So, when was the last time you thought about your email marketing? A week? A month? Heaven forbid – a year?
No matter how top of mind your email marketing is (or isn’t), it’s never a bad idea to take a moment to evaluate how well it’s performing. If your emails aren’t doing as well as you’d like, you may be guilty of an email blunder or two. Fortunately, these are pretty easy to fix – read on for a breakdown on our top email “oops.”
Make it Relevant
A while back Marketing Sherpa did a survey that asked prospects what they thought the biggest problems were with the emails they received on products and services. Fifty-six percent said the content was not relevant or specific to their focus/role. This is a huge failing that we see over and over in email marketing.
It’s essential to consider your audience when composing an email. At a minimum you should be segmenting your list (industry, product focus, and role are all good places to start) and tailoring your copy to these classifications.
Review your emails to see if you’re talking about your company too much. Your content should be talking about something that is of interest to a prospective buyer, and while you may think all they want to hear about is how great your company/product/services is, that’s not always the case. Reserve the sales pitch for later when they’ve indicated they’re interested in buying what you have to offer. Use a conversational tone and personalize wherever you can.
Keep it Short and Sweet
A cardinal sin is forgetting to keep your email short and sweet. If you’re lucky enough that the subject line catches someone’s attention, you can be sure that you only have seconds to keep it. That means you need to get to the point, and fast. And, most people skim their emails so be sure to break up the text with subheads or bullets.
Make the Call to Action Count
The Marketing Sherpa survey also revealed that more than 60% of respondents felt the offers being made were not compelling. Taking the time to think through your offer and anticipate what the response or reaction might be is well worth it. Be clear about you want the reader to do and use action-oriented verbs in the call to action like “Download the White Paper Now.”
Limit the call to action to just one offering; more than that and you risk diluting both your message and the action you want someone to take. Lastly, don’t forget to put the call to action as a text link within the email – if you rely on just a button or picture, there’s no guarantee someone will download the image.
Assess the Pace
Great content…check. Compelling call to action…check, check. But, how often are you sending out emails? If you’re sending one every week or two to the same database, you may have a problem.
The frequency of your emails is just as important as your content and call to actions. Depending upon your business and the content you have to offer, every three weeks or once a month may be the perfect timing – only you will know. One way to assess this is to keep an eye on the number of unsubscribes. If that number is high or trending upward, that’s a sign you are hitting the database too frequently, or not providing relevant content.
And be sure to honor requests to unsubscribe – nothing makes people madder then ignoring them, and then there is that pesky detail that you’re legally required to take them off your list. While you may hate to see them go, you’re better off respecting someone’s wishes to not get your emails. You can always tactfully invite them back (much later).
If you liked this post, check out these for more email marketing best practices: