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Ten email marketing mistakes to avoid

November 19, 2012

Email marketing is a cost effective, quick and powerful marketing channel.  But as with all types of marketing there are plenty of traps for the unwary. Here are our top ten email marketing mistakes to avoid if you want to get your message across to your target audience.

1. Poor spelling, grammar and punctuation.
You might not care where apostrophes go, but a significant proportion of your readers do. Get it wrong, and you immediately lose credibility. Proofread carefully, and get a second person to double check.

2. No clear call to action
If you’re sending marketing emails, what’s your objective?  Decide what action you want people to take and make it easy for them to do so.

3. Broken links. 
All the time spent designing your email could be wasted if people come to a link that doesn’t work. They are very likely to decide the email isn’t worth their time and delete it and it doesn’t do your credibility much good either. Check all links carefully before sending.

4. Overloading the reader.
Try to tell the reader too many things at once and they won’t take in anything. Stick to one message at a time. This way you get to keep material for next time, too.

5. No testing.
Just because your email looks good in your favourite browser and on your PC doesn’t mean it will look good everywhere else. Be sure to test your email as thoroughly as possible on as many different devices as possible.

6. Not thinking about the subject line - or thinking about it too much.
Clear and to the point subject lines usually work better than either vague or over-clever ones.

7. Assuming everyone can see your images.
A large proportion of email clients do not display images by default. Consider what your design will look like without images and always use alternative text and colours to convey your brand and message.

8. Not being consistent. 
For people to remember who you are, you need consistent branding.  The look of your email communications is key, as is having a consistent and trustworthy ‘from address’ and a consistent approach to subject lines. If your email lacks consistent branding and the source is not immediately apparent then the recipient is more likely to delete your email without reading it.

9. Sending the same message to everyone.
If you send the same information to everyone, you miss the opportunity for the close targeting that can bring real email success. Think about segmenting your data and decide what type of content will be most effective for each.

10.  Not complying with legal guidelines. 
The rules are there for a reason. Must-haves include an unsubscribe link and your business address details.

What else have you seen that you would add to the list? Let us know!

Posted by Jenni Malley
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