Avoid These Four Email Marketing Mistakes

By Kelly Gregorio

With the right email-marketing program in place, you can connect with your customers while saving your business money, time and effort. With the option of real-time messages, email marketing is a great option all around for small business owners.

However, like most things in life, email marketing is only worth the effort if you’re going to do it right the first time. Avoid these tragic mistakes and get everyone excited when they see your business’s name in their inbox.

1. You’re Wasting Their Time

If you’re going to send a promotional email, make sure it offers added value to your readers. Whether you are notifying them of a sale or a special event, your audience deserves to have all of the necessary details clearly provided. Shy away from unnecessary updates that could just as easily be communicated though your Twitter and Facebook feeds.

In addition to providing your audience with informational value, strive to get them an entertaining educational lesson too. After all, you are an expert in your field, so be willing to showcase your talents with tangible takeaways and engaging how-tos. Brand your content-heavy emails with situations (holidays, universal events) related to your readers’ outside worlds.

2. You’re Not Consistent

If one month you’re sending off a few emails a week, and then the next month you barely get one out, you’ve got a problem. Audiences are willing to give you access to their inbox but please, above all else, be consistent. Find a flow that works for both you and your readers and stick with it.

The bonus lies in the branding method (for example you could send out a “Top of the Month” email), which readers will come to expect. This consistency will showcase your trustworthiness as a host and it will likely increase loyalty among your audience.

Additionally, be sure to be consistent with the rest of your look as an overall brand. Be sure to match templates, fonts and colors with the rest of your company’s look. While your audiences are taking on the reader role, they also make connections visually, so allow them to match what they see with their understanding of your brand.

3. You Forget to Scrutinize Before You Send

Regardless of how great your email seems to be, if you are quick to hit send you could be wasting all of that initial effort. No matter your command of the English language, every writer needs an editor. Make a promise to yourself never to break the golden rule of any written content: have another set of eyes review your work.

Along these lines, be sure to test your email before you send it off to your entire audience. Have willing participants (friends or co-workers) open their inboxes up as test zones. Spam filters and plain text options all need to be addressed before your formal send off.

4. You’re Not Share Happy

The email campaign that is strictly formulated for computers is a dead one. Almost everyone is checking their email on their phones these days, which is why your campaign needs to have a converted mobile version. Don’t sell yourself short by limiting your reader’s access to only certain technologies.

For those that are sending out consistently killer emails and still are not getting the response they’ve expected, relax, a simple tweak could nix this issue. By adding Twitter or Facebook links to your emails you are heavily increasing your chances of spreading your word. And if you’ve done everything this article has listed so far (i.e. provided interesting and thorough information in a consistent and polished manner), chances are it will get passed on.

Your turn–what other pitfalls of email marketing have you learned to avoid?

Author’s Bio: Kelly Gregorio writes about topics that affect entrepreneurs and small businesses while working at Advantage Capital Funds, a merchant cash advance provider. You can read her daily business blog here.

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