4 Email Marketing Mistakes Business Owners Should Avoid

Peter Roesler, President - Web Marketing Pros

By Peter Roesler

President, Web Marketing Pros

email-marketing-conceptEmail marketing is one of the those things that’s easy to do but hard to master. The average person gets hundreds of messages every week and mediocre marketing messages are just one of many. This makes it challenging to find a way to craft a message that cuts through the clutter and catches the attention of the audience. Marketers can make that task a little easier by avoiding common pitfalls that can hurt email marketing campaigns. This article will discuss four email marketing mistakes business owners should avoid.

  1. Using Bad Email Lists
    One of the biggest mistake a business can make is to use bad email lists. Using a bad list can damage a businesses email and SEO marketing efforts and it’s sadly easier than some may think. Generally speaking, using a paid list is always bad. Using one violates the terms of service for most email marketing programs and internet service providers. Sites that use paid lists risk having their accounts disabled or their domains blacklisted. Using an old email list with a lot of dead addresses can have the same effect. Having a lot of dead addresses can lower the domain’s reputation ranking, meaning that more of their messages are put in the junk mail folder by default. It takes time, but it’s worth it for marketers to develop their own opt-in mailing list. Use contests and other incentives to get consumers to willing sign up for your mailer.

  2. Using Spam-Filter Triggers in Headlines
    The fight against internet spam is often fought with a double-edged sword. The filters that reduce spam have a bad habit of picking up legitimate emails from marketers that the consumer signed up to receive. Aside from the domain issues mentioned above, another reason emails end up in places other than the primary inbox is the headlines. Email clients determine the likelihood that a message is spam based on the headlines. For example, using very large numbers like $10,000,000 will trigger most spam filters. Even if the reference is to the price for home or business (information real estate developers often send out via email newsletters), large dollar amounts are usually associated spam, so emails with similar headlines may get flagged as well. It’s the same for a message with a headline that’s too short. Headlines like “Get Rich Now” or “Huge Savings” will trigger spam filters, and they aren’t very good headlines in themselves. A good headline isn’t spammy, but catches the reader’s attention with accurate descriptions of content they truly want to read.

  3. Being Repetitive or Lacking Focus
    A key aspect of any email campaign is the content. Large retailers have an easier time being fresh with their emails since they have a wide catalog to choose from. But for business owners who are trying to engage readers with content, it’s important to avoid repetition. For example, a home improvement newsletter can’t have the same tips and articles every few months. At the same time, email newsletters have to make sure they stay focused on the type of content they promised the reader. A family dentist should avoid having their newsletter talk about things that don’t relate to their practice, teeth or families since these are the reasons people signed up for the newsletter.

  4. Overmailing
    Email marketing can be an effective tool for increasing traffic and sales but consumers can quickly find themselves getting too much of a good thing. If consumers feel they are being unnecessarily bombarded by emails from a retailer they may stop paying attention to the messages or unsubscribe. The best frequency for a newsletter can vary from industry to industry. Most businesses will want to stick with a weekly or bi-weekly offering, but there will be some very popular businesses where there is a demand for daily newsletters (e.g. stock analysts). As an added benefit, increasing the amount of time between email blasts gives retailers more time to craft better, more engaging content.

Knowing how to see and avoid these common mistakes will greatly help the email marketing campaigns of businesses of all size. It’s important to remember that even though email marketing is an old tactic, it’s still ranked one of the best ways to increase web traffic and sales by marketers. There’s also a lot of data that shows email marketing is important for local business.

For more ways retailers can make their emails more effective, read this article with four tips for better subject lines.


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