Email marketing has the potential for amazing profits. It keeps your audience engaged, warms up potential customers, and lands sales. But there are also a lot of email marketing mistakes that could make all of your efforts in vain.
Deceptive subject lines, poor data analysis, and too much sales-talk are just a few of the big errors you might me making. Let’s look at those and more to help you build the best email marketing campaigns possible.
6 Common Problems With Email Marketing
#1 Bad Subject Lines
Subject lines are a very tight rope to walk.
On the one hand, you want to encourage readers to actually open the email. What good is an email marketing campaign, after all, if no one even looks at the message?
On the other hand, you want readers to stick around long enough to actually absorb the message. If they open the email, only to immediately close it, you aren’t really marketing anything.
Open rates can become a vanity metric. A 90% open rate is nothing to celebrate if your conversions are practically zero.
Keep the following in mind as you craft subject lines:
- Test! Test! Test! What you think will work versus what will actually work can be surprising. Always be iterating and monitoring how your audience responds.
- Don’t be deceptive. If you fool people into opening the email, a lot can go wrong. They might immediately realize the trick and send you to the spam folder. Or they could just get annoyed and be much less likely to open your emails in the future.
- Do be engaging. Think of the subject line as the appetizer that prepares readers for the main course of the email.
Related: Email Marketing For Freelancers [The Definitive Guide]
How many websites get people to sign up for their email lists with a call-to-action like “Stay up to date with the latest news!” or “Get more tips and tricks straight to your inbox!”
And how many of those mailing lists are actually just wave after wave of advertisements and promotions. No news. No tips. No tricks.
Email marketing is all about nourishing your audience and growing their loyalty to your brand. If you do that, sales will naturally follow.
So avoid the email marketing mistake of overpromotion. Be sure to add value and give your readers what they are actually expecting.
You could devote some emails to advice and others to promotion. Alternatively, you could just make sure that every email you send out adds at least some value. That way, readers never feel like they are just being spammed with ads.
Growing an audience—in size and loyalty—is about being with them. Like any other relationship, consistency is key.
In the case of your email list, you want to reach out to them on a regular basis. Finding the sweet spot of timing will take some experimenting.
A good starting point is to send out one email per week. Any less frequently and your audience will feel out of touch with you, like a distant uncle who doesn’t visit very much.
Beware about sending too many emails. Your audience is likely subscribed to a lot of lists. If they feel like you are spamming their inbox, they might unsubscribe.
Until you have a very good handle on your analytics about how your readers respond to your emails, keep the frequency at a reasonable limit.
#4 Poor (or No) Targeting
Most email marketing programs allow you to segment your lists based on things like how a user signed up, what they have opened, and where they left off on your website.
All of these sorts of options allow you to send very targeted emails to very specific segments of your audience.
If you aren’t using them to your full advantage, you’re setting yourself up for a big email marketing mistake. Hundreds of emails going to irrelevant readers.
To illustrate, think of two different people on your list. Each of them subscribed in different ways, so each has different needs to address:
- One subscribed via the coupon code bar at the top of a product page. This user is obviously already a hot lead. The opening emails should provide the coupon code and probably promote some upsells.
- Another user subscribed after reading one of your informational blog posts. This reader is probably interested in more of your blog posts, possibly specifically ones in the same category that convinced them to sign up. Hold the promotions for a little later down the funnel.
#5 Lack Of Analytics
Data is knowledge. And knowledge is power.
But gathering data is just the first step. Without analysis, it’s just a bunch of raw numbers and statistics.
Use the data you gather to answer important questions and make plans for tweaks to your campaign. Here are some of the most important email marketing metrics to analyze:
Bounce Rate: The percentage of your emails that don’t make it to the target’s inbox. Too many bounces could be a sign to internet service providers that you’re spamming.
Open Rate: The percentage of delivered emails that actually get opened. This metric is useful for analyzing your subject lines.
Unsubscribe Rate. The rate at which users opt-out of your list. This lets you know if you are providing the sort of messages that readers expect and want.
Clickthrough Rate. The percentage of readers who click on a link in your emails. This number is useful for gauging how effective your emails are at actually sending your audience to your offer, blog, or wherever else you want them to go.
#6 No CTA
Finally, what good is a marketing email if it doesn’t prompt readers to do something?
Your CTA, or call-to-action, is the point in the email when you actually give readers something to do. They typically come at the end, but are often woven in throughout the email as well.
The CTA can be anything from sending readers to a blog post to making a sales pitch.
Want a good example of a call-to-action? Here goes…
We’ve covered some of the biggest email marketing mistakes that might be holding you back. Chances are that at least one of them isn’t in your wheelhouse.
Maybe you aren’t a confident enough writer to create compelling subject lines.
Maybe you don’t have the time to write a new email every week.
Maybe the mere thought of data and analytics gives you anxiety.
Well, the good news is that Legiit is home to some of the best freelance talent in the world. And some of them specifically specialize in email marketing.
Check them out today and start outsourcing your toughest tasks to the pros who make it look easy.