Sending marketing emails is easy. Getting them opened, read and acted upon is a whole other ball game. How can you improve your email marketing results? First, figure out what you’re doing wrong. A survey by TechnologyAdvice Research, which asked email subscribers how often they read marketing emails, what kinds of emails they like to get from businesses, and what makes them consider an email, “spam”, uncovered four common email marketing mistakes.
- Emailing too often. More than four in 10 (43 percent) of respondents say they get too many emails and would like companies to email them less often. Of course, what’s too often for one user may not be enough for another. Use testing to see what frequency gets the best open and click-through rates. Also consider providing an option for customers to select the frequency of emails—such as daily, weekly or once a month. You can also segment your emails by purpose—for example, allowing customers to choose whether they want to receive “news” from your company, “promotional offers” or “special event notifications.”
- Selling to subscribers instead of serving them. Consumers sign up for marketing emails because they want to receive something of value. If you’re just promoting your products and services, you’re not offering that. Almost half (48 percent) of respondents say they’d like to see “more informative” email content, while 23 percent want content that is more personalized. Use your knowledge of your industry to share useful information with readers—and use your knowledge of your readers to tailor that information to their browsing, buying and email-opening behaviors.
- Not segmenting your email lists. If you’re sending the same types of marketing emails to all your customers, you’re not getting the most from your efforts. For example, women in the survey say they primarily read marketing emails in order to get discounts and special offers. Men, however, primarily read marketing emails because they’re looking for news and updates. You can get better results by targeting your emails—for example, your subject line for men could highlight news, while your subject line for women could focus on a discount. Analyze your subscriber lists and your results to determine other ways you may want to segment your list.
- Making it hard to unsubscribe. If you don’t provide a way for users to unsubscribe, you’re breaking anti-spam laws. But even companies that provide an unsubscribe option sometimes make it difficult to find or force users to jump through a lot of hoops to unsubscribe. Frustrated users may just mark your emails as spam, which can lead to bigger problems with your ISP and/or your email service provider. Make sure the “unsubscribe” option is clearly marked and requires minimal steps or clicks.
The good news is that consumers are responsive to emails overall—60 percent of respondents say they read emails from businesses and 42 percent say they read at least one-fourth of all the marketing emails they receive. So even if you’re making one or more of these email mistakes, the solution to your problems could be as simple as correcting your ways.
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Karen Axelton is Chief Content Officer of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Visit her company’s blog at SmallBizDaily.com.