If you plan to be an email marketer, you know that there are several practices that you should remember in order to have a successful email marketing campaign. But did you know that there are also several practices that you should avoid at all costs? Below are some of the best examples of email marketing practices that you have to stop doing:
Buying email lists
You can’t start an email marketing campaign if you do not have people to email to. And if you are fairly new in the game and want to catch up with the competition, you’ll want those emails now. It’s no wonder why the prospect of buying an email list can be highly tempting. List providing companies may be lining up at your doorstep, but you have a good reason not to answer. Purchased email lists are disasters waiting to happen.
There is a host of reasons that make email lists bad for you. Those people on your purchased list don’t know you or your business. They did not want to be part of your email campaign, to begin with. You can get blacklisted, you’ll lose access to or receive a penalty from your marketing platform, it can destroy your image, and many other bad things that can spell disaster for your email marketing campaign and your business.
Poorly-written subject lines
Email subject lines are extremely important, especially when you are trying to sell your business through email marketing. Statistics on email subject lines states that about 35% of recipients open their emails based on subject lines. Safe to say, they’re a tough crowd to please.
To make sure that your email subject lines stand a chance against the odds, stick to the best-written rules of writing effective subject lines. Keep your subject lines below 60 characters. On top of that, it not only has to be short but also interesting enough to catch much-wanted attention.
This is fairly obvious for anyone who has common sense. The consequences of sending unprofessional emails can be severe. It may involve the possibility of your subscribers hating you. Unprofessional emails are not only annoying but also show a lack of respect towards the recipients. Here are a few examples of practices that may make your emails utterly unprofessional:
- Typing in ALL CAPS
- Labeling non-urgent messages as urgent
- Being overly casual
- Sending emails at odd hours (more on this later)
- Vague or no subject line
- Typographical errors
- Unprofessional fonts
- Too-long emails
Every good email marketer knows that there are optimal hours for sending emails. Sending them in the dead of night, just as your subscribers are about to doze off, or while they are fast asleep is not a good time.
If you were wondering, the best days to email are between Tuesdays to Thursdays. Avoid adding to your subscribers’ Monday blues and getting lost and forgotten in their Friday rush. The middle of the week is the time when everybody is settled into their schedules and receptive to marketing emails. Try to squeeze in within optimal hours such as the start of the day, late mornings, and mid-afternoon and early evenings as much as you can as these are the times when people are most likely to check their emails for updates.
While you might think that you are strong and clever enough to do it all, there is so much more than you can actually achieve through email automation. Welcome messages, list updates, prompt responses—these are only a few of the things that email automation can do for you. Email automation is not a sign of weakness; it is a sign of wanting to focus on doing greater things.
You can leave the small stuff behind, knowing that it is handled through automation, and you can focus on the big stuff, such as content and strategy. The end result of moving towards automation is better content that your audience will appreciate more, compared to a half-and-half output that is the result of trying to do everything on your own.
Ignoring mobile optimization
More than 70% of people check emails on the phone. So, why would you not optimize your email marketing campaign for mobile users? Checking emails on the phone is so much more accessible nowadays. Gone are the days when you still needed to open your laptop and wait for it to start up just to see if you had any messages. All you have to do is swipe your phone at the sound of an email notification, and you’re already there.
How would you know which email marketing strategy works and which does not? If you don’t pay attention to your analytics, you play the chance of sending the wrong types of marketing campaigns that do nothing to help your business. Worse, you might be sending emails that are causing your list to unsubscribe and diminish. Analytics are there for a good reason, and there is also some good reason why some companies pay more for in-depth analytics. Take advantage of the free analytics your email service providers come with, and be willing to pay up if you think you need more.
“Hey, you!” “To whom it may concern,” “dear ma’am/sir”—don’t these all sound too unappealing? If you were the recipient of such messages, would you feel acknowledged? Personalizing your emails is a simple but powerful way to get your audience engaged in an email marketing campaign. Although you are sending out the same message across the board, it should not feel that way to whoever is reading it.
Lack of segmentation
Since we’ve mentioned sending out the same message, you need to be careful not to do so if you are catering to a market with vast demographics. Remember that something that appeals to young and hip professionals who are just starting out their careers might not have the same effect for seasoned executives who have had many years of professional experience. The same principle applies when considering gender-appropriate email marketing campaigns.
How much email is too much? The answer is that it depends. It depends on many factors. One factor is your product. Selling winter clothes? Send more during colder seasons and less during Summer. Another factor is your competitors’ activity. How much are they sending in relation to their business and email list size? Is it producing positive results? Finally, trace back to your analytics. Take note of the right volume of emails that are getting you more engagement.