This is not what you want customers thinking about when they see your marketing email in their inbox.
I probably don’t have to write this blog. All I need to do is call upon you to think about how you feel when you receive spam email. You get angry. Don’t even open it up. Tag the sender as a spammer. Curse and swear. Report them to the FTC. Well, there you go. There’s five reactions all rolled into one email marketing mistake – the recipient’s perception of being spammed. But that’s not the only email marketing mistake to avoid, so I’m going to write this blog!
Permission, Permission, Permission
When the Internet first took off, businesses got the clever idea of adding anybody and everybody to email lists and then “blasting” people with marketing emails. Criminals also jumped on board, blasting victims with false advertising and phony sales tactics. As you can probably imagine, and most likely remember, people got pretty angry every time they checked their inbox and found it filled with unsolicited emails. Congress took note and enacted the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, which made sending unsolicited emails illegal. So, the number one email marketing mistake to avoid is sending email marketing campaigns to customers who have not given you permission to do so. Before you do anything else, make certain that you have received the blessing of every customer on your email list to receive marketing emails from your business.
Professional, Professional, Professional
Aside from sending an email to every single customer you’ve ever had, another common marketing mistake is to make the assumption that email is less formal than other types of business marketing tools. Even though times have changed and we all have casual Fridays now, this does not mean that you should ever send out anything unprofessional from your office, including your email marketing materials. Keep it professional, and more importantly, clear and concise. Ensure your email is free from spelling and grammar errors, and make certain you don’t use text speak or instant messaging icons and abbreviations. This is still a professional campaign, even though you are sending it electronically.
Location, Location, Location
Okay, maybe not a physical location, but in the process of keeping everything professional, another critical email marketing mistake to avoid is sending the promotional campaign from an unprofessional or personal email address. This will not only confuse your customer, as they will recognize your company’s name but not necessarily John.Doe@PersonalEmail.com, but also tangle your personal and professional accounts, thereby causing further communication to your customers via your personal email address. Make certain that you are marketing from your business address. If you don’t have one, get one. And, by all means, make sure the email name is professional. Nobody is going to open an email from SuperSalesMan@YouKnowYouWannaBuyFromMe.com.
Computers and Smartphones and Tablets, Oh My
Our fourth mistake is thinking that every one of your customers is going to be reading your marketing email from their desktop or laptop computer. These days, nothing could be further from the truth. In the spirit of keeping things professional and concise, you must also consider that a majority of your clients are checking their emails throughout the day from their smartphones or tablets. Simply put, don’t create a graphic masterpiece that can only be viewed on a mega-sized computer screen. You need to format your email marketing campaigns to be compatible with all receiving devices, including the smaller screens of smartphones and tablets.
Accessibility, Accessibility, Accessibility
Okay, sorry, I’m probably driving you crazy with my repetitive subtitles, but I’m on a roll here, and when I speak of accessibility, I’m not just talking about the device your customer is going to read your email on. I am also talking about making the information you want your customer to notice immediately accessible within the body of your marketing email. Do not bury critical information, such as links to your company website or the specific sales page that you are promoting. Keep that information on top and quick and easy to find. Why? Because no matter how much your customers love you, they are not going to read through a 500-word email to find out exactly what it is you’re selling. Nope, they want to read a few lines and have an immediate clickable link to move forward, so make certain that happens.
These are just five things every business owner must keep in mind when preparing an email marketing campaign. There are more, and I’m including links below if you want further information. I cannot understate the importance of everything I’ve discussed in here, but perhaps the most important gauge in avoiding email marketing mistakes is you. Before doing anything, think about how you would receive your email if you sent it to you. If you’d get mad and tag it as spam, you’ve just made the biggest email marketing mistake of all.
- CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 Compliance Guide for Business
- CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 Core Requirements
- Email Marketing by SBA.gov
- Email Marketing by Polk State College
- Email Marketing and Communications
- Creating Email Marketing Distribution Lists
- 10 Tips for Successful Email Marketing
- Maximizing Your Email Marketing
By: Max Zaron