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Do You Make These Common E-Mail Marketing Mistakes?

Are you getting conversions with your email marketing campaigns? Do you get positive feedback from customers from your mail outs, or just a slow handclap? It could be that, over time, you have fallen into some classic email marketing bad habits, which can really dent the effectiveness of your campaigns. Do any of these mistakes sound familiar? If they do, it could be time to makes some changes.

Personalisation – Yes or No?

It depends. Research does show that greeting your customers by name in email marketing campaigns, does improve click through rate. Click through can be as much as 17.36% higher for personalised customer emails, so why don’t more companies use it? Using first names is a more relaxed and informal way to address your customers, but is it always appropriate?

Customers can get irritated if you are over-familiar too early in the dialogue – much as you would if a shop assistant immediately started calling you by your first name, uninvited. Bear this in mind, and consider making your first contact a little more formal. A simple thank you is sometimes better than having your customer feel stalked. Think carefully about your demographic, and experiment with first name and full name greetings.

One essential part of making personalisation effective is to make sure you get your customers’ names right. It shouldn’t need saying, but it does. There is nothing more likely to turn customers off than a misspelled name, so vet your data and throw out anything less that clear and precise. Typos will always make your company appear sloppy.

Tell The Truth

What is more irritating than subscribing to a newsletter, believing it will be a monthly digest of industry news, but finding out it is thrice weekly update about new employees, awards and other stuff you are not interested in? Not much. Your customers will hit ‘unsubscribe’ quicker than you can blink – probably after the first mail they receive. It is imperative that your customers know what they are signing up for, how often they will receive it, and how they can change the frequency of the mails they get. Customer control is so important – or at least the illusion of it. In reality, most customers will not change the frequency of the mails they receive, but it’s nice for them to think they can if they wish to. If you tell your customers that they will hear from you once a fortnight then stick to that, or you will get unsubscribers who are justifiably irritated. In your ‘sign up’ email, state exactly what the emails will contain e.g. “Industry news, new products and special offers” and then deliver it. Don’t go off message, or customers will lose sight of why they signed up in the first place, and unsubscribe.

One useful way of enticing customers to sign up is to tell them, in the subject line of the subscribe email, how frequent the contact will be, e.g. “Sign up for a monthly/weekly/quarterly newsletter”. Being open and laying out your stall is always going to achieve better results than switch and bait.

Test, Test and Test Again

When was the last time you did some tinkering under the bonnet? Some companies never test. It’s madness. If you don’t constantly test the effectiveness of the different approaches you use within targeted campaigns, you will never get them tuned to perfection, and your take up rates will stagnate. Test every aspect of the emails you send, to find the strengths and weaknesses of each element. By constantly monitoring and testing the most effective elements of your marketing campaigns, you stand more chance of conversions.

Change Your Tune

Rather than attacking sales head on, why not send a different type of message to customers once in a while? Try it. Send them a ‘feel good’ message to increase brand awareness in a positive way, and see if it has an effect on click through and subscription rates. Try different subject lines, different offer presentations, personalised, non-personalised, change the call-to-action. When you find a winning combination, stick with it, but monitor constantly. Mix things up again in a few months to keep things fresh, taking on board what you have learnt.

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