Email marketing pitfalls: Part 2

Email marketing is a great way to connect with customers and boost loyalty, but as we saw yesterday, there are a number of common mistakes small business owners make when sending out emails.

Done improperly, email marketing can negatively impact the reputation of the business you've worked so hard to establish. All too often, businesses deliver emails that they want to send, instead of emails that their subscribers want to receive. Even the most intriguing subject line and appealing creative will generate mediocre results if the email does not speak to the heart of what subscribers want.

It's the old adage of 'what's in it for me?' If email recipients do not see the immediate value in reading an email, they will just ignore it.

Here are four more pitfalls that SMEs make:

Too much information

Hitting the recipient with a huge block of text upon opening a message will most likely scare them off. It's important that you resist the temptation to put too much information in the body of the email itself.

Remember, the immediate outcome you're looking for is for the recipient to follow through on a call to action and not get lost in the information. The email content should elaborate on the promise of the subject line, but leave the 'punch line' for the body of the email.

Missing a call to action

A call to action consists of a brief, urgent sentence that encourages recipients to pursue the value proposition of the email, either by clicking through to a landing page on your site, picking up the phone, or visiting a store.

Emailing without consent

Don't break the law by sending emails to people who have not given consent for you to do so. In Australia, recipients have supply their email addresses along with either express or implied consent for you to be legally allowed to send them marketing information.

No measurement of success (or failure)

Don't just send out a large amount of emails and sit and wait to see the results. If you don't know how well your email campaigns are performing, you have no way of knowing whether or not your strategies are effective. Make sure that you have access to a good quality email analytics package, so that you can find out which aspects of your campaign are working, and which need revision.

Luke Telford of nett.com.au explains that you can (and should) test just about everything in your emails before shooting them off, including subject lines, images, call to actions, delivery times and layout.

An effective email campaign involves a fair bit of work and a lot analysis. All things considered, it can be a very effective method of driving sales and improving brand visibility.

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