There’s really no disputing the fact that when it comes to sheer tenacity and staying power, e-mail marketing really is a force to be reckoned with. Even after decades of extraordinarily advanced and sophisticated steps forward in web marketing, e-mail still remains one of the most powerful, widely used and potentially valuable web marketing strategies of all.
That is of course, assuming you are getting it right – research suggesting that most simply aren’t!
What is important to remember is that while the basic premise of e-mail marketing hasn’t changed over the years, what has changed quite spectacularly is pretty much every consumer spanning every target audience. Roughly translated, what may have worked 20 years ago probably won’t have the same impact today – just as the kind of stuff you could get away with 10 years ago would today drive your reputation into the ground.
The power of e-mail marketing is a subject of no dispute – hitting the nail on the head by contrast is becoming increasingly difficult. The goal posts are moving all the time and the rule book has been rewritten pretty much by the year. But how are things looking as far as 2016 is concerned?
Well, let’s just say that if you take note of, acknowledge and learn lessons from the following seven deadly sins, your own e-mail marketing efforts stand every chance of being every bit as successful as they can be:
1 – Cold Contact
Ask yourself – is cold calling really as effective these days as it was in years gone by? The answer is of course, no – most of us are unwilling to even pick up the phone unless we know the number, as a means by which to completely avoid these kinds of sales tactics. As such, if there has been no connection or interaction with the recipient via social media or other channels before hitting them with an e-mail, this is basically the e-mail equivalent of cold calling…and it doesn’t usually work.
2 – Nothing Personal
If you can actually persuade a recipient to open an e-mail, the last thing you want is to give them the impression that it could have been posted to any other person as there is nothing personal about it. Penning individual emails or at least group emails in smaller numbers that feature strong personal elements can take time and effort, but is exponentially more effective.
3 – Silly Mistakes
You’d be forgiven for thinking that nobody in their right mind would ever fire off a 50,000-e-mail marketing campaign without first ensuring said emails weren’t littered with ridiculous spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. And you’d also be completely wrong – it happens all the time and is a great way of putting prospects off for life.
4 – No Escape
Research has shown that the way in which e-mail recipients respond to communications that do not feature clear and easy ‘unsubscribe’ options are received massively less positively than those to the contrary. Suffice to say, giving your recipients no way of escaping and trying to fence them into your mailing lists is a pretty terrible idea.
5 – Insulting Content
Another highly common trap so many fall into is that of coming dangerously close to insulting the recipients of the emails, which usually occurs in the form of patronising or condescending content. You have a lot to say, you need to get across how fantastic your offer is and you need to make the recipient believe they need you. Nevertheless, there’s a fine line between pulling this off and coming across as if you are somewhat treating them like fools – that or claiming to know their areas of interest better than they themselves do.
6 – Further Info
It should be made spectacularly easy for every recipient of your marketing emails to both find out more about your brand in general and get in touch. Emails that cannot be replied to simply by hitting ‘reply’ are never particularly well received – nor all those that don’t contain clear and comprehensive contact information. If you don’t make it as easy as possible for them to find out more information, they won’t, which means that your e-mail in its entirety is rendered completely and utterly redundant.
7 – Harassment
Last but not least, contrary to popular belief it is not in fact a good idea to try your damnedest to provoke a response from potential customers by bothering them and harassing them on an on-going basis. If they have shown no interest whatsoever after the first couple of emails (which have done the job nicely elsewhere), this basically tells you all you need to know. Trying to push them in your general direction by writing them emails to tell them you have already written them plenty of emails doesn’t work. In fact, it’s counterproductive.