Avoid pitfalls in your Email Marketing
In order to make email marketing as effective as possible, it is important to stay sharp, make use of best practices and avoid the most obvious pitfalls. Many people forget to take into account the most obvious things, perhaps due to the lack of time or perhaps because over time, people simply forget about the otherwise obvious things. It may also be that you are completely new to Email Marketing and therefore do not really have the necessary knowledge to know what to pay attention to.
Below follow our pieces of advice on what you should always be aware of when sending out newsletters.
1. Purchase mailing lists
It can look like an easy solution just to buy a lot of email addresses, so that you quickly have a great email marketing base. But it is not a good solution – and in fact, it is directly illegal, as the GDPR requirements dictate very specific consent from the recipient of your emails.
There are numerous companies that specialize in selling leads for email marketing use and are said to be of good quality and legal. These are typically email addresses that have been collected from sites where a user, consciously or – more often – unconsciously, has approved that he or she would like to be contacted by a third party through marketing.
Så: Do not buy email addresses from the 3rd party. At MarketingPlatform, we also do not allow our customers to use purchased lists.
2. No double opt-in permission
You should try to make everyone on your lists confirm that they would like to sign up for your email list. There are several reasons for this:
- You ensure that you can live up to the documentation requirement
- You ensure that people really have a desire to sign up for your list, know what they are up to and not have just signed up by mistake
You should be sure that everyone you send your newsletters to has gone through the double opt-in process, so that you can, with a clear conscience, ‘annoy’ the subscriber with your emails. You ensure that the recipient wants to hear from you. Moreover, if you have been good at conveying your message, then you will also get what type of content he or she would like to receive, and what they can expect from the communication from your company. You also guarantee far fewer complaints about spam. Finally, you will experience that the engagement of your sent emails will be higher regarding Open Rate and Click-Through Rate.
In the process where people sign up for your mailing list, you will make yourself a big favour by clearly specifying what type of content they could expect to receive – and preferably also how often. This can help to counter any possible annoyances and a bad start in the communication.
Another good advice is to tell people why they receive an email from you.
You know this for sure; you suddenly start receiving newsletters from a company and you have no idea why. In addition, you usually receive many different newsletters, where it can be difficult to remember and know one from the other. With a small text in the newsletter, about why a person receives the newsletter, this can help with complaints.
3. Lack of understanding of SPAM filters
One of the most feared topics for an email marketing responsible is that the costly newsletters after hard work end up in a SPAM filter. It can be really hard to understand what ‘triggers’ a SPAM filter, but there are several different things you should try to take into account to avoid ending up in the SPAM filter.
We have written a more comprehensive article on this, if you would like to know more in detail.
Overall, you should
- Avoid inactive recipients on your lists
- Do not be afraid to delete inactive recipients
- Make sure that the content is in order
- Be careful with bad code
- Be careful with the sender name
- Personalize the email
- Consider the frequency of sendings
- Be careful with words
- Use more text than images
- Seek engagement
- Set DKIM and SPF
- Avoid sharing IP address with ‘spammers’
- Make follow-up on your emails and follow for words or other that may have triggered the SPAM filter
- Spam test your emails with, for example, Mail-tester.com
4. Send to lists with inactive recipients
It is important to tidy up your mailing lists and clean them from inactive recipients. Apparently, many are afraid of losing subscribers and therefore reducing the size of recipients, but this is very important, as inactive recipients can bring a number of problems for you, including destroying your delivery capacity to active recipients, who actually interact with your emails and would like to receive your messages.
Of course, it is about trying to activate these inactive recipients, but if you ascertain that you cannot make them active igen, they need to be removed to avoid high bounce rate, spam complaints or emails ending up in the SPAM folder.
5. Send for insistent sales emails
Try not to send only sale, sale, sale emails. Of course, it is ultimately your final object to sell, but people can get tired of hearing sales talk and never get anything really useful, unless they are in a current purchase cycle.
Be careful with “Buy Now”, “Turn On Now” and more, and constantly strive to see if it is something that triggers inconsistencies as unsubscribes, falling open rates, and so on.
Always make sure that your emails have something exciting, so that in addition to the selling part, they also get a different type of value.
If you lack inspiration for that part, you can read our article with”25 good ideas for the newsletter“.
If you want to be sure of having as much success as possible with sales emails, you should look more closely at working with segments, where you, for example, can send emails about red wine to people on mailing list who previously bought red wine. If, at the same time, you send your email with at a time when the customer is expected to lack a new wine order, your chance of success is significantly higher.
6. Send half finished campaigns
Most people have experienced sitting with a tight deadline for a newsletter and that they have to send out the newsletter no matter what.
However, there can be a number of reasons for not reaching the deadline if the email is to be completely optimal. Instead, you send a half finished email, where perhaps you might not have checked whether all links work, whether offer is correct, whether there are spelling errors, whether you get sent the newsletter to the right list etc.
This can result in dissatisfied recipients who either end up unsubscribing or initiating a behaviour, where they do not want to open emails from you, because they seem irrelevant or completely bad.
There is a tough battle in the inbox about getting attention, and therefore, do yourself a favour of devoting the time to make the newsletter perfect – Every time!
7. Sending campaign without testing
When you have experience with sending out newsletters, you become aware over time that it is very different how your email appears, depending on the mail client or device.
Therefore, Outlook may display the email differently from Gmail, while the mobile may display the content differently than the computer.
It is therefore very important to always test your newsletter through services such as Litmus before posting, so that you ensure that the email appears as perfect as possible across all clients and devices.
8. Avoid follow-up on emails
Many people forget to follow-up on their emails after sending.
Remember to keep an eye on the statistics in your email marketing system, so that you get insight into how it went with the sending.
Was open rate, click through rate and spam rate better or worse than previous emails – and what was the impact of it? Did you get more or less sales with the latest email and why?
If you are in doubt of how to check whether your email was a success, you can read our article “Do you measure the full effect of your newsletter?“