Although April Fool’s Day has been and gone, we could be mistaken for thinking that some email marketers are still playing tricks on us. Email marketing techniques and strategies have grown ever more sophisticated in recent years. This means that marketing emails are becoming more and more effective, and seeing increasing open rates.
However, the improvements in email marketing don’t mean that their aren’t some email marketers that are making huge, rookie mistakes in their campaigns. Make mistakes in your email campaigns and, at best, your customers will think you’re joking. At worst, you’ll end up in the spam folder, or even blacklisted. Here are some of the major email marketing mistakes you should avoid so you don’t end up looking the fool:
Failing To Ask For Permission
This is arguably the most important email marketing mistake you should avoid. Failing to ask your customers for permission to send to them could destroy your email marketing ambitions before they’ve even begun, and will almost definitely send your message straight to the spam folder.
Getting permission from your subscribers is simple. Most websites include a sign up form like this one, from Hello Fresh:
If a customer enters their email address here, you know that they want to be on your mailing list. You can also include a tick box on a form allowing people to opt in to your list whenever they place an order or enter a competition on your site. Just make sure that this box isn’t pre-ticked; joining your mailing list should entirely be your customer’s choice.
Not Including a Call to Action
A good call to action is vital to a marketing email having high click through rates. Yet, many marketers are failing to include one in their emails. Even if you have an excellent subject line and engaging body copy in your email, if your customer doesn’t know what they need to click on, your email will never be successful.
Your call to action should take the form of an easily clickable button placed in an obvious position in the email. Marketers often use a contrasting colour for their call to action buttons so they stand out clearly from the rest of the email. They also often contain words like ‘Buy Now’, so that the customer knows exactly where the button will take them.
This email, from Twinnings, has a good example of a call to action button. It’s clear, obvious, and your eye is drawn to it:
Not Optimising For Mobile
Recent studies have shown that over 50% of emails are now opened on mobile devices. In spite of this, many marketers a still just sending out emails that have been designed for desktop clients. If you do this, you are essentially ignoring the majority of your subscriber base.
Although you can design different emails for desktops, tablets and mobiles, the easiest way to ensure your messages always look attractive and readable is to use responsive design. With responsive design, the layout of your email will adapt so that it’s optimised for whatever device it’s being viewed on.
Expedia use responsive design particularly well in their emails, even including links to their apps at the top of the mobile version:
As obvious as these mistakes may be, there are still many email marketers that are making them. Before you press send on your next campaign, take some time to make sure you’re not making these foolish email marketing mistakes.