Are you using emails to nurture the prospects on your list of subscribers?
With every $1 spent on email marketing returning an average of $44, the ROI is proven.
Building your subscriber list is step one. But step two of turning your subscribers into customers isn’t easy. In fact it’s a complex mix of data and testing that many businesses fail to implement effectively.
In this article you’ll learn about the 3 biggest email marketing mistakes that the majority of people make, and how to fix them.
This article won’t cover the basics. If you’re incorporating an email marketing strategy into your broader marketing efforts then you should already know what to include.
- Clear call-to-actions
- Professional designs
- Perfect spelling
- Clear and direct subject lines
These are the basics of successful email marketing campaigns in 2019. But just doing what everyone else is doing won’t separate you from your competition. The most successful businesses and marketers go above and beyond with creative approaches.
By addressing the following 3 email marketing mistakes you’re making right now, you’ll be able to elevate your email game and start seeing the ROI you’re looking for.
Mistake #1 – You’re selling too hard
Increasing your subscriber list is vital if you want to grow your business and increase your earnings. But avoid the temptation to start pushing the hard sell on your new audience.
The simple way to avoid making this mistake is to understand why you’re emailing them, not what you’re emailing them.
You want to increase traffic to your site, generate leads and grow your revenue. But is that what you audience wants?
The expectations of your audience will vary based on the method of their subscription. For example, if you’ve grown your list using a targeted lead magnet promising affiliate marketing tips, then your audience will expect communication on this topic.
The mistake most business owners make is to assume their audience is ready to be pitched to just because they’ve signed up to an email list. In trying to leverage sales they end up losing the prospects they worked so hard to capture. You need to put your audience first and focus on serving, not selling.
Tips to place your audience’s need first:
- Be personal: Write the way you speak and address your audience as if they were in the room with you.
- Talk about them, not you: It’s a marketing cliche, but don’t tell them how great your business is, but show them what benefit it would be to their lives.
- Skip the sales jargon: Consumers in 2019 are too savvy for clickbait or spam headlines. Be clear with the value they should expect, then deliver it in spades.
Consider the following email from affiliate marketing expert Jason Orban. With simple language and a clear benefit, it uses conversational language to connect with subscribers and give them what they want.
Remember, your focus should shift to become educational and informative.
Try sharing ideas and actionable tips that your subscribers can implement themselves. Through this action you’ll position yourself as an authority in your industry while gaining the trust of your subscribers and nurturing relationships that will strengthen over time.
TAKEAWAY = Your emails are a form of content marketing, not direct response selling. Your goal is to establish yourself as an authority which will lead to higher open rates, click-through rates and conversion rates down the line.
Mistake #2 – You’re not optimising for mobiles
In 2017, 61% of email opens occurred on mobile devices.
While this data doesn’t necessarily represent your demographic – as email interaction varies based on age, location email type and consumer type; studies have consistently shown that mobile phones are responsible for email open rates above 50% regardless of these variables.
If you’re not formatting your emails to align with mobile use, you’re not just missing out on opportunities to grow – you’re actually hurting your business.
Poor formatting can torpedo the best emails. No matter how strong your product is, or how compelling your copy is, if your emails don’t display properly on mobile devices you won’t stand a chance of reaching your email marketing goals.
To place a quantitative figure on this, if your email doesn’t display correctly on mobiles then it is likely to be deleted in less than 3 seconds over 70% of the time.
Examples of incorrect formatting include:
- Out of place images
- No alt text for when images don’t load
- Too much text without spacing
- Non-responsive design
To avoid this conversion killing mistake, take the time to send a test email to yourself and view it on mobile. Email marketing tools like Mailchimp and Campaign Monitor include options to preview and test your emails on mobile screens so there’s no reason to send anything but a mobile optimised email anymore.
Diego Varoli, Search It Local email marketing manager, has an exclusive tip, saying “ignore best practice and put your CTA near the top of your page for mobile viewing. Show your audience exactly what to do and how they’ll benefit to encourage conversions. Design your CTA buttons in 44 x 44 pixel dimensions too to ensure they stand out and are optimised for mobiles.”
Are the font sizes large enough to read? Do the images display at the correct size? Is the content succinct enough without having to scroll endlessly?
Answer these questions and create a seamless user experience for your subscribers and you’ll be avoiding the mistake that business owners and marketers commonly make.
If you don’t have the time to devote to fully optimising your emails, as a bare minimum keep content to a single column and make sure your images are no wider than 600 pixels.
TAKEAWAY = The majority of emails are opened on mobile devices and this majority will only grow in 2019 and beyond. Ensure your emails are easy to read, and prioritise clarity over cleverness to give yourself the best chance of success.
Mistake #3 – You’re not segmenting your audience
Email marketing is not a numbers game, despite what you may have been told in the past.
Success comes from segmenting your audience and implementing clear personalization strategies. In all areas, targeted marketing is more effective than general marketing.
Your goal should be to cater for the needs of your individual customers, not your entire audience. This can be done by segmenting your audience into lists that may include:
- Geographic location
- Past purchases
Your subscribers want to feel as though they are important to you as individuals, not as statistics. By splitting up your email subscribers you will be better placed to deliver an authentic experience that fosters trust and drives conversions. Think of it this way, what would be more effective on you…
An email that talks about the benefits of affiliate marketing?
Or an email that puts your problem in words and shows you exactly how affiliate marketing can create a stream of passive income, freeing up time that you can use to invest in your own business?
The more niche you can tailor your approach, the more successful you will be.
Wondering how to segment your audience?
It is important to avoid asking for this data up front. While that would make your life as a marketer easier, you’ll risk pushing your prospects away and wasting the time and effort that went into attracting them.
Instead, periodically use surveys, on-site forms, and questions in your emails to help you identify your demographics and enrol them in the ideal funnel.
BONUS TIP: Complement the effectiveness of your segmenting strategy with email tracking. This will show you whether your emails are connecting with your newly segmented audience or not.
As a minimum you should track:
- Delivery rate
- Open rate
- Click-through rate
- Unsubscribe rate
- Conversion rate
According to the email marketing experts at Paperclip Digital, you can reward your most engaged subscribers to drive conversions by “rewarding active and engaged users with exclusive discounts, promotions and offers. This will help build your loyal following and drive revenue. At the same time remove those who aren’t opening your emails to further segment your list and increase your efficiency.”
The most successful email marketers know that successful campaigns come from data tracking and constant testing.
Are you ready to start crushing your email goals?
Email marketing remains one of the most effective ways to drive traffic, boost conversions and make sales.
However, conversions don’t magically increase once you’ve got someone’s email address. Whether you’re looking to reach your B2B or B2C goals, email marketing requires the ability to understand the subtle difference between what your audience wants and what you want, the ability to emphasise mobile optimisation, and the data required to segment your audience.
Now that you know whether you’ve been making these 3 email marketing mistakes you can make the necessary changes to improve open rates, click rates, and conversion rates.
Do you have an email marketing hack that’s transformed your approach? Let me know in the comments!
Alexander Porter is Head of Copy at Paperclip Digital, Sydney’s boutique agency with bold visions.
Alexander is passionate about SEO, Content Marketing, Social Media and the power of language to strikes consumers like lightning.
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