Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach your current and potential clients.
Virtually everyone has email, and most of us check it every day. (Some of us check it constantly. Ahem.)
Consequently, most brands do some kind of email marketing. Rare is the company that’s not sending at least an email newsletter.
But just because email is ubiquitous doesn’t mean that it’s being used well.
Thinking as a business owner, how often do you send marketing emails?
Now, thinking as a reader… How often do you open and read them? Probably less often.
One of the main reasons for that disconnect is that most brands can’t keep from making at least one of these mistakes.
1. Sending emails without explicit permission.
This is hands-down the biggest flub on this list. This is the screw-up that alienates prospects and gets you branded a spammer. It can cost you your email service provider and your website.
And you may not even know you’re doing it.
Now hold on… with CAN-SPAM and CASL in effect for years now, it’s true that brands have at least gotten the message. They’re sending less spam—or at least according to the traditional definition of the word they are.
But there’s a big—huge—grey area around signing buyers up for email newsletters because they’ve established a commercial relationship with you.
Go ahead—send them anything and everything to do with their purchase. But if they didn’t specifically ask to be added to your promotional mailing list, you’re walking a thin line between legitimate email and spam.
Consider making an explicit sign-up message part of your onboarding series. This will give you a chance to ask each and every one of your buyers whether or not they really want to hear from you.
2. Assuming that readers care about your email.
It’s easy to make the mistake: you’re convinced that your offer is the greatest thing in the History of Things, so you want to share it with your list. And you’re over the moon about how clever your email is… How could anyone not like it?
But listen… Your buyers have a lot on their minds — and if you haven’t already built a relationship with them, they’re certainly not going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume your email is interesting.
It’s your job to make them care. For the love of all that’s good and holy, make sure you have a subject line that entices them to open your email.
3. Thinking a monthly newsletter is as effective as an email autoresponder series.
With a newsletter, you’re assuming that everyone’s in the same place — more or less. (The ones who don’t care about your President’s Day sale will just delete the email, right?)
But the truth is, people who sign up to receive emails from you are in many different places in the sales process.
Some are subscribing because they have a vague idea that they may want your services at some point; others are doing serious research and are almost ready to buy.
A one-size-fits-all newsletter is just too general to address every buyer.
An autoresponder series, on the other hand, can meet your prospects where they are, with helpful information that appeals to buyers no matter where they are in the sales cycle.
If you offer lawn care, try sending out a 5-part email series on landscaping choices that suit your climate. A network security company could send an email campaign with a week-by-week series talking about the best ways to keep data safe.
The common denominator here? You’re sharing valuable knowledge, not pitching a 20-percent-off sale.
That’s helpful no matter whether your buyer is unsure that they have a problem or looking to sign on the dotted line.
4. Not writing specifically for the medium.
Don’t write emails the same way you’d write a blog post or an article. Typically, people don’t want to spend hours cozying up with a sales email from a brand.
Save the in-depth, long-form messages for the blog — your emails need to be brief and to the point.
Free yourself from email marketing mistakes.
Email is quick, widespread and (for the most part) low-cost.
And by using it the right way, you can gain interest, build trust and increase your chances of gaining and keeping loyal customers.