Hey guys, you’ve been hearing a lot from us about that right way to send emails (check out our other articles here!) but today we’re going to be looking at the other side of this: 5 email mistakes to avoid in your marketing campaign.
I see so many well intentioned emails get ruined by these (sometimes small!) mistakes, and it’s a real shame. Your email is your direct line to your customers. If you strike the right tone, and get them at the right time, you will drive sales and engagement to your product/brand. Let’s jump right in with 5 email mistakes to avoid in your marketing campaign.
Email Mistake #1: Your emails are multiple paragraphs long, with a million links in them.
This is a common one I see way too often. You are new to reaching out to your audience over email, and it can be tempting to overshare and over-inform. The attention span of most people won’t be able to keep up with you, and your CTRs (click through rates) will plummet.
Another common email mistake is that the ‘cram everything in’ mindset makes you more likely to add a bunch of CTAs (calls to action, or links) all throughout the email. Now, if you’re an eCommerce business, this email mistake might not apply to you. There are cases where you want your customer to shop your email, and follow the link to the product they want.
If you’re just reaching out, try to keep the email short and to the point, and try to keep the CTA’s to no more than 3 links. If you want to learn more about the perfect way to structure an email, I recommend this article on Hubspot where they talk about the AIDA Model. It’s a tool every email marketer should have in their belt.
Mistake #2. Subject lines and preview text are KEY
The subject line and preview text are arguably one of the most important elements of emails, and they’re often the most overlooked and misused (Spoiler Alert: These are key to opens and without opens, you cannot get clicks…you see my point). I actually go into detail on this one in my recent post: 5 Ways to Easily Personalize Your Emails. If you want to learn more go check it out!
I recommend that you add a first name to the subject line.
47% of email recipients open email based on the subject line. On the other hand, 69% of email recipients report email as spam based solely on the subject line. (Source)
As humans, we are conditioned to open when something is addressed to us out of sheer curiosity. Adding a first name not only makes the email feel personal, but also human.
Here are some examples of personal email subject lines:
- Hey [First Name,] we picked these for you!
- Only the best for you, [First Name]
- We’d love your feedback, [First Name]
- See something you liked, [First Name]?
The preview text is another important part of the email. This is the bit of text that displays after the subject line in some email clients. Try adding some personalization to the preview text as well for best results.
When composing emails, keep the preview text in mind! It might be the reason someone opens – or ignores – your email.
Mistake #3. Forgetting about mobile users & not optimizing across devices
Since we compose most of our marketing emails at the computer, it can be easy to forget about mobile users. However:
According to a study done by 99 Firms, 85% of users use smartphones to access email.
It’s important to consider how your email will look across multiple platforms, and devices. Most marketing softwares will have a tool for previewing emails on desktop and mobile, so make sure you’re utilizing these!
When using a design tool to compose emails, it’s important to make sure you’re not going heavy on images. These might not render properly cross-platform, and your mobile users might think your email is unprofessional or spammy.
Bonus Tip: Don’t send emails at the wrong time. Track your open rates and CTRs, perform tests, and track results so that you’re reaching your potential buyers at the most optimal time.
Learn more about statistical significance, check out our article Statistical Significance is Your Ticket to Confidence.
Mistake #4. Forgetting about personalization
Personalization is one of the most important features of successful email campaigns! But you also have to be careful with it. So here’s the 101:
Adding personalized elements is really important. If you are an eCommerce company, using the “Products Recommended for You” can give you a conversion lift of about 105% – WOW! If you are a B2B company, adding in personalization tokens like Company Name and Job Title can often help show empathy in email communications (and this goes for both marketing and sales emails.)
Other easy ways to personalize:
- Collect the right data and utilize integration feedback – If you know what webpage a customer recently went to, you can serve them up a personalized email with a CTA to download an eBook / guide based on that page so they can engage with your product and learn more.
- Develop a welcome signup form – and ask questions that store more data on what the customer likes and doesn’t like! This is also a great place to get their birthday (for that birthday discount!) and their email preferences: how often they want to hear from you.
Here is an example of a great signup form that captures the right info:
- Use location or past purchases to personalize their email experience – this can consist of changing out hero images to be more relevant. The hero image is the oversized banner image at the top of a website or in this case, an email. This is also a great place to do some A/B testing. See which one of your email heroes get more opens/ clicks!
Here’s an example:
This email hero from Nike has two different hero images. While the entire email is the same, the hero images are two different images that may resonate more with their targeted demographics. (Look closely. The first one features a black man running, and the second a white woman doing some mountain climbing yoga.)
If your customers can see themselves in your email, they will believe that it is personal to them, and feel a stronger connection to you!
Mistake #5: Forgetting to QA
Oh man! Pressing the email send button is a HUGE responsibility (believe me, we all understand here at Email Growth Society. We do this for tons of clients – it’s scary)! Having a strong quality assurance (QA) system in place is a non-negotiable if you are willing to take on this great responsibility.
It’s simple: if your emails are full of typos, low-quality images, and incorrect links, your potential customers are not going to take you seriously. This will have a negative impact both on your seller reputation and, ultimately, your business and revenue. This is where QA steps in by making sure your emails are well-written, impactful, and reassuring to your audience.
So, here are some items to add to your QA checklist:
- Send previews to yourself and then to a seed list for copy & link checks – and send them again until the email is final!
- Use a tool like Litmus to check your email across multiple devices and ESPs
- Checking formatting on mobile – and double check your mobile code on pre-made templates in your email marketing tool
- Before deployment, double check your send to list and your suppression files
We have a whole QA checklist that we created to help avoid these and other common email mistakes. Click on the link below to check it out, and as always, feel free to reach out to me with any questions about email marketing or crafting your campaign. Happy emailing!