You only have a moment to get someone’s attention when you send them an email. Here are ten things to avoid when creating your marketing emails.
I delete more emails now than ever. Email is a chore for me, and I know it is for many others. Here are some of the reasons I and others delete email.
1. The email is not responsive on mobile devices
You’ve been creating emails in one of the utility applications like Constant Contact for years. You have the template, it’s working, so why change it?
Because! Your email requires me to stop what I am doing, get out a magnifying glass to attempt to read the minute text. No, wait! I also have to swipe from side to side to view each sentence’s words.
Even if your email has content that is not super interesting or relevant to me, I want to scan the headlines and see what you sent. An email that requires me to swipe and zoom is too hard to scan. So, I just delete it.
Please, please, please, make your email responsive. This means it re-sizes depending on what device I’m on. On my phone the font is large enough to see and I can easily click on links and buttons without clicking on something I don’t want by mistake!
2. There is no subject line in your email
I’ve sent these emails out on occasion, and I bet you have, too. You’re in a hurry, or you just plain forget to type in the subject. But, in your email marketing, this is a big error! Failing to put in a subject is a red flag for the spam filters, so it may fall into the spam folder, never to be seen by the intended recipient. If it does make it though, it’s pretty much useless to the recipients and many will just delete it before scanning.
3. Your subject line is irrelevant to me
You managed to type a subject line in your email, but it sucks. It’s irrelevant, boring, and, guess what? I’ve deleted your email and I’m on to the next email. Sometimes people do this by having a static eLetter name that never changes. There are a lot of helpful headline tips that you can find on people’s blogs.
One that I think is clever is to include your email name and some highlights from the email. An example might be “Marketing Matters: The Perfect Blog Post | Systematize Your Email Marketing,” which sneaks in two blog post topics.
Another way to spice up your email subject line is to use certain words that get people’s attention. “New,” “Free,” “You,” “Because,” “Instantly.” The cool thing now is that it’s not some ad guys telling you what they think works. Now we have companies that measure social media results and can prove what words work! As an example, check out this list of 189 words that convert by Buffer.
4. There is no business or person’s name in the email From field
Sometimes I get emails in which the subject line is OK or even compelling, but there is nothing in the From field of the email. Or, even if there is a business name in the From field, I can’t tell who sent it to me. In one case, a business owner was launching his new brand and website and sent out emails to announce the change. I was intrigued since this is my line of work! But, I could not figure out who the person was! And, there was no way to contact the sender or look at the website. Months later I saw the same brand and was able to connect it to the business owner, whom I had met.
I network a lot, and sometimes seeing a photo of the person helps me recognize them. If you are a sole proprietor, it’s a good idea to have a little photo to remind people who you are.
5. Your first sentence in the email is boring and/or irrelevant to me
Ok, now I’ve figured out who sent the email, what it’s about. Time to look for content. If the content doesn’t match the subject line, you lost me. If it’s not interesting, I’m not going to read.
What is interesting? A real-life story, not a boring sales pitch. A statement that tells me why others attended an event or bought a service. Or, a statement that tells me for what pain you have a solution (we marketers love pain). People who have problems and issues need solutions.
6. Your email has broken links, missing images, typos or other errors
Problems happen with emails, sometimes due to technology. But, all the email programs such as Constant Contact and MailChimp allow you to send test emails. When you test an email, click on every image and link to make sure they connect to the right landing page or form. Use the email program’s spell check and manually proof your email to make sure there are no errors.
If there is an error in the email you send, correct it and send a new email with a brief explanation. It’s happened to all of us, and everyone appreciates honesty and transparency.
7. You do not include a call-to-action, so I delete the email
Have you ever read a cool email, and wanted to say or do something about it, but there was nothing there? No link to a website, nothing to download, no video to click to and watch. No way to share on social media? Maybe not even a phone number?
Make sure your email has at least one call-to-action so recipients can take action. Provide some options – not everyone wants to pick up the phone, so ask them to email or use a form to provide the best time for you to call them!
8. You include a call-to-action but don’t repeat it at the end of the email
I like to see the call-to-action at least two times. Don’t make me read to the bitter end of your email to figure out how to take action. Invite me midway and repeat at the end.
9. Your email is too long, and I don’t have time to read it
It seems that in B2C marketing studies showed that a “ginormously” long email with tons of testimonials, statistics, benefits and other selling points was effective. I’m not sure I agree.
Make your offer in the email, and then give me some things to look into if I’m interested. None of us have much time to read anymore. If I’m interested in your offer, send me to a web page that I can scroll through with all the above.
10. I see no address or I.D. for your business or you as a person
This is actually illegal under the CAN SPAM Act for promotional emails. All promo emails must show the physical address for the business and have a clear way the recipient can opt-out. Interestingly, lack of business contact information on websites is the number one complaint visitors have. This is a pet peeve of mine. Who are these people? I want to know who is behind the email and whether or not they are legit.
I hope you found this blog post helpful. Email marketing is still a key tactic for B2B marketers. It is a way to personalize your message with an individual once they are attracted by your website, social media or other marketing activities.
Do you need help with creating more effective and compelling emails? Contact me at New Incite today. I’ve worked with hundreds of businesses, providing marketing training, consulting and execution, to help them get better results from their marketing.