Wednesday, June 21, 2017

3 Common Mistakes in Email Marketing

Developing an email marketing strategy that works takes a lot of experience, a lot of mistakes and in the end a lot of successes.

Email marketing consists of multiple layers and skill sets. That’s why creating an email marketing strategy that will bring positive results can seem daunting.

Whether you are one of the top email marketing gurus or you are still reading the email marketing beginners guide - it is very easy to make mistakes.

That’s why, in this article, I have outlined 3 of the biggest mistakes in email marketing that appear most commonly. 

In addition, there are a few advanced email marketing tips that should assist you no matter what level you consider yourself. 

That way you can hopefully benefit from some of my experiences and avoid repeating the same mistakes!

#1 Bad A/B Testing Decisions

A/B Testing or Split Testing is one of the top email marketing strategies when it it is done correctly. 

It consists of sending two versions of an email template to two small sections of an email database. Results are then compared. The email with the better conversion rate is judged to be the better campaign.

best strategy for email marketing

However, I have seen many cases where bad A/B Testing decisions have effected overall results. Listed below are a few common mistakes:

  • Sample list size too small: An A/B Test can only be accurate if the samples are the right size. If too small it will be impossible to judge the test a fair reflection on the entire list.
  • Pro-Tip #1:  Hubspot suggest that 1,000 opens of a specific email campaign is a sufficient number from which to make a solid conclusion.
  • Pro-Tip #2: Split test each email in your email follow up series. This is an effective and time efficient way to optimise your email marketing campaigns. 
  • Testing more than one variable: Only ever test one element in an A/B Test. If you test more you won’t know which variable it was that caused the campaign to perform better.
  • Pro-Tip: I suggest that you keep a spreadsheet of all of your email marketing conversion statistics. Excel is powerful tool for presentations and identifying areas for improvement fast. Having to login and search through different applications can be time consuming.

#2 Bad Email List Hygiene:

This is another of the most common mistakes in email marketing. 

Bad email data can consist of inactive users, spamtraps, complainers and much more. By sending email campaigns to data such as this you can put your entire sending reputation in jeopardy. 

biggest mistakes in email marketing

For that reason it is one of the biggest obstacles to developing an email marketing strategy that works. 

Pro-Tip #1: Set up segments of your lists that separate your openers and clickers from the rest. That way you won't repeatedly send to disengaged users. To be 100% safe remove the non-openers.

Pro-Tip #2: Some email sending applications have a Re-Engagement feature. This will remove users to a separate list if they haven't opened any campaigns for a certain amount of time. You could then send out a great email campaign to arouse their interest before they become completely inactive.

This is a highly effective email marketing strategy. It will leave you with a highly targeted list whilst maintaining a great Senderscore for your email server.

email marketing strategy outline

A further tips is to always source out the best email data. Make sure you are using single or double opt in lists. In addition, try using an email data feed or verified users that have opted in for email marketing offers.

#3 Email Subject Line Mistakes

The first thing your subscribers will see is your email subject line. 

So if you are not using the best email subject lines your emails will never get opened. 

They must be relevant to the content of the email. If you are too clever or long winded you may end up confusing your audience. 

Pro-Tip: Avoid aggressive sales pitches, excessive use of capitals and numbers. A good email marketing campaign strategy is about building up trust.

Here is a conversion graphic comparing long and short subject lines from mailup blog:

developing an email marketing strategy

Aweber report that relevant subject lines receive 541% more clicks than those that try to be too clever. 

Here are some example of the best and worst subject lines:

9 Must-Try Email Subject Lines
Your Winning Personalization Strategy
3 Steps to Winning Customer Loyalty
20 of the Best Subject Lines for Email Open Rates
The 7 Step Blueprint to Get Traffic To Your Site Today
How to Start a Successful Online Business
How to Find Traffic Easily

and now the worst:

You’re not alone
It’s finally here
Still doing it the old way?
Customer Spotlight – SEER Interactive
Selling Digital: The Perfect Last-Minute Christmas Gift

A clever subject line may get opened out of curiosity. But a direct subject line that offers something of real value will provide the better conversion rates.

email marketing strategy ideas

Pro-Tip:  Use personalisation to improve engagement. It will make your users feel more relevant as you can see in the graph above from discovered that email marketers who are using personalisation get a 2.5x higher click-through rate, and generate 6 times more in sales.


So if you are making these mistakes right now, then you have a few effective email marketing tips to help you improve. That way you can begin seriously developing an email marketing strategy.
If you've read this and found yourself in agreement because you have made some of these mistakes, then don't worry I feel your pain, let's share it together!

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