Financial Data
Updated 25 Feb 2020

Common e-mailer mistakes to avoid

Ignore the basics of good practice, and your marketing won’t succeed.

Gail Goodman, Entrepreneur, 25 June 2012  Share  0 comments  Print

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Email can be one of the most effective marketing vehicles for a business. However many marketers ignore the basics of good practice. Review your email campaigns and make sure these five common mistakes aren’t standing in the way of success:

Mistake 1: Permission Violation

Permission separates legitimate e-mail marketing from spam. You must obtain permission before sending any commercial e-mails. Also, offer a way for recipients to “optout” of your mailings. Failing to do this practically guarantees your e-mail will be caught in a spam filter, deleted or ignored. Permission isn’t just polite; it’s good business practice.

Mistake 2: Doomed for Deletion

Make sure your e-mail “From” line displays your company name. Likewise, your ”Subject” line must state what the e-mail contains. A subject line such as “News from Biz Consultants” will go unopened. Make sure your subject line doesn’t contain exclamation marks and other no-nos that trigger spam filters. Your content must be relevant to your customers. Give them something of value and you’ll have them clicking for more.

Mistake 3: No Call to Action

You’ll know your e-mail was effective if readers took the action you desired, whether it was visiting your website or purchasing a product. Choose the links you embed in your e-mail wisely. Sending e-mail with no clear call to action is like having a sales meeting and not asking for the order.

Mistake 4: Sensory Overload? 

Don’t cram too much into one communication. Readers get overwhelmed and an opportunity is lost. You don’t have to accomplish all your sales goals in one e-mail. Each should fit in your overall marketing plans, targeting a few specific ideas. Look at your last campaign and imagine it with half the content. Simple, concise, targeted e-mail communications with clear calls to action win attention and sales.

Mistake 5: List Size Anxiety

Don’t wait until your list is a minimum size before embarking on your first e-mail campaign. If someone gives you their e-mail address on a business card close the permission loop with your first mailing, and show them what they’ll get if they subscribe. Don’t worry if your list is only your 10 best friends. Send them your campaign and ask for feedback. With good content, they’ll forward it and your list will build itself virally.

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About the author

Gail Goodman, Entrepreneur

Gail Goodman is CEO of Constant Contact, an online provider of email marketing, event marketing, social media marketing, and online survey tools and services for small businesses and organizations. She is a member of the board of trustees of the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council and a member of the board of directors of SCORE. Gail holds a bachelor's degree from The University of Pennsylvania and a MBA from Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth. Follow her on Twitter: @Gail_Goodman

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