5 email marketing pitfalls to avoid

5 email marketing pitfalls to avoid
Michael Linthorst (1976) is an internet entrepreneur and CEO of Copernica Marketing Software.

As with all things in life, in email marketing there are a lot of things you can learn from the mistakes you made. Even better though, is to learn from other people’s mistakes.

Here are five email marketing mistakes other people already made, so you don’t have to:

1. Sending emails with a vague ‘from’ address

Your recipients are swamped in emails every day, many of them being tossed in the trashcan without so much as even getting a glance.

People have grown to become vigilant when it comes to their inbox, and only open emails from certain senders. So be sure to use a recognisable name and email address in the ‘from’ field. Make it easy for recipients to see who you are.

Use your own name or the name of the company (or both). And even more important: make sure the ‘reply-to’ address actually works. Using a no-reply address is like telling your customers that you don’t care about what they have to say.

2. Using a too long subject line

The subject line is one of the most important assets you have to boost your open rate. It should be relevant, brief and appealing. 

Use no more than 50 characters. If you use longer subject lines you risk the chance it’ll be cut off in most email clients. If you have a lot of mobile readers you should even stick to a maximum of 20 characters. 

Extra tip: Also use your the preheader or email snippet to help you increase your open rate. This is the first text that’s displayed underneath or next to the subject line. Often the snippet contains text like ‘Unable to read this mail? Open the web version.’ But you can do better.

3. Asking too much of your recipients

No matter how high the temptation, limit yourself to using no more than one call to action (CTA) in your emails. Every additional CTA is one to many, you don’t want to make it too confusing for your recipients to decide which link they’re going to click.

Extra tip: Are you using marketing software to track your emailings’ click through rates? Never write out a URL in your email! The software will code your hyperlinks, creating a difference between the real URL and the one you’ve written out in your email. This might result in a higher spam rating of your emails. 

So, instead of:

Rather use:

4. Ignoring your mobile readers

In 2012, the amount of mobile online traffic was twelve times the size of the total internet in 2000. And mobile data traffic is still skyrocketing. But while more and more companies prepare their websites for mobile visitors, only few of them do the same with their emails.

In the meanwhile, according to Litmus research, 38 percent of all emails are opened on a mobile device. That means that a mobile phone is the most popular medium for reading emails.

Not preparing your emails for mobile is a mistake you can’t allow yourself to make. 

Make sure your emails are suitable for all possible devices (smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop) by using responsive design. Also, don’t forget that in a lot of cases mobile users have to use their fingers to click on hyperlinks, so make sure to use large call to actions.

5. Ignoring opt-outs

People probably opt-out for your emails all the time. It’s part of the email marketing cycle. But that doesn’t mean you should do nothing to prevent this from happening in the future. Find out why people sign off for your emails. Was it the send frequency? The content? Weren’t your emailings relevant enough?

Use a double opt-out to gather insights and eventually to improve your email marketing process.

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