E-mail marketing is a popular way to market your business. However, some marketers have better results than others. Many of us are big fans of e-mail marketing; it’s an easy, cheap and effective way of keeping in touch with people and keeping them informed about your business, when they eventually need your services, you’ll be top of their list. If done right, an e-mail newsletter should provide value to the reader. This will ensure better open rates and click through rates. If done badly, you can lose readers, get lost in SPAM filters, or worse get reported to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission). Here are seven deadly sins to avoid when crafting your e-mail marketing plan.
A missing or non-descriptive subject line. Your subject line should give the reader a hint of what to expect. Whatever you do, mind the subject line not having one is a sure-fire ticket into most SPAM filters.
Using Outlook or a personal e-mail program to send mass messages. There are so many problems with doing this it’s almost too long to list. For one, many programs set limits on how many addresses you can send to; it’s not too bad for 10-12 people, but at 50 names and up you’re risking e-mails getting lost in transit. Additionally, most mail clients don’t make it easy to hide the e-mail addresses of recipients and readers may request OFF your list.
Having a FROM field that isn’t a real person. Readers want to open e-mails from people they know. Having a FROM field thats too spamy is another instant ticket for your newsletter to be marked as SPAM.
Stressing out about folks who unsubscribe. Don’t worry so much about it. Rule of thumb: if you get more than about 1% of your list taking themselves off after a series of mailings, it’s time to revamp the newsletter.
No call to action. Try not to make your newsletter too sales-y unless you are having a sale. The content in your newsletter should provide informative content about your industry and new services. Make sure to explain how they will benefit from them.
Making it a pain to get off the list. If someone wants off the list, let them off. There is nothing more frustrating than click through ten verification emails confirming you want off the list. You’ll make a lot more friends that way.
Buying a list, or adding emails that haven’t agreed to be on your list. It’s very tempting to send email blasts by purchasing a list or adding contacts you’ve made at networking meetings. But the reality is that doing things that way will upset more people than it’s worth; this will put you at risk for excessive SPAM reports. Instead make sure you have permission to add someone to your list.
There’s certainly more to e-mail marketing than the mistakes listed above, but avoiding these simple mistakes will at least start you on the right track.