We’ve all got that annoying friend. The one who, as much as we’re fond of them, has an irritating tendency to simply get on our nerves. As a result, unless thrown together in social situations, we’ll do our best to avoid them. Imagine if your subscribers felt the same about your emails…

Any marketing professional will tell you that their ultimate goal is return on investment (ROI). That may be from either direct conversions or indirectly by increasing brand awareness. There is only really one way to achieve this with email marketing, and that is by sending emails which your recipients are compelled to react to and engage with.

Recipient reaction is key; too big a focus on telling your audience about the latest addition to your team, or highlighting a product line which is selling slowly can lead an email marketer down the entirely wrong path.¬†Your email can quickly become your subscribers’ annoying friend, and if that trend continues, will eventually turn it into a previous acquaintance, once the subscriber has been sufficiently irritated enough to reach for the ‘opt out’ button.

So, today, we look at a few key annoyances and pet peeves which can all too easily creep into email marketing messages. Read on, and you’ll be assured of future email campaigns which become the best of friends with your subscribers.

Click-through disappointment

We’ve all been on the receiving end of this at some stage or another. We receive an email with a tantalising subject line. Within the email itself is an even more tantalising call-to-action button. We click it and, without warning, are taken to a web page which offers nothing in relation to what was originally laid out on the table in the email. Usually, this happens because of laziness; instead of being taken to a specific product page on the website, we are taken to the category listing for that product or – worse still – the homepage. This is incredibly annoying – live up to your promises.

Content bombardment

We now live in an incredibly content-rich society. Every piece of information we could ever need is right at our fingertips and just a search string away. As a result, when we are bombarded with content from one source, it can be a frustrating experience. Nowhere is this more prevalent than in email. Consumers want quick answers and easy routes to purchase, not long-winded introductions and unnecessary details. It is therefore more important than ever that your emails are short, concise and to the point. Your monthly email newsletter, for example, works best when it is simply a recap of what has happened in the last 30 days, with links through to landing pages on your website if the subscribed fancies reading on. Pictures also say a thousand words. Stick to one or two high quality images and it’ll help you reduce the word count and further engage your audience.

Added value

Of all the tips today, this could be considered the most important. What’s the one thing your subscribers want from you when they sign up to your email list? Added value. They want something back in return and something which is more than they could usually hope for if they weren’t on your mailing list. Before sending your next email, ask yourself – will your recipients be excited or delighted with the content or are you trying to force a point on them? The latter must be avoided if they are to remain subscribers.

Poor deliverability

Lastly, the junk folder. We’ve all got one, and we all despise hunting through it, just in case there’s a legitimate email in there that we’ve missed. Finding friend and family emails in there isn’t the end of the world, but when it comes to marketing emails you’re used to receiving normally and without trouble, their sudden appearance in a junk folder can quickly become an irritant. To avoid this, work as hard as possible on testing the deliverability and inbox placement of your emails. There is also absolutely nothing wrong with adding calls to action in your messages to help subscribers add your domain to their safe senders list and, in Gmail’s case, the correct inbox tab.

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