Blue Sky Factory – 8 Email Marketing Offenses
By: Blue Sky Factory
We recently asked Blue Sky Factory Facebook fans about the worst email marketing offenses they’ve seen. Boy did we get some answers (click image to the right to see all).
The answers ranged from simple grammatical errors (your vs. you’re) to frequency issues. I touch on each “mistake” below, but because of the variety and number of answers, I’m keeping it short and sweet. Let us know if you’d like us to dive into any topic in more detail, or feel free to start a new conversation by asking us a question on our Facebook page!
8 Email Marketing Mistakes (according to our Facebook Fans)
Tim Brechlin from the Greater Madison Convention and Visitors Bureau said:
The biggest thing for me is sending way too many emails. One particular pizza company is a horrific violator of this; we’re talking five emails a week. People need to realize that if you send email that often, the signal-to-noise ratio is completely out of whack and people start to tune you out. And once you’ve lost that credibility with your mailing list, it’s awfully hard to get it back.
Well said, Tim! Every audience is different, so it’s important that you find your sweet spot. Give subscribers different frequency options during the opt-in, and then allow them to update this information in their subscriber preferences. Always monitor the send metrics for changes. Ask yourself these questions after every send: Are people unsubscribing at a higher rate? Do you see less engagement when increasing your frequency? Are there any other noteworthy changes? Also, don’t forget to test in order to find out what frequency and send time works for you. For frequency guidelines, read “Email Frequency: How Often is Too Often?”
2. Poor grammar.
Your vs. you’re. Too vs. to (and two). Effect vs. affect. These are common errors in any medium, but no matter whether you say it wrong in a tweet, email, or on your website, poor grammar may cause you to lose credibility. Read and re-read your email marketing messages before you send them, and then send to someone else to review. Minor spelling and grammar mistakes can happen, but try your best to avoid them! (Thanks for chiming in, Patricia Zalewski!)
3. Bad links.
Did I mention that you should test, test, and test again? Erica Barry from 1st Mariner Bank answered with “links that don’t work”, and I couldn’t agree more. Nothing is more frustrating than when you receive an email wanting to read more about a specific product, and the link takes you to the wrong page or simply doesn’t work at all. Again, have a co-worker or friend read through, click links, and test before you send your emails. If you want people to convert on your emails, make sure they have a clear – and correct – path to do so.
Good luck getting your subscribers to convert on your emails – or take any action at all – if your emails are too cluttered. Michelle McMorris from HRD, Inc. chimed in with, “Emails filled with numerous ads and varying graphics. When you can’t do a quick read and get to the important information, you’ve lost me.” Your call-to-action should be clear and stand out; make it obvious as to what action you want recipients to take. A few suggestions to avoid clutter:
- Keep your copy to a minimum
- Use bullets, so readers can do a quick scan and still get your main point
- Make your calls-to-action big, bold, and colorful
- Keep the main call-to-action above the fold
Want to check out the who’s who and what’s what of email marketing?
Read The Buzz.
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