It may be over 40 years old, but email is still one of the most important and effective marketing channels. It has a high ROI, can be easily customized, and your customers can access it when it’s convenient for them. Whether you have a kickass email strategy already or you’re starting from scratch, we compiled a list of six mistakes you should avoid to create or maintain a high-performing email program.
Mistake #1: Poor quality lists
We can’t warn you enough: select your data sources carefully. You’ll want to grow a high quality list of people who are opted in and will want to open, read, and engage with your emails. Without a solid list, your metrics will plummet, you could land in spam folders, and worst case – you could end up blacklisted. To keep your list quality up, add double opt-ins, email your list regularly, and make it easy for subscribers to update their email preferences.
Mistake #2: You’re not welcoming new subscribers
Your welcome email to new subscribers will be your most read email, so make it count! Use this email to share your most engaging message, set expectations around how often you’ll email the reader, and maybe even ask for some data and preferences from them to help you segment future emails.
Mistake #3: Bad subject lines
Think of your subject line like a first date – this is your best chance at making a great impression that will make someone want to keep getting to know you. Good subject lines should stay under 70-80 characters and catch someone’s attention quickly. Using urgency, personalization, plays on words, and even emojis can help your subject line capture your customer’s eye amid the flood of emails they receive every day.
Mistake #4: Emails that don’t load well
Before hitting send, make sure your email renders well across all the devices your subscribers use. Verify your HTML before every send, and test how it will look on phones, tablets, and computers. If your email doesn’t render well, 70% of people will delete it before waiting for it to load.
Mistake #5: Unengaging content
Let’s say your high quality email list is engaged because they were welcomed into your email program, their attention was captured by a catchy subject line, and your email renders in half a second. Then they get into the email itself…and your content is bland. YIKES! Content is king. When you send an email that takes up precious minutes in your customers’ days, it better have something of value to say to them. Your content should grab their attention, be visually appealing, easy to read, and have a clear call to action – your customer should know exactly what they should do after reading.
Mistake #6: Not measuring the results that matter
The best email programs succeed because they look at data beyond just open and click rates. We recommend looking at data that’s even more insightful, like inbox placement rate (globally about 12% of all promotional emails go to the spam folder). You should also look at read rate, which has a 14% average across all industries, and a deleted without reading rate – you’ll want to keep this under 9% to maintain good deliverability.
Overwhelmed? Let us help!
Even though email is a tried and true marketing strategy, it has evolved into something that can be highly complex to execute effectively. From building a quality list, to creating compelling content, to measuring the results that matter, there’s a lot more to email marketing than meets the eye. You can check out some more tips on our podcast “Market Like a Badass.”
If you’re overwhelmed at the thought of executing your email campaign, contact us here at The Source Marketing Group. We’ll do for you what we did for The Source Marketing Group’s client 3 Pillars Law – identify opportunities to encourage email sign-ups, build a quality list of subscribers, get open and read rates that dramatically exceed industry averages, and guide your customers to take the actions you want them to. Email is one of the most effective marketing channels, but it’s not always easy. Let us help!
Kristin is the CEO/Founder of The Source Marketing Group. The marketing agency is focused on elevating female-, veteran-, and minority-owned businesses.