I’m guilty of many email mistakes, including 10, which is a BUSINESS KILLER. Which ones are you guilty of?
- Boring subject lines that make people fall asleep before they open your message.
- Misleading subject lines that make people angry when they find out the message isn’t what was promised.
- Selling, selling, selling all the time.
- Never selling anything!
- Giving us too many choices of things to click on and explore (a confused mind never buys, you know).
- Giving us nothing
to click on!
- Making it all about you and your stories and your personal journey and struggles.
- Never including anything personal so we never get to know you.
- Emailing us too often.
- Not emailing us consistently enough.
- Putting us on your email list without permission.
- Not emailing us after we DO give you permission.
Look, email marketing can have the absolute highest ROI of any of your marketing efforts if you do it right. It’s one of the cheapest ways to stay in contact with hundreds or thousands of prospects. But there are lots of ways to do it wrong, and doing it wrong can turn people off before they really get to know you and what you offer. Here are some quick thoughts on the mistakes above:
1 & 2 – SUBJECT LINES
Make your subject line provocative, but beware of words that trigger spam filters like FREE and OFFER. Don’t put an artificial “RE” or “FWD” in the subject line. That pisses savvy people off very quickly.
3&4 – SELLING FREQUENCY
A good rule of thumb is that you give free, valuable, no-strings-attached information AT LEAST 3 times before you try to sell or promote anything. But if you NEVER sell or promote anything, then people who want more can’t get it. You have to learn the balance that inspires clicks in YOUR audience.
5 & 6 – LINKS TO CLICK ON
An email that asks people to click on various offers and information is okay once in a while, but it can be confusing. Keep your email focused on one thing, and give several chances to click through to that one thing. Then analyze which phrases and buttons got the most clicks. If you don’t ask people to click on anything ever though, you’ll never really know how engaged your audience is.
7 & 8 – PERSONAL STORIES
Your audience wants to see you as a person with a real life and real successes and struggles, with real kids or pets or vacations or whatever. But no one wants to feel like you’re just emailing out your diary, and no one wants to read how awesome you are and how perfect your life is all the time either. You’ve got to make yourself a real person, but don’t be ego-centric.
9 & 10 – MESSAGE FREQUENCY
How often do your readers want to hear from you? There’s no rule that works for everyone. But consistency is key. Once a quarter, once a month, or week, or day? Pick one and try it out. If you’re just starting with email marketing, try once every 2 weeks or once every month, but don’t overcommit. Pick something you can stick to.
11 & 12 – EMAIL PERMISSION
When someone hands you a business card, that is NOT permission to put them on your email list. Ask if you can add them. And once you do, make sure you actually DO follow up with email contact! If we give you permission, we want to learn more about you and what you offer, so don’t disappoint us.
A Last Thought Due to Recent Gmail Changes
You really need to use an email delivery system like Constant Contact, MailChimp, or Infusionsoft. But using one of these systems doesn’t mean you can keep sending from a Yahoo or Gmail email account. Due to DMARC, even Gmail no longer allows you to send messages through a third-party system like those listed above that look like they come from Gmail. So get yourself a domain name AND an email address using that domain name to make sure the majority of your messages make it through.