E-mail marketing has fast become one of the most convenient and at the same time, annoying methods of advertisement that the internet has brought to life. If you know how to properly use this tool to your advantage, and you’re not one to over-think or abuse the privilege that comes along with access to your client’s confidential contact information then using e-mail marketing can be extremely successful. Similarly, if you’re misusing or simply not knowledgeable in how to properly utilize this form of marketing than you may want to read on, and view five common mistakes to avoid.
Too Much Contact
An obvious mistake that many marketers use is sending out too many e-mails to their client base. It can be difficult to gage how many is too many, especially as new sales are likely emerging daily, and you want to move products fast. The problem is that if a potential buyer is receiving too many e-mails in their inbox then they’re likely to cancel their subscription to your letter, and then you’re back at square one. Kim LaChance Shandrow of Entrepreneur writes:
Let your subscribers decide how often they’ll receive emails from you from the get-go, Harbison advises. You can do this by allowing them to choose if they’d like to get messages from you daily, weekly or monthly when they subscribe via your online signup form.
Many sites now offer the ability to regulate contact on a customer to customer basis; this way people who enjoy a daily message including deals and sales can still receive them, while those who only wish to be contacted weekly or monthly won’t have to skim through your contacts whenever they look at their inbox. The key is to keep your shoppers interested, without annoying them, or your marketing concepts will turn into junk mail, rather than a convenient marketing tool.
An Inability To Reply
One thing that customer’s seem to dislike is an inability to contact a company back directly from an e-mail. Receiving something that says “do not reply” gives off an image of instability and might even make your company seem untrustworthy. People are comforted in knowing that they can get in touch with the makers of an item they’re buying if something goes wrong with it, and they don’t want to have to hunt down the location of your website and contact information through other means. Steven MacDonald of Super Office suggests:
No-reply@ or DoNotReply@ sender email addresses are uninviting and unwelcome. If you send an email from one of those email addresses, don’t be surprised if your open rate is low.
Allowing customers to reply directly to confirmation of orders and shipments will give them peace of mind, even if they never need to use this ability. It helps to use one form of e-mail contact for all communications with clients, whether you’re shipping, or advertising; this way there’s no confusion on which address to use for what kind of problem or question. Some companies use a drop down menu for their e-mail subjects, which allow buyers to inform them what the issue at hand is so that the e-mail can be sent to the right department when it comes time to deal with it. You may have to work through a few different concepts before you find a method that works for you.
Image Only E-mails
The problem with an image only e-mail is that some images aren’t compatible with all mobile phones and tablets. It’s great for the customers who check communications from a laptop or home computer, but not convenient for those who work mostly from a smart phone. Emailonacid.com asks:
Now that 64 percent of decision makers read their email on their mobile device (TopRankBlog), do you need any more reasons to ensure your emails are mobile friendly?
If you’re not willing to forgo the image only advertisement for aesthetic reasons then try including a regular format as well, or a types e-mail including the same information with a link to a mobile site where the image might be viewed better through a cellular device. If you do want to update your format there are plenty of informative websites with tutorials and information on how to set up image and text files to be more compatible with phones. Sometimes all that needs to be done is a little resizing on the graphic so that it fits better on a small screen, other times you may need to reformat the entire ad.
Marketing To A Generalized Demographic
Sending the same e-mail with the same subject line to all of your customers can be futile if you sell a large range of products to a variety of different ages and occupations. There’s no point in advertising medical equipment to teenagers, just as it would seem unlikely that an adult professional would care much for a bracelet beading set. Dot Mailer says:
Why send 5000 un-targeted emails and only get a 10% response when you can take your time, find your market, and send 2000 emails with 50% response rate?
There are ways to separate customers based on their previous experience at your online store or business. Using this kind of information to your advantage can be the difference between pulling in more sales, and finding your message in a recycling bin. Nobody likes bringing home flyers that have unimportant or unnecessary items in them, so make sure that you’re marketing to the right demographic when you send to increase your success rate.
Outdated or Unappealing Images
One major flaw that some e-mail marketers make is using old or unappealing images in their e-mail as filler. Of course you want to utilize all available space on a page, and pictures will draw in a customer visually, but you should always use up to date and relevant photos if you’re going to involve images at all. This can relate to the above topic of providing information to the right demographic; you want the entire e-mail to flow and be catered to a particular style or group, and this requires research where the photos are concerned as well.