A few months ago, a new study was released that gained no small amount of traction within the online marketing community. The study essentially alleged that e-mail marketing generates better results and better ROI than social media or really any other digital marketing discipline.
Some online marketers celebrated the study while others thought it a bit dubious, but regardless of the legitimacy or impact of the study, this much seems true: E-mail marketing is something people should take seriously. It remains a vital online marketing strategy, and to ignore it in favor of the bright shiny newness of social media marketing could be folly.
Note, however, that doing e-mail marketing and simply sending e-mails to your clients are not the same thing; likewise, sending advertisements to “cold” prospects, though it may work in some scenarios, is more likely to get your company’s e-mails lumped together with all the spam.
In fact, there are a number of e-mail marketing mishaps that can threaten the integrity and efficacy of your campaign—and a few of them are as follows:
- E-mailing too often. You might have expected us to say not e-mailing often enough, and that’s a mistake as well, but when you e-mail the folks on your e-mail list every day or even every week, it can start to smack of desperation—and beyond that, it’s really Plus, it is highly unlikely that you’re coming up with compelling new content on that kind of a basis. Stick with e-mails once, twice a month at the most.
- Sending e-mails that offer no value. You want to promote your products and perhaps to offer some kind of a discount or promo code, but even the act of reading your company e-mail should provide customers with some value—else, why will they keep reading it? Make sure to offer some interesting points of content or some company news—just a paragraph or so will do fine.
- Sending e-mails that offer no links to external content. Ideally, your e-mail newsletter serves several purposes, and one of them is boosting your existing content. Make sure that each new e-mail includes links to at least a couple of really good, solid blogs from the past month.
- Sending e-mails that offer no call to action. You know how we feel about the call to action. If you want your readers to do something after reading your e-mail newsletter, then you’ve got to tell them what it is.
- Sending e-mails loaded with spam words. We’ve written about this before. Don’t slip up and use a bad word that’ll land your company e-mails in spam folders instead of inboxes.
- Sending e-mails without opt-outs. Consumers like to have some choice—something Apple and U2 recently learned the hard way—so always include a means for users to unsubscribe.