The five biggest blunders in email marketing

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18, March 2016

Email marketing is one of the most effective types of marketing. Email can be up to six times more effective than social media, so marketers focused on results would do well to integrate this particular channel into their marketing mix. If they are going to do it, though, they had better do it right. No matter how many opportunities email marketing can offer, there are just as many opportunities to use this medium in completely the wrong way.

So beware the blunders in email marketing, starting with the five listed below.

1. Contacting people without their permission

Sending emails to people who haven’t signed up for them is probably the biggest blunder you can make when it comes to email marketing. It’s illegal, and you might end up paying hefty fines. More importantly, though, it’s a sure-fire way to destroy your email reputation in the blink of an eye.

Receiving unsolicited emails is a big annoyance for recipients, who may easily respond by clicking the spam button. And who can blame them? Emailing people without their permission is the reason the spam button was invented in the first place.

So make sure to send emails only to people who specifically opted in for emails, or to existing customers.

2. Sending emails from a no-reply address

Email marketers using a no-reply address as missing a major opportunity: that of interaction with their recipients. Even though an email itself may be full of CTAs, if you send it through a no-reply address you’re sending your customer a pretty clear signal that you’re not interested in a response.

And that’s a shame, especially if you consider that ending up in your recipients’ address book is one of the best ways to guarantee your emails will reach their inbox. But why would anyone want to if they’re not allowed to email you anyway?

3. Hiding the ‘unsubscribe’ link

Email marketers want to reach as many people as possible, which is why it’s disappointing to see people unsubscribe. However, that doesn’t mean hiding the link people can use to unsubscribe from your emails is a good idea. Think about it: what will people do if they don’t want your emails, but they can’t find a way to opt out?

Exactly, they just hit the spam button instead.

If that ends up happening a lot, it’s only a matter of time before your emails end up in all of your recipients’ spam folders, even for the people who actually want to read your emails. That’s why you should always include an obvious ‘unsubscribe’ link in your emails. It’s better to have a small mailing list of people who want to receive your emails than a large list of people who simply mark them as spam.

4. Not looking at analytics

What do you do once an email has been sent? Not keeping track of your email statistics is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. Even though opt-outs are probably processed automatically, it is important to keep track of your emails’ bounce rates and to pay attention to inactivity on the part of your recipients. These are all things that can harm your deliverability if the percentages grow too high.

Moreover, analytics will provide you with valuable information about your emails that you can use to optimize them. Which CTA works better than others? What kind of content are your recipients interested in? What is the best time to send your emails? You will not be able to gather this information until you start keeping track of your email statistics.

5. Ignoring mobile devices

More than half of all emails are opened on a mobile device, according to statistics published by Litmus. In other words, not optimizing your emails for mobile devices is a luxury you can’t afford.

Be sure to apply responsive design in your email templates, and don’t forget to make your landing pages suitable for visitors using mobile devices. Also keep in mind that people reading your emails on a mobile device usually don’t have a lot of time to do so. Make sure your content can be scanned, and get to the point.

Everybody makes mistakes

There are plenty of examples of email marketing blunders, and the ones mentioned above merely scratch the surface. With every email you send, you should ask yourself: is this relevant for the recipient? Everybody makes mistakes every now and then, but as long as you can answer ‘yes’ to that question, it’s hard to make a big mistake.

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Email marketing

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