Email marketing is one of the most powerful and personal ways to connect with customers. Here are our top tips on what to avoid.

Email marketing is one of the most powerful and personal ways to connect with customers, build loyalty, generate new leads and sell products.

With the number of active email accounts worldwide expected to reach around 5.6 billion by the end of 2019, it is not surprising that marketers must ensure their email content delivers. Unfortunately, many are still making the same mistakes. Here are our top tips on what to avoid.

1. DON’T use generic links

After taking the time and effort to engage a customer in the purchase cycle, it logically follows that an email link should redirect them to a suitable landing page - a web page that closely relates to what engaged them in the first place.

Time is precious, so customers need you to make the buying process as easy as possible. It does not matter how exciting your copy is if you make them hunt around your website to find what they are looking for. By using relevant landing pages, you can ensure that a customer’s journey goes smoothly, that their interest is maintained, leading them directly to purchase. 

2. DON’T make your email formatted to desktop only

The days where consumers only used their desktop computer to check emails are long gone. With smartphone usage through the roof and expected to grow to 6.1 billion users by 2020, using a format that is not facilitated on mobile is a huge mistake.

Likewise, everyone uses different web browsers, so it is also important to make sure that your emails do not drastically alter between browsers. By keeping everything as user-friendly as possible, you can avoid inadvertently deterring a customer from your brand. 

3. DON’T bombard your mailing list with emails

This may seem obvious, but it is a mistake that many marketers still make. If a consumer feels overwhelmed with the amount of promotional emails they are receiving, they may unsubscribe from your mailing list, wasting all the effort it took to get them on board in the first place.

But how do you find the balance between neglecting and overusing your lists? If you have taken the time to cultivate a rapport with potential customers, then you obviously want to take advantage of this. As with most marketing approaches, balance is the best way forward - use A/B testing to assess what is the most effective frequency model for your business.

4. DON’T overuse spam trigger words

The last thing any marketer wants is to spend valuable time compiling a fantastic promotional email, only for it to never be seen by consumers. This can easily happen by using incorrect words in your copy. Some terms, which may seem fairly innocuous, can actually lead to your emails being redirected to spam folders.

Likewise, certain stylistic choices, such as multiple exclamation marks or all caps subject lines, can also prevent your email even reaching the right recipients. Make sure you are aware of the danger words/formats and avoid using them.

5. DON’T forget to review and update your mailing lists

So many marketers compile an extensive mailing list and then leave it at that, allowing it to get slowly but surely outdated. Regularly reviewing your email list and revising it based on who has actually viewed your emails is integral to a successful email marketing campaign. Although this may drastically reduce the size of your list, it is much better to have a small and active list than a large and inactive one. 

6. DON’T use a boring subject line

Consumers remain committed to their email inboxes. However, on average, people now receive a whopping 121 marketing emails per day, so it can be very easy to get lost in the crowd. Because of this, making the most of your subject line is key to standing out from your competitors. Without an engaging introduction, even an exciting, well-written and informative email may never get opened. 

The approach you take to create a captivating subject line really depends on the nature of your business. For example, a teen-oriented clothing retailer’s email content is not going to have the same tone as a formal legal clinic or a business built on circulating offer-led products. 

By using A/B testing you can see what does and does not work for your brand, allowing you to refine your email marketing approach accordingly.

7. Last, but certainly not least, DON’T forget personalisation

While the “ideal” subject line varies from brand to brand, one thing is universally important: personalisation. With the wealth of consumer data now available for brands, not making the most of the information you have is short-sighted, to say the least. By segmenting your lists into specific consumer profiles and then building customer personas, you can guarantee that your emails will reach the right people at the right time.

Once you have different target groups, you can alter the tone and formality of your emails based on who will be reading them and at what time. Put yourself in their shoes. Consider the message and adapt your tone based on the type of content you’re sending. If it’s a transactional email about a purchase, you’ll want to get right to the point and only include the important information. But if you’re sending an exciting product announcement or offer, you can show a little more personality and have fun with your copy.

Remember that brands are people and your subscribers want a human touch in their emails. One thing to remember though is to only include humour where it feels natural - a forced joke is never funny.

And finally, whilst your footer has to contain your mailing address, website and unsubscribe link, you can add an image there too, as long as it doesn’t distract people from the important information. It’s a good way to remind your readers that you care about little things.

And if you’re still not convinced, the data is there to prove that personalisation works: studies have shown that emails with personalised subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened and that segmentation can increase email revenue by 760%.

At Accord, we are here to manage the whole process for you, from concept design to build, database segmentation to performance metrics, testing to delivery - providing unrivalled service and support from start to finish. For more information, please contact us