Worst Email Mistakes

No way is email marketing dead. Sure, “only” 4.24% of people who click through to your website from email marketing will buy something, but that’s staggering compared to the fact that the figures for search engines and social media are 2.49% and 0.59%. That’s no typo—email is approximately 7.18 times more effective than social media. Too bad all the late Nigerian Princes with vast fortunes and wills that mention random Americans ruined it. You can make email work, but remember that your prospects are a little jaded. Here are 9 ways to ensure that your communications aren’t trustworthy:

1. Give the Impression of Spamming

Even if you’ve got a stellar sender score and you’re providing your contacts with invaluable information, if your emails give the impression of being a little creepy you might be perceived as a spammer:

  • Does Your Subject Line Appear Vague or Overly-Familiar?
  • Is Your Subject Line Typed in All-Caps?
  • Your Subject Line Has Way Too Many Exclamation Points!!!!!!!!

2. You’re Not Cleaning Your Email Lists

If your email marketing efforts result in any hard bounces, take the time to clean them off your contacts list immediately. Continuing to mail to full or closed accounts will give a pretty big hit to your sender score and result in you being blacklisted by many major email clients. It’s much easier to maintain a high sender score than try and repair a damaged score.

3. Fail at Personalization

Do all of your emails start with “Hi there”? Better yet, is the first name of your recipients in a conspicuously different font or color than the rest of your email? Personalization fails happen, and they’re pretty darn embarrassing:

4. Don’t Optimize Email for Mobile Phones

If you totally ignore the fact that 36% of emails are opened on a smartphone and don’t mobile-optimize, you could find that your email marketing metrics fall by over a third. Your images, content, and design need to be open-ready on phones.

5. Don’t Segment Your Email List

Ensuring your email marketing efforts are sent to all of your contacts, regardless of whether they’re long-term customers or new leads, decision-makers or money-savers, is one way to drive away customers and prospects. And if you email quarterly messages that are a really boring run-down of company updates, like your CEO’s vacation to Bora Bora, you’ll lose even more business. Nothing will drive your unsuscribe rate through the roof faster than incredibly irrelevant information.

6. Don’t Provide Value

There’s nothing worse than opening an email that sounds fantastic and finding it’s filled with 200 words of fluffy content. If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably felt pretty tricked in these instances. Strive to make your leads and clients feel like they’ve won the lottery if they open your emails and click through to your outstanding content offer.

7. Buy Email Lists From Disreputable List Companies

When it comes to buying email lists, just don’t. Trust us. Many sketchy list companies sell dirty lists, which are a recipe for tons of hard bounces, spam complaints and unsubscribe requests, which are a recipe for being blacklisted.

 8. Exclude Contact Information

Aside from the fact that excluding your physical address is against CAN-SPAM regulation (see No. 8 below), it is also a sure way to make your company look ultimately sketchy. No one wants to give their money to an organization that may or may not exist.

9. You Think CAN-SPAM is Protein

You can’t eat CAN-SPAM with rice, or at all. The act is a law that sets the requirements for commercial email. It gives your list members a right to stop receiving emails, and spells out punishments for businesses who neglect to follow the rules, which include the following:

  • Ensure Your Contact Info Is Accurate: Your “From,” “Reply to,” originating domain name, and email must all be accurate.
  • Don’t Be Deceptive: Don’t promise anyone a free kitten if all you’re offering is a link to an eBook about saving money on your water bill.
  • Don’t Hide the Fact You’re Advertising: There are a few ways you can approach the fact it’s a commercial message, but it needs to be disclosed.
  • Include Your Address: It can be a physical address or a U.S. Postal service P.O. box, but it needs to be included.
  • Include an Opt-Out Option: It needs to be clear and apparent how your contacts can leave your contacts list.
  • Remove Opt-Outs Quickly: You have 10 days to process an opt-out request, and you can’t charge or demand more contact information in exchange for processing requests.
  • You Are Ultimately Responsible: Even if you’re utilizing an inbound marketing agency or 3rd party to handle your email marketing, you are still responsible for messages with your brand name attached.

This list is by no means comprehensive, but it’s essential to dive into the Can-SPAM act yourself and make sure you aren’t inadvertently guilty of breaking any of the rules!

9. Never Welcome New List Members

Welcoming new members isn’t just a friendly gesture, it’s a powerful way to set expectations. Allow them to customize their email settings as a form of progressive profiling, and let them know what they can expect in terms of your email schedule.

What do you think are the best ways to ruin a perfectly good emailcampaign?