In you are reading this article, your organization probably communicates with its members, followers and interested parties via Email. (We will call them subscribers for the purposes of this article.) If not find out what you need to do to plan an effective email marketing campaign. While social media is starting to overtake Email as the most effective way to communicate, Email has the advantage of being around for a long time. Consequently, many organizations (hopefully yours) have built up large and relatively accurate Email lists. Email is still the best method for high access communication with your subscribers.
Regardless of how good your subscription list is, however, poor Email techniques can turn your attempts to communicate into a fiasco. Here are some common mistakes that people make when marketing via Email.
1. Bogus Sender
A very common mistake is to not have a real human being behind the Email. For example, the message might be from info@yourorganization (“donotreply@” is the worst.) If there is no name attached to the Sender, you will also give the appearance of being anonymous and untrustworthy. This is a sure-fire way to have you Email thought of as spam. If your mailing list is relatively small, have the message come from you – keep it simple. This ensures that your subscribers have a personalized contact with you, and therefore higher loyalty. If your list is large, it is okay to have an alias. However, make sure your Email looks like a human being and have a real name attached. Do not make the alias into a dead-end – make sure all responses are read and replied!
2. Lousy Subject Line
This is probably the best way to ruin your marketing efforts. Though the subject line is treated as an after thought, it should actually be at the heart of your planning. If the subject line is ineffective, your Email will not be read – so you have to start with that! Below are a few quick tips but if want more help, check out our post on how to write a great email subject line.
- Most importantly, don’t look like a cheap ad
- Do not put the entire sentence ALL IN CAPS! This will make your message look like a scam. Individual words are okay though.
- Spell every word correctly! It’s amazing how frequent typos are in Emails
- Keep it short – the whole subject line should be viewable in the reader’s Email reader
- Should summarize your message
- Search on Google for “Spam keywords” for a bunch of problematic terms
For example, if you are opening online registration for the AMCO conference, keep it simple and say “Online Registration for the AMCO Conference is Now Open!”
3. No Easy Way to Unsubscribe
You might be breaking the law if you do not give the reader an easy way to unsubscribe from your mailing list. Without this element you may be put on an Email blacklist and all your communications rendered ineffective and possibly worse. Have a simple one or two step unsubscribe link at the bottom of your message. Do not make it difficult for people to leave your list – it will only make your subscribers angry.
4. Unreadable without Downloading Images
I personally find this to be the most amateurish and offensive of all Email mistakes. But it is unfortunately still quite common. Email writers think that nobody will read their message if the text is not on some large and “pretty” image. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Requiring downloading of images is a great way to make sure your message is unread! Your message should be readable without any image download. While it is good to have a “Cannot Read This Message?” link that goes to a website, this will not be necessary if your message is not image-centric. You can use a table/grid layout and standard font techniques (like bolding) to make your Email attractive and immediately readable. This newsletter example and our how to use images post will shows how you can create an attractive communication with minimal images.
Take care of these four items and the effectiveness of your Email marketing efforts will greatly increase. If your curious for an outstanding way to communicate with your list for your next trade show or conference, check out some the e-marketing tools we include in our software.