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What Not to Do with Email Marketing

Written by Jessica Strahan | April 11, 2018

Email marketing has a place in almost every industry. With its low cost and simple automation, it can be one of the top ROI producers in your marketing strategy. There are several things to consider in order to create a successful email marketing campaign, including common practices to avoid at all costs. 

What not to do with email marketing

Before getting started on the content of your email, here are five email marketing mistakes to look out for.

 

Mistake 1: Less than Great Email Subject Lines

To start, we all know how important it is to write a solid subject line. The subject will provide your recipient with their first impression of your email. A weak subject line will likely equal a weak open rate. Spend as much time thinking about your subject line as you do thinking about your email content.

Here's an example of a weak subject line of an email announcing a new blog on email marketing- "This Week's Blog is Here". So, what's wrong with this subject line? For starters, we promise you - no one on your email list is anxiously waiting for your next blog to publish. Everyone has busy lives, so your email subject line has to grab their attention.

Secondly, that subject line doesn't tell your audience anything about the blog. Is it even worth their time opening the email? If that is unclear, more than likely, you see low open rates. 

So, instead of "This Week's Blog is Here", how about "3 Game-Changing Email Marketing Tips"? The word "game-changing" grabs your attention. The subject line also clearly defines what your audience will get out of opening the email. That combination should help increase your open rates. 

 

Mistake 2: Not paying attention to device type 

email marketing - device type - smartphone and laptop

How well do you know your email recipients? Are they more likely to open emails on a desktop, tablet, or smartphone? If you have done the research on your target market and have this information available, you absolutely need to use it! Optimize your email for your recipients' desired device type, without neglecting the other types in the process. 

For example, if you know your target market is most likely going to open your email on their smartphone, add mobile-friendly features, such as your hyperlinked phone number. Although the hyperlinked number won't offer many benefits to someone viewing your email on a desktop, they are still able to see and interact with the information.

Marketing automation tools, such as HubSpot and Ontraport, make it super simple to see what your email would look like on different devices. Make sure to preview your email for each device type and make adjustments as needed.  


Check out our other blogs on email marketing:

 

Mistake 3: Using the wrong tone

email marketing tone - businessman with megaphone

Your business and brand have a personality. The "voice" or "tone" of your brand helps people identify with your business a certain way. Your business' tone is likely the result of the needs of your target market. For example, a financial company may have a serious tone, whereas a clothing retailer has one that's more relaxed. 

Especially in email marketing, it can be tempting to try different tones. Honestly, that's OK, so long as it still closely resembles your brand's personality and the needs of your target market. However, trying something too different may not sit well with your audience and could give them the wrong impression of your business. 

 

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Mistake 4: Sending emails that are too long

Unless you’re emailing your recipient specific information they have requested, your email should be less than 300 words. This may sound short, but consider the position of your recipient. They’re receiving what is likely perceived as an unsolicited email. While they may appreciate your content, they may not have time available to read through a long email. Even Microsoft has recognized that people tend to lose concentration after eight seconds. 

That being said, make your content more impactful by getting to the point quickly and having a valid business reason for emailing your recipient.

 

Mistake 5: Not having a clear call-to-action

You sent a marketing email. That’s great! But, no one responded? That’s not so great. What a waste it would be to spend your precious time crafting a delightful email with a well thought out subject line, only to have no one take any action. One way to avoid this is to have a crystal clear, rock solid call-to-action (CTA).

Clear CTA in Email Marketing - Buy Now on keyboard

The purpose of your email should be to drive a certain action. Maybe you have a new eBook that you want your recipients to download, or you're trying to encourage them to book a consultation. Whatever your CTA is, make it clear and obvious, and focus your content on directing the recipient towards completing the CTA.

Note: Keep the recipient's buying stage in mind when you prepare your CTA. If your recipient is a prospect, asking to book a consultation in your first email might be too much too soon.

 

Mistake 6: Not adapting to your results

As with most things, email marketing is usually not perfect on the first try. Pay attention to your results and make adjustments where needed. Your best practices may be different than another business's, and that's okay. There are many things you can do with the content of your emails, so don’t be afraid to try something new!

 

Now you're ready to start emailing and avoid these 6 email marketing mistakes. That way, you see the results you were hoping for, including better open rates and more engagement. 

 

Is your email contacts list lacking? Having trouble getting leads? Our inbound marketing checklist can help! Check it out. 
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Jessica Strahan
Jessica Strahan

Jessica joined Laire Group as an Inbound Marketing Specialist. She has 8 years of marketing experience, with 5 years focusing on inbound marketing. Although her interest is in marketing, a passion for small business led her to a degree in Business with a focus in Entrepreneurship. Watching companies grow through effective marketing is her favorite part of the job.