Top 10 E-Mail Marketing Mistakes To Avoid

There’s a lot of money to be made with properly prepared and correctly executed e-mail marketing.The key words in that statement are: properly prepared and correctly executed.It doesn’t matter how good your intentions are and it doesn’t matter how butt-kicking good your offer is. If you blow the basic rules of e-mail marketing, you’re headed for disaster.

Here’s a checklist of what NOT to do when you’re depending on e-mail marketing to boost your revenue:

E-Mail Marketing Mistakes To Avoid

1. Failing To Obey The CAN-SPAM Act

The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act) was passed into law by the United States Congress to establish rules for companies that use e-mail for marketing or other commercial purposes.The law affects any U.S.-based company or person that sends e-mail containing advertising that promotes a product or service.

2. Failing To Test Your e-mail Message Before You Send It

E-mail can be displayed differently in different browsers and e-mail clients. That’s why it’s important to send a few test messages and to then read those test messages using the most commonly used browsers and e-mail clients in order to make sure that what readers see is what you intended them to see.

3. Failing To Use A SPAM Checker Before You Send Your e-mail

With so many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Internet users running SPAM-blocking software, it has never been more important to see how your e-mail stacks up against the electronic gate guardians that are going to try and stop your reader from receiving it.There are a variety of SPAM checkers available. Run a search on Google using the term “spam checking software” for a list of them.

4. Forgetting About The “Preview Pane”

Most people have their e-mail clients set up so that all new e-mail messages are displayed in a preview pain. Depending upon their preferences, that preview pane may just display the “To”, “From” and “Subject” headers, or it may display all of those as well as the first few sentences of the body of the e-mail.

This means that your e-mail may get scanned for about 1 second by readers before they decide whether they are going to open the message or read it. Knowing that, you’d better be sure that you’ve designed your e-mail so that the really good stuff shows up in the preview pane.

5. Failing to Use Enough White Space

If you make your e-mail message too long, or you try to cram too many words into a paragraph, your readers’ eyes are going to instantly glaze over and they are going to hit the delete key.Keep your e-mail messages short and get right to the point. Keep your paragraphs short as well.

6. Failure To Test All Imbedded Links In Your E-Mail Marketing Message

What a waste of time and effort it is to send out an e-mail campaign only to discover that the link to your web site or order page was malformed and it doesn’t work. Test, test and then test again before you mail.

7. Locking Prospects Into One Contact Method

Giving prospects only one way to respond to you will cost you sales. Just because you think that e-mail is the best way to communicate doesn’t mean that your prospect does. Some people are willing to read e-mail and click on a link to visit a web site, but they’re not going to buy unless they can call on the phone or mail in a check.

The CAN-SPAM Act requires you to include your address anyway, so why not add a telephone number as well. In fact, why not add a toll free telephone number while you’re at it. The appearance of a toll-free number in your e-mail marketing messages is also going to raise your credibility quite a few notches in a skeptical prospect’s mind.

8. Ignoring Your Bounce Rate

If you’re sending e-mail, you can bet some of it is bouncing. You need to be aware of not only how many messages are bouncing, but why they are bouncing. Finding out how much e-mail is bouncing and why can be as simple as checking your mail server logs. Most hosting accounts provide them as well as a tool to view them. If you have access to the actual bounced mail, the reason that mail
bounced will usually be included somewhere in the message.

9. Taking Down Your Landing Page Or Other E-mail-Connected Items Too Soon

It can sometimes take a few weeks for someone to get around to reading your e-mail for any number of reasons including illness or vacation. If you take your landing page down too soon or you delete any supporting graphics that the e-mail needs, you’ll lose sales. Don’t be in too much of a rush to end the campaign.

If the mailing you sent included a time-sensitive offer, leave the landing page up for a few weeks or more after the campaign ends.
Simply replace the content on the landing page with content stating  you are sorry they missed the offer but keep checking their mail for new ones.

This will keep you from alienating or confusing your customer. It also allows you to reinforce to your customers that your time limits are real. They’ll respond quicker next time.

10. Not Taking Time To Proofread Your E-Mail Marketing Message

Nothing makes you look more unprofessional than sending out an email that’s full of spelling and grammar mistakes. Don’t depend on
your spell checker alone. Print the message out and read it carefully, one word at a time. Then give it to at least two more people and have them do the same thing.

The top 10 E-mail marketing mistakes to avoid list may seem long, but you’re just fooling yourself if you think you can ignore these items and just blow out a successful e-mail campaign any time you want to.

About the Author

Joe Golson – author and internet marketer

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