Pitfalls of Email Marketing

email, marketing, email marketing, outbound marketing, direct marketingWe talk a lot here about what you should do in email marketing, but the fact of the matter is that it’s often just as easy to hinder your successes by doing too much. Email is a mainstay of the marketer’s arsenal, and is holding strong as one of the most valuable assets for marketing online. That is assuming that the email campaign is executed well, if the campaign is not carried out properly it can be extremely detrimental to your success.

So, let’s take a look at some common mistakes and how to avoid them.

1. Spending All of Your Time on Creative

The rule of thumb in direct marketing is 40-40-20. This means that the profit from most direct marketing campaigns will derive 40 percent from the audience you target, 40 percent from the offer, and 20 percent from creative. Though this variable may be somewhat outdated for the digital age, it still provides a valuable guideline.

Don’t get me wrong, I have always been a big proponent of the importance of creativity in marketing. What I am referring to here is the agonizing over every little detail that ends up stifling the creative process and hindering your campaigns development.

There’s no need to obsess over every color and font in an email. When in doubt, fall back on the classic axiom: “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”

2. Massive Blasts

Yes, it may sound like an 80’s hair metal band (and you probably shouldn’t include that either), but what I’m really talking about is the way that some marketers indiscriminately blast the same email to their entire list. This is easy, but ineffective.

It has been shown time and again that sending tailored messages to specific list segments is much more effective than sending untargeted mass messages.

This is where your creativity can really shine, and be very effective. Tailor your emails so that your readers can identify with you, so that they feel the email was actually written for them, and not at them.

3. Increasing Frequency to Increase Sales

The frequency with which you should send emails requires marketers to walk a very fine line. You want to get noticed, but not annoy. However, some marketers believe simply by increasing their frequency they will inevitably increase profits. This is categorically false.

The only way to truly determine how often to send emails is through extensive testing and trial and error. You want to send just enough emails to provoke interest in your product or brand, but not so many that your drive away your readership.

It is easy, especially for inexperienced marketers, to fall into these traps. They “make sense” intellectually, but a great deal of marketing relies on the gut reactions of your readers. As with all marketing, taking a balanced and reasoned approach while also undertaking A/B testing and trial and error will get you the information you need to craft the most effective campaign possible.

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