For all the benefits that email marketing can offer your brand such as low cost of use and an ever increasing reach to customers on mobile devices, there is one down side – it’s one of the quickest ways to annoy your customers if you don’t do it right!
So what potential issues should you look out for when embarking on an email marketing campaign? We have identified a few common problem areas that tend to irritate those on the receiving end of your well-meant communications – as well as some solutions for how to fix them.
Your organic mailing list isn’t as organic as you thought
How organic is your mailing list really? Just because you didn’t buy your mailing list doesn’t mean it’s organic. If you got our email list by any of the following methods your emails are probably unsolicited:
- You received email addresses through a sister company or another department
- You hide email opt-out options in fine print or long-winded agreements
- You add one-to-one email contacts to your mailing list without their knowledge
The solution: Only use email marketing on people who have opted to receive emails directly from you.
The email is not relevant
When people receive emails about subject matters that is not relevant it goes straight to the trash. Why would someone who is not married or has children care about excessive life insurance, as an example? This is referred to as ‘shotgun marketing’ and is universally known as an ineffective marketing technique because your communications fail to match your target audience’s needs.
The solution: Develop target audiences aligned with your customers to guide what you say in your email. A simple example would if you owned a shoe store running a promotion and you created two marketing emails for your customers (that opted in), one for men and one for women. This is a simple example, but it makes a big difference in terms of what content is considered relevant.
Emailing too often
This is a classic mistake that can infuriate customers. Not everyone who is on a mailing list wants to be bombarded by an email every week and emailing them too often can turn potential brand advocates in to annoyed former customers.
The solution: Give consumers the option of when they want to receive emails such as weekly, monthly or quarterly. You could also allow them to decide what type of emails they want to receive e.g. only emails with specials or email notifications that new stock that has just arrived.
Your email is hard to read
There is nothing worse than an email the length of a blog or one where the design is confusing. People don’t have time to read long emails or figure which button in they need to click to do what they want, especially on mobile devises which have screens up to a sixth of size of a laptop screen.
The solution: Get good writers and designers who can write and design short, succinct and mobile friendly emails.
Make sure you have an unsubscribe button that works
Have you ever clicked on an unsubscribe button that didn’t work? Or one that didn’t register that you had unsubscribed? This is probably the single biggest turn-off for people who receive unsolicited email marketing and will have your customers complaining about you on Hello Peter quicker than you can say “unsubscribe”.
The solution: Test every email before distribution and use a reputable email marketing company that has reliable technology to make sure your email unsubscribe function works every time.
In conclusion, if you are able to address all these issues, then you are well on your way to producing email marketing that works and won’t hurt your brand. However, email marketing can be time consuming. You need to ensure that you have the right people doing your email marketing and that it is a core part of their KPIs. Otherwise consider outsourcing to people who have more experience as it can often be cheaper than having a fulltime employee doing all the work.