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6 easy email marketing mistakes and how to avoid them

Email marketing has a whole heap of benefits – research shows it’s the top ROI of all marketing channels.

But what if you’re not getting the results you want? Check you’re not falling into any of these six categories.

#1 You bought a list of email addresses

What’s wrong with it? At best, out-of-date information and emails that bounce. Worse, chances are you’re buying data harvested from dubious, likely illegal, sources. And for those emails that do land in inboxes, they’re more likely to be spammed. How do you feel being on the receiving end of spam? It’s rarely the beginning of a beautiful, long-lasting relationship. Have your emails spammed regularly and your email provider will start flagging them, even blacklisting your account. Many, like Mailchimp, have strict policies against it. Good lists aren’t for sale. 

Instead… Grow your own list of subscribers who actively opt in to subscribe. Set up an email capture on your website that feeds into your social channels and create fresh content on your blog to drive organic traffic to you. Collaborate with other businesses. Spend your money on customer research and hire a good copywriter who can write your emails.


#2 You never sat down and worked out an email marketing strategy

Ever sent out an email because it’s been a while since anyone heard from you? Yep, it’s easy to fall into that trap when there are so many other things that demand your attention. But, believe me, life runs more smoothly when there’s a plan in place. Better than smoothly, in fact. Having a plan means you’re more likely to get the results you want. 

Instead… Set clear goals about what you want to achieve with your email marketing and create a plan of action against a timeline that includes the content and design of your emails, as well as frequency. Setting and maintaining expectations in these areas will help your audience engage with you more.


#3 You use email marketing only as a way to sell your product or service

I hear you! You want everyone to know about your launch, new coffee, your crowdfunder, your new delivery service… But coming across all shouty sales-y doesn’t work any more. There’s way too much noise out there already. 

Instead… If you want to be heard about the noise, write emails that offer value and benefits to your readers. Tasty nuggets that they can take away and action. Create content and write about stuff that’s genuinely beneficial and relevant to your audience, so they’ll be back for more, get to know you and come to trust you.


#4 You have a Monthly Newsletter mentality about email marketing

Sure, talk about what’s been going on down at the digs this month (as long as it’s packed with benefits and takeaways for your readers, see #3) but blanket-emailing your 8K list with the same message, on the same day, at the same time gets a bit, well… samey. Not all subscribers are created equal. People sign up at different times and with different expectations. Some will be engaged from the word Go, others may have splurged on a high ticket item last year and be quietly considering another. People are way more likely to engage with messages that reflect their current situation and purchasing behaviour.

Instead… Tag and segment your list then design email sequences that are that tailored and timed to launch from the day a subscriber signs up. You can further automate this by setting up a series of emails triggered by customer behaviour. It’s all about the Customer Journey and all good email providers come with capabilities built into their platform. Use them.


#5 You recycle facts and figs that your subscribers could Google

In the old days, everyone had an encyclopaedia. Today there is Google. Spouting off generic data and passing it off as your own isn’t positioning yourself as the expert that you are. 

Instead… Include data in your emails, for sure, but have an opinion on it. Analyse it, discuss it. Turn it upside down and have a contrary opinion to the status quo. Talk about it in terms of your experience. You’re the industry expert so sharing your opinion and advice will demonstrate how your potential to help others.


#6. You don’t know who your subscribers are

Got a bunch of Twitter followers who are probably nothing to do with your industry and never interact with you? Over time it can get a bit like that with your email lists. It might sound counterintuitive but having a smaller, more engaged audience means you’ll be super focussed in tailoring your messages to them.

Instead… Run a re-engagement campaign – AKA the Goodbye Email – asking your subscribers if they still want to receive your emails. Yes, you’ll lose a few (those who were probably never going to buy from you anyway) but cleaning up and paring down your lists will help you convert more of the leads who remain. And don’t forget, if you have an email capture in place, you’ll constantly be topping your list up with new, quality leads anyway.



ps. If you need help with your email marketing or writing emails, get in touch – I can help