By Conor Gallagher
The do’s and don’ts for Email Marketing
Email marketing is an extremely important strategy used by digital marketers in order to build relationships with future prospects or current and even past customers. It’s a huge opportunity for marketers to communicate directly with their customers in a very personal way. It is important that digital marketers follow their own strategy or practices that they believe will be successful. But what are the obvious best practices and common mistakes that are made in an email marketing campaign?
Before any email or campaign is sent, it needs to be tested beforehand. This is important because it eliminates the threat of sending emails with incorrect or missing data, such as spelling mistakes, broken links or failed media like pictures that do not load properly. As referenced in Litmus, “Your email marketing could be looking strange in your subscribers’ inboxes without you ever noticing” (Smith, 2016).
It is considered best practice to send a few test emails to yourself in order to make sure everything works and looks the way you intended.
Its also important to track or monitor the performance of the emails in the email marketing. Things like ‘clicks’ and ‘open rates’ need to be tracked in order to monitor the email marketing campaign’s performance and allows one to see how subscribers engage with the campaign content.
This best practice of tracking, gives digital marketers an idea of the kinds of content subscribers are interested in and “provides valuable data to direct email marketing campaigns in future”. (Campaignmonitor.com, 2018)
· Avoid Spam
“Spam is unsolicited, irrelevant email, sent in bulk to a list of people”(Mailchimp, n.d) . Email marketing campaigns need to interest and entice subscribers to engage with the brand, therefore its important that the content is relevant and consistent. The subject line of every email tells subscribers what exactly is in the email and spam filters monitor these as well. These filters look for certain types of content, things like excessive use of capital letters, gimmicks or exclamation points can cause emails to be considered as spam.
· Avoid Excess Code
· Have a Clean List
When collecting email addresses, its important to make sure that all email addresses are recorded correctly so that little/no emails ‘bounce’. In order to create a clean list of addresses, its important to use a campaign to make sure they still want to receive the emails. A email marketing campaign such as a ‘reminder email’ can be used to confirm subscribers’ interest and also see how many emails are undelivered.
Email Marketing Mistakes
- Lack of Personalisation
A personalised email is exceptionally important to a successful email marketing campaign, according to Campaign Monitor an email marketing, “Personalized emails have about 26% higher open rates, and over 14% click-through rates when compared to other, non-personalized emails”. (Hum, 2019) We live in a world where customers expect to receive content specifically related to their personal interests and preferences.
- Bad Reputation
Sender reputation relates to the authenticity and credibility as a sender. It plays a significant part in ISP’s differentiating between if the sender is genuine or spam. Reputation is effected by a number of things, such as bounce rate, volume of emails and the rates of subscription. Email marketing content needs to be relevant so that it isn’t flagged as spam, therefore ruining the sender reputation.
- Incorrect Identification of Target Market’s preferences
Creating email marketing content that is relevant to subscribers is highly important but can be a challenge as one cannot ask them what they want all the time. By segmenting customers into groups or personas can help in identifying their preferences. Through use of various demographics, marketers can narrow their idea of what their subscribers want to see.
Email marketing can be a very effective tool in the bag for many digital marketers. By following the these best practices, there’s no doubt you can create an extremely effective email marketing campaign. For some practical examples and help, look at Mailchimp or even look at doing a digital marketing course through IIDM that can provide great knowledge towards email marketing and strategy.
Smith, L., 2016. 11 Reasons to Test Every Email Before You Send – Litmus. [online] Litmus. Available at: <https://www.litmus.com/blog/11-reasons-to-test-every-email-before-you-send/> [Accessed 15 February 2021].
Campaignmonitor.com. 2018. 17 Email Marketing Metrics Every Marketer Needs to Know. [online] Available at: <https://www.campaignmonitor.com/blog/email-marketing/2019/03/17-email-marketing-metrics-every-email-marketer-needs-to-know/> [Accessed 15 February 2021].
Mailchimp. n.d. What is Spam Email? How to Avoid Spam Filters | Mailchimp. [online] Available at: <https://mailchimp.com/resources/avoid-spam-filters/> [Accessed 15 February 2021].Hum, S., 2019. The 5 Most Common Email Marketing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them. [online] Campaignmonitor.com. Available at: <https://www.campaignmonitor.com/blog/email-marketing/2019/06/the-5-most-common-email-marketing-mistakes-and-how-to-avoid-them/> [Accessed 18 February 2021].