conversion is the outcome you were seeking. That outcome could be a product purchased, a form completed, a video watched, or a phone call made.

Jared Broussard, Founder and CEO, BlinkJar Media

Email marketing is still an essential ingredient in a successful marketing plan. Since we live in an over-communicated world, emails are often ignored and deleted by recipients. Because consumers today have far greater control over if and when they read emails, marketers must adapt their email strategy to remain worthy in the world of the crowded inbox. Smart marketers avoid these five pitfalls of email marketing:

Spam: Do not buy your email subscribers. Only send email to people who have given you permission. It is better to grow your email database through your content marketing efforts.

All caps subject line: Great subject lines prompt the recipient to open the email and take action. “Yelling” at prospects will likely cause the recipient to delete the email instantly.

Failure to segment your list: Segment your email list based on the interest of the recipient. The more segmented the list, the higher the open and click-through rate.

Robotic writing: Marketers are people selling to other people. Your email copy should sound like an actual human is writing it.

Too long: Less is more. Keep emails short and sweet so the reader may encounter the offer before they become bored and delete the email.

 Craig Chumney, Vice president, Franklin Data Empowered Direct Mail

One of the biggest misconceptions is that we assume because we’re on email all day long (from our smartphones, tablets, desktops and laptops), this makes us skilled email marketers. But just because you live and breathe email, does this mean you’re being strategic about what you’re sending to your customers and prospects? Here are some common pitfalls.

Not understanding your recipients: One of the biggest email marketing mistakes you can make is not having a solid grasp of who your recipients are. That offer designed for your female audience sounds great, but not in your male audience’s inbox.

Spelling and grammatical errors: When it comes to email marketing, nothing is more embarrassing than sending out an email campaign to hundreds of recipients, only to find that you misspelled a word.

Forgetting to optimize your email for mobile devices: With so many people connected to their emails via their mobile device, how could you forget to optimize it for their on-the-go inbox, too?

Including spam triggers: Don’t use any spam-related words or phrases: free, insurance, act now, limited time and open immediately. Spam filters will catch these words and straight to the trash your email will go.

Source:  Greater Baton Rouge Business Report

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