Email marketing remains one of the strongest ways to engage your audience and grow your business.
With over 4.03 billion users of email, email marketing boasts an average $36 ROI for every $1 spent. That is if you’re doing it correctly!
But things don’t always go to plan. Mistakes at any stage of your email marketing campaigns will fail to hit the mark. Worse still, getting your email marketing wrong could result in people unsubscribing from your mailing lists altogether.
So how do you turn readers of your emails into loyal customers? Avoiding these top email marketing mistakes is a great place to start.
The 7 Most Common Reasons Why People Unsubscribe From Email Lists
Let’s look at the consequences of getting your email marketing wrong. This will help us best explain why avoiding common email marketing mistakes matters.
The top reasons why someone unsubscribes from an email marketing list include:
They didn’t sign up for your email marketing list
You are sending too many emails too often
The email doesn’t display properly
Users are being sent irrelevant content
Every email is a sales email
The content of your emails is boring or repetitive
Emails don’t have a professional appearance
Now we know why people unsubscribe, what are the top email marketing mistakes that lead to such poor outcomes for businesses?
Let's dive in.
You’re Not Using An Email Marketing Platform
Sure, you could open up Gmail, Outlook or any other generic email provider to send an email marketing campaign.
But what happens when you hit your sender limit? Or when you want to design beautiful email templates? Or even, when you want to track the progress of your email marketing campaigns in real-time?
Unlike free email providers, an email marketing platform such as EcoSend is geared toward business use. As well as providing a wide range of tools to help you send smarter, more intuitive campaigns, your email marketing will feel far more on brand.
Plus in the age of data protection, a purpose-built email marketing tool will keep your user data safe too. Whatever the hesitation for not using an email marketing platform up to now, if you want to scale your business, it remains an essential step.
Poor Subject Lines
The strength of a subject line is make or break when it comes to the choice to open, ignore or trash an email.
When you send an email, the ironic thing is that your recipients don’t see the contents of what you've written or designed first. Instead, the subject line is the first thing to greet them.
The problem is subject lines are often an afterthought. When those few precious words lack creativity or strategy, your subscribers will be the first to notice.
Amazing subject lines can be achieved through A/B testing, personalisation wherever possible and the use of preheader text.
Avoid spam traps or excessively long subject lines. Specifically, keeping subject lines between 30 to 50 characters generates 75% higher click-through rates, according to Mailchimp.
Clearing out your email inbox can sometimes be a bit of a chore. So when a company sends an excessive amount of emails (especially in a short space of time), it’s a race to delete these as fast as possible. Over-communicating is the name of the game, and it’s certainly a risky one to play.
So why is over-communicating a mistake? Our research has found that the more you communicate with customers, particularly in fast succession, the lower engagement will be.
A study by Return Path also found that sending a maximum of 5 emails per week is generally tolerated by users. Exceeding this figure results in complaints raising substantially.
Quite simply, when you send too many emails, the very presence of your name in your subscriber's inboxes feel annoying, if not intrusive. It's a sharp contrast to the intriguing content your subscribers thought they’d be getting instead.
Avoiding this classic email marketing mistake is simple. Opt for quality over quantity, and take notice if your unsubscribe rate suddenly increases due to sending too many messages.
Once again, an email marketing platform can help you strike just the right balance where your email send rate is concerned. At the very least, know when to keep shtum.
Building Contact Lists With Email Scraper Tools
Granted, it’s not easy to build an email contact list, especially when you’re just starting out. But, caution should be applied when using techniques that may appear suspicious or downright creepy to your audience.
Email scraper tools are top of the list because your email subscribers haven’t given you their direct permission to be contacted.
While Email scrapers (also known as email extractor tools) aren’t illegal if the email addresses are publicly listed, questions over the ethics of such methods have been raised.
Look at it from your recipient’s perspective. They are getting emails from a random account they have never heard of before.
Usually, such emails are also sent en masse and feel impersonal as well as intrusive.
When it comes to building loyal subscribers, email scraping tools may gather that initial data, but they are unlikely to generate the results you were hoping for.
A Lack Of Content Curation
Emails should never feel like a desperate attempt to stay in touch with your subscribers at all costs.
But if the content hasn’t been thought through, and doesn’t offer any relevance to your subscribers, this is exactly how an email campaign can come across.
Remember that in today’s world, digital communication is coming in thick and fast from all angles. With so much noise, you have to think creatively to stand out from the crowd.
Most of all, with email marketing, your subscribers want content that’s relevant to them. So don't send that email 'just because' you feel you have to, if it's not going to offer any real substance to your users.
Instead, it's far better to wait until you have something valid to say.
Or, give your strategy a refresh so that it offers something new and intuitive, especially if you are sending the same types of emails on repeat and they just aren't getting any traction.
Sending Emails From ‘Do Not Reply’ Accounts
Imagine sending an email so inspiring, that people want to talk to you about it. Or maybe, they need more information.
Whatever it is they want to say, it’s a little difficult when the email has been sent from a ‘do not reply’ account, because their message will instantly bounce.
Considering email as a one-sided form of communication is a huge fail for any business. The more obstacles you put in the way of opening up the dialogue, the more difficult it is for your customers to build a meaningful relationship with you.
Sure, replying to emails might take a lot of work. But if your inbox is buzzing with genuine customer queries, feedback or even business proposals, then it’s far better to expand your team if you don't have time to reply, rather than block off all communication entirely.
The latter will cost your business in the long run, especially if you want to maximise revenue on email campaigns.
No Audience Segmentation
Imagine sending the same private message to your best friend, grandmother and boss. Instantly, this is difficult to fathom, because you know each of these people needs to be communicated to in different ways.
Your audience is much the same, making the next email marketing mistake being forgetting to segment your audience.
When an audience is segmented, the right message can be sent to the right person at the right time. This helps to ensure the messaging will be on point, which is far more likely to lead to higher open rates, engagement and ultimately conversions. That's because you know exactly who you are speaking to, along with how to best communicate with that person.
Research has shown audience segmentation can boost open rates by 14.3% while boosting clicks by a whopping 101%.
The need for audience segmentation is yet another reason why using a professional email marketing platform is key. Not only do such tools perform the segmentation on your behalf, but they also help you monitor the responses of your campaigns.
Not Using A Well Designed Email Template
Humans are visual creatures. So just like other forms of marketing or advertising, your email designs should feel on-brand and mindful of your target customers.
While emails should remain at optimum file size, by the same token they should seek to inspire and engage. Otherwise, there's nothing that sets them apart from the competition.
Top tip: Ensure your email template design is responsive so that it looks just as snazzy on mobile devices as it does on desktop. You can do this for free using the EcoSend free email builder.
Lacking Attention To Detail
Sure, you may be on a tight deadline. But failing to double check your copy for errors means having to send that dreaded ‘oops!’ follow up email.
Put yourself in the shoes of your subscribers. They check their emails. They see the correctional email first, followed by the first email you sent. It appears sloppy, if not confusing.
We’re all human and mistakes happen. But prioritising quality over quantity can never be underestimated. If error emails become a regular occurrence, expect your unsubscribe rate to soar, because honestly, this is not what people signed up for.
So take the time to read your copy before it gets sent out. Get your team to vet it if needs be. Take pride in your email marketing campaigns, and the rest will fall into place.
Not Giving The Option To Unsubscribe
Nobody likes to say goodbye. But users must always have an option to unsubscribe from your email marketing. Furthermore, giving the right to unsubscribe from marketing or advertising is also the law.
For businesses, the thought of someone actually going ahead and clicking unsubscribe can be terrifying. That’s all the more reason to understand why people unsubscribe in the first place, to reduce the chances of users removing themselves from your subscriber list.
If someone does unsubscribe, then all is not lost if you find out why. Adding an option for users to leave a comment about why they unsubscribed may be painful to read, but will help you learn and build a stronger offering going forward.
If you don’t ask, you’ll never know which is a wasted opportunity for your business. So play by the rules and embrace any feedback to use it to your advantage.
Failing To Track Email Marketing Campaigns
Imagine putting all that effort into your email marketing campaigns, without being able to quantify your success or failures properly. If you don’t know what’s working for you and what’s not, how can you move forward with your business? You can’t!
Once again, the ability to track email marketing campaigns comes down to having the right tools to hand. For example, with EcoSend you can see basic information about your subscribers such as their name, bio, social profiles, country, engagement rate and even the level of subscription they hold with your business.
Going deeper into the campaign tracking, you can view your latest signups, highest paying customers, latest cancellations, those at risk of churn and so much more.
For every single email marketing campaign you create, the ability to gain such insightful feedback really matters. Use this information to create tailored campaigns, and track your campaign spending more wisely. Plus, to best understand your customer’s wants and needs as a whole.
Top Tips For Email Marketing Success
Treat your subscribers like finely woven silk. No really, look after that subscriber list! Grow it, but listen to the feedback. If the send rate is too intense, or the content isn’t producing a good open rate, you need to switch things up.
Don’t take your subscribers for granted, thinking they will remain subscribed come what may. Instead, make your emails something they genuinely look forward to receiving.
If in doubt, look at the email lists you are subscribed to, especially the ones you’ve been loyal to for a long time. What keeps you opening those emails and engaging with that brand?
Harness this same energy to create campaigns that take every opportunity to deliver a healthy return on investment by putting your subscribers first.
Email Marketing FAQs
Unsure about any aspect of email marketing? We want you to achieve maximum success with your email marketing campaigns.
Here are some of the top questions the internet wants to know about email marketing. If you don’t see your query, or want some tailored advice based on your business model, skip ahead to the end of this post to speak to one of our team.
What Is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is the art of promoting your products and services. For the best success, email marketing is usually facilitated through an email marketing tool such as EcoSend. That’s because the sheer range of features provided helps you to send intelligent email marketing campaigns to the right people at the right time. When done well, email marketing can generate an incredible return on investment.
How Can Email Marketing Fuel Your Overall Inbound Strategy?
Email marketing is one of the best ways to turn strangers into both promoters and customers of your business. Email marketing itself isn’t strictly a form of inbound marketing, unlike blog posts, infographics, podcasts and video marketing. However, as many inbound marketing assets can be promoted through the use of email marketing, it can then benefit your inbound strategy as a whole.
How To Get Email Lists For Marketing
We always advocate honest practices when gathering subscribers for your email marketing lists. Be sure to encourage signups on your website or through social media. Users should consent to receive your emails to remain compliant with data laws. Plus, when your email lands in their inbox and they are expecting it, users are far more likely to open and engage with that email, rather than mark it as spam.
When Is The Best Time To Send Email Marketing
Every sender is going to have a different answer to this question, as it depends on when your audience engagement figures are highest. Using an email marketing tool such as EcoSend will help you to determine the optimum send time to maximise open rates and conversions.
What Is A Good Open Rate For Email Marketing?
It is generally considered a good email open rate is anywhere between 17% and 28%. However, we think it’s also important to consider your industry as a whole. Plus, how long you have been working on your email marketing, and whether you’ve seen a steady increase over time. If you want to boost your open rate, then EcoSend is one such tool to try.
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