Sending marketing emails like newsletters and promotions to your clients and prospects is a really cost effective way to keep your brand in their minds for the moment they are ready to make a purchase.
But with never ending quantities of spam hitting our in-boxes and lots of businesses competing for the reader’s attention, you need to get it right to be successful.
Make sure you avoid these 5 pitfalls:
or any other standard email program. These are fine for your “transactional emails” but it’s a really bad idea to send marketing emails this way. Apart from being hard work to administer, it can quickly get your main email account blocked by your ISP – so none of your emails get through. Use a proper email marketing service – there are many available. Mailchimp is free for small numbers and is a good way to get started.
Not emailing your list
Obvious really, but it’s any easy trap to fall into when you’re super busy.
Having built up a list of subscribers you need to keep in touch with them. Lists will become stale if you stop emailing for any length of time. And then when you do email, you risk getting a high number of spam reports because people can’t remember signing up to receive your emails.
If it’s been more than 6 months since you emailed your list, you need to think about re-activating your list (asking people if they still want to receive your emails).
Adding all your networking contacts to your newsletter list
Just because someone has handed you their business card at a networking event doesn’t mean they’ve given you permission to subscribe them to your email newsletter. Yes, there are not the same legal restrictions for B2B contacts as B2C but it’s bad practice – and you will annoy at least 50% of the people you email. When you follow up after the meeting (even if it’s just connecting on LinkedIn), let them know about your newsletter and ask them if they’d like to subscribe.
Adding subscribers to all your brands
If you have multiple brands you really need to keep separate lists. People who have signed up to your fashion emails may not be interested in your gadgets brand.
The worst example I’ve seen happened to me a few years ago. I had subscribed to the Confetti email newsletter (to do some competitor research for Wedding Crafter!) I then unsubscribed. A few months later, Confetti was bought by group who owned multiple ecommerce brands (and was put into administration to be sold later). Suddenly I started receiving emails from a number of companies owned by this group. Not only were they sending me lots of emails I didn’t want, but they could only have got my email from a list I had left. I never did receive a response to my complaint, but they did take me off their lists. However, I still remember and would never buy from any of their brands.
Too many pictures
Do you display images by default in your email inbox? If you do, you’re a rarity. Most people keep them turned off, so be aware of how your emails will look without the pictures. If you’re promoting products then of course you want to have some enticing photos, but make sure you have some great text first so people want to turn those images on. Always send a test email and check how it looks both in a standard email program like outlook and on a smart phone.
I haven’t mentioned probably the worst thing you can do – buy a list of email addresses and start blasting out marketing messages. Don’t even think about it.