Insights for Destination & Leisure Marketers

6 Mistakes to Avoid in Your Email Marketing Strategy

September 24 | Posted by: | Consider This, Marketing Strategy

This afternoon I received one of the worst marketing emails I have ever seen. Poor design, little to no content, boring subject line, no working links — the list goes on. It was just plain awful, and there’s really no excuse for it other than laziness and carelessness. With an ROI of around 4,300%, a good email marketing strategy is a simple and cost effective method for reaching your target audience. But before you hit send on your next email marketing campaign, here are 6 common mistakes that could land your message in the trash.

Weak Subject Line. The subject line is the first thing your audience sees. Given that 35% of email recipients open email based on subject line alone, it’s essential that your headline be creative and intriguing. If your subject line doesn’t immediately pique the interest of your audience, chances are your email will wind up in the trash before it is ever even opened (or, dare we say it, the spam folder). If your content is interesting and relevant to your audience (which it should be), your subject line must reflect this.

Boring Content. You likely have a specific audience and market you’re trying to reach, so why send them content unrelated to their interests? Even a riveting headline won’t hold readers’ attention for too long if the email content is irrelevant or boring. Considering that most people only stay on a web page for 10-20 seconds and can read about 250 words per minute, the average viewer is only going to read 40-80 words before they leave your email. With the right message, you can capture your audience’s attention in those few crucial seconds. However, if your content is too long or dull, viewers are most likely going to leave.

Unresponsive Mobile Design. If you’ve invested all this time in crafting the perfect subject line and content, you want your audience to be able to actually read what you have to say. With 48% of emails now being opened on mobile devices, an unresponsive layout could cost you nearly half of your readership (or more). Chances are, if a person cannot read your email on the first try, they’re not going to go to extreme lengths to open it. Make sure that your email can be opened across all devices and test it several times before sending it to your target list.

Broken Links. It may seem obvious, but it’s crucial that all the links in your email are working (especially those directing readers to your website). All too often, businesses make the mistake of not checking their links, running the risk of losing credibility with readers or worse — potential conversions. Avoid sending a link to nowhere by testing your email with a few contacts both in and outside your office.

Poor Timing. The biggest mistake you can make in timing your email marketing strategy is not knowing when your audience is active. A mid-morning email sent to a list of busy CEOs will probably not get opened immediately, if at all. While there’s no secret formula for determining the perfect time to hit send, there are different schools of thought on how to optimize your reach. Some say between 8 AM and 10 AM is best due to the high volume of emails that come in towards the middle of the day. Others say it is better to wait until lunch time because people are more relaxed and willing to spend time reading your emails.

Typos. Even though your middle school English teacher probably drilled the importance of proofreading into your head, businesses still forget to do it. Missing a glaring error in spelling or grammar can make your email look careless and sloppy. Even purposeful misspellings can be confusing and problematic. Be sure to read, and re-read, before sending your message.

Mistakes happen to the best of us, so if you find yourself making one of these common email marketing strategy slip-ups, don’t panic. Assess the situation and figure out how you can creatively recover. For some helpful suggestions, check out these do’s and don’ts from Direct Marketing News.