email-pitfalls

You’ve seen them, read them, and probably have even deleted them. Those beautiful (or not so beautiful) emails from your favorite brands are enticing – especially when it comes with a 50 percent off coupon code. Depending on your subscriber preferences, chances are, you see these emails on a regular basis. Maybe even daily.

If you’re thinking it’s an easy task, think again. There are a number of errors that can happen in your email marketing campaign, especially if you’re new to the field. You can have a stunning email design and great copy, but what happens when you hit send? If only 3 percent of people opened your email, take a deep breath. There are ways to improve this.

The thing about email marketing is that it’s very complex. You have to consider the user preferences, the email servers, the design, and so much more. Unless you address all of the potential errors, you risk keeping your 3 percent open rate. So, what can you do? There are several common marketing pitfalls that you should avoid. We’ve rounded up the most common questions and tips you should consider in your future email marketing campaigns.

What is Your “From” Address?

While it’s common, and probably a first thought, no-reply email addresses prove to be problematic. Not only do many spam filters like to catch those emails, but using a no-reply address prevents your customer from contacting you – if they even open the email. If you are looking to engage with your customer and develop a relationship with them, it’s important to offer some kind of personal contact information. An [email protected] email would be a great alternative, but it is best to use a personal address to authenticate the newsletter.

What Time Are You Sending It?

Like social media marketing, email marketing can be dependent on the time of day. Not all of your customers will be morning people, just like not many of them would be evening people. This can get even trickier if your customers are in different time zones. While it’s nearly impossible to know immediately what time of day works best, you can monitor your results with reporting tools (like on MailChimp or Constant Contact) to determine what time of day is best. The same can be said for the frequency of your emails. Whether it’s once a day, a week, or a month, only time and testing will tell. However, it’s important to keep in mind that there is such a thing as too many emails.

Who is on Your Contact List?

Though it may seem like a good idea to buy email lists to build up your contact database, we strongly advise against it. People who receive your email, and didn’t opt for it, can potentially flag your email as spam. This will hurt your campaign reports, and any future sends. Instead, we suggest adding a newsletter sign-up link to your website. Post it on social media to attract other users. Your list might be small to start, but it will grow over time. If patience means lower unsubscribe rates, it’s certainly worth the wait. 

What is Your Subject Line?

First impressions count. While the same can be said for dating, we’re talking about your subject lines. If it doesn’t stand out, it’s possible that your email will never be opened. Think of the last few emails you opened and their subject lines. Were the catchy? Short? Did they reveal the offer immediately? These are a few of the key elements in designing a subject line. It should contain about 50 characters and 6-7 words. Tools like CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer are great to give your subject line a quick test. 

Are Your Personalizing the message?

We’ve reached a point where a simple first and last name isn’t enough to feel a connection in an email. While it certainly helps, emails that understand our user behavior (browsing and purchasing history, etc.), win brownie points in personalization. If your customer feels like you are listening to them, developing a longstanding relationship becomes that much easier.

Is It Mobile-Responsive?

With the advancement of smartphones and technology, it’s important to make sure that your emails are responsive across all devices. If your customer can’t easily read your email on their phone, it’ll get deleted. Email marketing platforms such as Emma and MailChimp offer mobile-friendly templates, and programs such as Litmus can give you a preview of how your email looks on all devices.