15 Mistakes Businesses Make When Writing Email Marketing Campaigns

Email marketing should be the lead runner of any small businesses marketing tools but how do you get the most out of each campaign?

After writing about the 6 benefits of email campaigns I am now going to discuss how you can get customers opening your emails time and time again. By following these 15 tips on the mistakes businesses make when writing email campaigns you too can begin to grow your business online.

1. Don’t waste your customer’s time – Only send out email campaigns when you can offer true value that is relevant to your audience. The opposite will have a rather ‘spammy’ feel.

2. Use your own name as the email address correspondent – It goes without saying that people do business with people. By putting both your name and reputation on the line you are giving your customers stakes to believe in.

3. Personalise each email – I’m not talking about writing a separate email for each customer but at least include their name at the beginning of each email. Don’t overdo it though as hearing your own name over and over throughout a single email borders on creepy call center mode.

4. Empathize with your audience – Show them that you not only understand their problem(s) but that you can provide a solution too. This will start to build an influence between you and your audience which will then turn them into a group of loyal supporters.

5. Reward your readers – Share useful tips, point them towards an interesting article, motivate them or even give them a loyalty bonus. Always make sure that no matter what it is you do, your audience needs to gain some benefit.

6. Know your goals – How can you begin to turn a profit if you don’t know what your emailing goals are? Are you looking to sell more of your services? Build a subscribers list? Educate your audience? These goals need to be at the forefront of each one of your emails.

7. Build trust – The easiest way to do this is to set your message out in the customer’s first welcome email. Inside you should state; what emails they can expect, how often, how to unsubscribe and most of all, what to do next. This leads on to my next point.

8. Clear calls-to-action – Make sure that your audience knows what to do once they have read your email. If you want them to respond back to you then tell them. If you want them to click the banner for a special offer, then tell them. Not everyone will understand or even be in the mind-set to work it out for themselves.

9. Compelling subject lines – Often people will ask me why their emails are not opened and it’s because I see subject lines such as; ‘Shop Now & Save 10%’ or ‘Now Offering New Services!’. I receive countless emails each day so why would I bother to open any of those? The subject line is your chance to grab your reader’s attention, so do it. Try using lines like; ‘How I made [x amount] in just 6 months’ or ‘Invitation from [your company name]’. These both play on the reader’s fear of missing out.

10. Avoid Spam trigger words – These are a group of words that give your emails the distinct aroma of Spam, so avoid them where possible. Words such as ‘FREE’, ‘Act Now’ and ‘Urgent’ will all likely get you marked as junk. Here is a list of others to avoid.

11. Include Social Media buttons – These are great for both sharing and following your business across various social media platforms. If you put your Facebook page under a reader’s nose enough they will have more chance of liking it that not.

12. Mobile Responsive – 66% of users are opening emails on their smartphones, tablets and laptops so make sure your emails are mobile responsive otherwise it will become clunky in design and impossible to read.

13. Optimize with A/B split testing – split testing allows you to send the same campaign but with minor tweaks to your audience. An example would be changing the subject line, to something compelling I hope, or even the offer available. You can then see which of the two performed best and then make further tweaks based on the best results. This is an excellent method for squeezing a little more out of each campaign.

14. Track your results – How do you expect to improve your open rates if you don’t have an initial benchmark? All email marketing tools will have a form of tracking that should include; open rates, click through rates, subscribers sent to, unsubscribed and overall performance. It is here that you can start to tweak certain aspects of your campaigns and track them against previous results.

15. Learn to Experiment – As mentioned in A/B testing, constantly improving your email lists with minor changes will soon add up to be major changes for any small business, regardless of industry.

Have I missed anything?

Although this is a rather conclusive list I am sure that there are more tips out there for improving your email marketing campaigns success rate.

Let me know in the comments below if you’ve got any additional email marketing tips for businesses that I haven’t mentioned already.

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