Prospecting by email is challenging, and often unrewarding. People exchange 112.4 billion (yes, with a B) business emails every day – that’s 122 emails per person per day. So, it’s unsurprising how carefully you must approach email marketing.
Here are three mistakes you’re already making.
Your content is subpar
The subject line
Forty-seven percent of email recipients open an email based on the subject line, and sixty-nine percent report email as spam based on the subject line. The subject line is the gateway to an email, so if yours sucks, don’t bother emailing.
One of the most common mistakes is making them too long. Marketing experts say the optimal length of an email subject line is 41 characters (but fewer never hurts).
Incorrect grammar, punctuation, spelling, and typos make you look unprofessional and disorganized.
Avoid giant blocks of text, too; they’re overwhelming. Most readers scan for details, so use bold, italicized, or highlighted text, bullets, images, and whitespace to make critical points obvious – and be concise.
Only talking about you
Talk about them. Don’t tell them how great your product is, explain the rewards they’ll reap from using it. Always focus on solving their problems.
You know who uses attachments in emails? Spammers.
Salesy language makes you sound like a commercial; write your emails as if you’re friends with the recipient.
Also, use their language. Avoid acronyms, business jargon, and “$5” vocabulary. Ask, “What words would they put in a search engine to find my business?” Then use those words.
Without a call-to-action, you’re leaving it to chance that readers will figure out the action you want them to take. Decide why you’re writing the email, then craft it so readers are 100% sure what you want them to do, how to do it, and what’s in it for them.
You’re mishandling your email list
You rarely clean out your contacts
Most companies email the same people relentlessly, and many people stop opening the emails. Even if they’re subscribers (Why don’t they just unsubscribe? Laziness), this causes email providers to mark your emails as spam because of low open rates. It also kills open and clickthrough rates. Fix this by setting lists to exclude recipients who haven’t opened X number of emails.
Your list isn’t segmented
Rarely send the same emails to every customer. Instead, segment your list by dividing readers into smaller segments based on X criteria. The best way is segmenting based on behavior – how they interact with emails, which site pages they visit and how often, what they purchase, how much they spend, which content they download, etc.
Segmented lists allow you to send more relevant emails, which increases engagement, improves open and clickthrough rates, and lowers unsubscribe rates.
You’re sending to purchased email lists
As email automation has improved, businesses have increased their email campaigns. Unfortunately, so have spammers. Eighty-four percent of emails are spam.
Laws govern email marketing and using personal information for commercial purposes, including the CAN-SPAM Act (US), the CASL Laws (Canada), the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (UK), and the General Data Protection Regulation (EU). These laws make it risky to email anyone who hasn’t opted-in to your emails.
The spam folder: every email marketer’s worst nightmare. Nearly one in five emails gets caught by a spam filter, never to be seen again.
You’re probably not a Nigerian prince who can only access your inheritance in exchange for a small fee and a share in the inheritance – you’re a legit marketer who wants to help people with your products/services.
But spam filters don’t know that, so they check for red flags like:
- Trigger words
- Links to sketchy URLs (often indicated by shortened URLs)
- Image-only content
- Big fonts, flashy colors, lots of exclamation points, symbols, and ALL CAPS
- No unsubscribe button
- No physical address
- Misleading subject line (a form of clickbait)
- No plain text version
To help prevent sending spammy emails, test them first.
Bonus mistake: You’re not optimizing for mobile users
Statistics show that mobile is now the preferred platform for reading email – so are you designing your emails to be opened on mobile devices?
The easiest way is to use responsive design. Many email service providers and all marketing software platforms offer responsive design templates designed to detect and conform to the reader’s screen size automatically. (But test them anyway!)
Remember that statistic about 122 emails per person per day? That’s a lot of email to sort through and many chances to frustrate recipients. Luckily, as a marketer, you can send effective emails that stay out of spam folders and get opened and interacted with by avoiding the above mistakes. Need more guidance? Behind the Scene Execs is happy to do a Free Email Marketing Audit. Scheu