I’ve heard it said that mistakes are the only things that you can truly call your own, and in the case of email marketing, that certainly applies. As with most mistakes, however, it is possible to learn from these gaffes, take this newly acquired information, and plow forward with the goal of getting it right the next time. You’ve worked long and hard to assemble your client database, and you don’t want to see it coming undone or falling apart due to stupid miscalculations being repeated ad nauseum.
With that in mind, here are a few of the more common screw-ups to be avoided:
Make sure the address is a clear, real, and easily verifiable one. Nothing puts me off more than an email coming in from a source that apparently wishes to remain hidden. Your recipients need to be able to see who you are. Ideally, you want to make sure that the name of the company is in the address, or your own name, or ideally both. Something simple such as firstname.lastname@example.org works wonders when it comes to instilling a sense of confidence among your clients. Avoid no-reply address at all costs, because the message you are sending is that you don’t care what your customers have to say.
Keep the subject line short and to the point. Use no more than 50 characters to prevent it from bleeding off the end of the available space, and 20 characters is advisable if you are targeting a lot of mobile readers.
Don’t ask too much right off. Asking for a commitment or action from your readers too soon is like going for that first kiss at the beginning of the date. Limit yourself to one call to action in each message. There’s nothing wrong with asking for business, but you want to do so in a direct, easy to understand and apply manner. Having too many CTA’s will only confuse readers on which link they should click on.
Do not write out URLs in email messages. Use hyperlinks instead. Instead of using the URL http://darrellritchie.org for my music company, I simply hyperlink is to Darrell Ritchie – Right Place Music.
Do not ignore mobile readers, as this is becoming more and more the norm when it comes to checking and reading email messages. Right now nearly 40% of all emails are opened on a mobile device, so you want to make sure that the messages are properly formatted. Emails should be suitable for all mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc), with large calls to action to accommodate finger activations.
Listen to opt out requests. But at the same time include a method for the client to express why they are dropping off your list. Was it the frequency of the messages? The content? Did the emails or your product not meet their needs? Knowing why people walked away is a step toward knowing how to improve your operations in the future.
Yes, this all may seem like a lot of common sense, but never forget, sometimes we get so caught up in pursuing problems that we never stop to think that it might have something to do with the basics, easily remedied problems that we have long since forgotten about.