We studied email traffic and made a selection of the most popular mistakes in the work of email marketers. Of course, we helped clients to work through these mistakes, but at the same time, they were inspired to write this article, which can help you too.
These are the common mistakes email marketers
Working with an obsolete database
Every second client comes with a database that he collected for years and practically never worked with her. So he decided to start emailing. As a rule, the first typical error arises – mass mailing from an outdated, unprocessed database.
It is known that email providers establish requirements for the quality of the database and limit the number of allowable refunds and complaints on the mailing. To get acquainted with the full list of requirements of each mail provider, follow the links:
- Yandex.com – Requirements for honest mailings
- Gmail.com – Guidelines for implementing mass mailings
If the subscriber base is not active, then over time, more and more non-working addresses are accumulating in it. For example, it can be long abandoned and crowded mailboxes. As a consequence, the limits set by email providers are exceeded, and the distribution is blocked.
The easiest and most reliable way is to use the email-validation service. The validator will analyze the subscriber base and help remove non-existent addresses and addresses, from which the likelihood of receiving complaints is high. In this way, you not only keep your email reputation but also improve the efficiency of email campaigns sent. There is only one drawback – usually, the validator is paid.
Another way will save money, but it will take more time. It consists of a smooth build-up of the base. First, you take the most recent contacts (for example, those who signed up no later than three months ago) and conduct the first mailing. Further on the basis of the received statistics, it is necessary to remove bad addresses from the list of contacts. Then you need to add older addresses to the cleaned database and run the next mailing.
We recommend adding no more than 15% of the volume of the previous mailing database. And so on. The iterative approach will help to smooth out the possible negative effect of working with the old database with the help of positive statistics when working on verified contacts. Another plus of this approach is that you can avoid sudden jumps of activity, which so do not like mail providers.
Of the shortcomings, except for time costs, it is worth noting that this option does not allow for a normal reactivation of the database. Below we will talk more about it.
The unexpected letter, or “like snow on my head”
Imagine that you once subscribed to the newsletter, but you did not get anything. Suddenly a letter comes, in which, as if nothing had happened to you offer goods and services. Most likely, you already forgot about the subscription. Begin to resent and furiously click on the button “This is spam!”. In statistics, such mailings again exceeded the allowable limits of email providers, and it is in the bath (and not at all in the place where they wash).
Ideal – to work with the database immediately after the start of its collection. Even if only one and a half people have subscribed. Send at least one newsletter per month, regardless of the size of the database! Subscribers, regardless of their number, require attention according to the announced idea of the mailing.
If the break does happen, perform a kind of reactivation of the base. Remind me about the subscription, tell me what and when you will send, interest in the special status of the subscriber, in order to reduce the rate of replies. Describe in the first letter all the benefits that will appear at the subscriber of the mailing. This can be a privileged position, giving the right to closed sales, unique useful content. In fact, the same “magnet”, which is usually used in the form of a subscription on the site.
Sending unnecessary letters
A popular mistake for email marketers is that they create useless mailings for subscribers. Write about the company or product (service) without taking into account the interests of the client, trying at once and in each letter to make a cold sale. The topic of the distribution is the product, not the client. But it does not work anymore! Email marketing gives results in the long run.
However, companies persistently send letters that do not carry any value to readers. Agree that often in response to a subscription to the newsletter comes the characteristic “Oh! Click here, do this and just pay us right now! “. The result of such mailings is simple: a barrage of complaints and letters from the recipients, a waste of time and money from the sending company.
Letters must take into account the interests of subscribers. And this knowledge will help you in solving your own business problems. To create useful content and competently work with the database, you need to study your audience well.
Start thinking like your target audience. Find out what their prejudices, fears, and doubts are about your product and how to dispel them in a letter. Do not write about the product, but the positive experience of its use. Try to make the letters so useful that customers want to not only open and read them, but also share content with friends.
Every time it is appropriate to ask yourself the question: “How much is my mailing useful and valuable for my subscribers?” And to answer me, only honestly, would you read such a newsletter yourself and for what purpose. Try to give the newsletter more than the subscribers expect or what you promised them. After all, they spend their time reading the letter. It is necessary to provide something in return.
Absence of segmentation
Mass mailing on the entire subscriber’s database without segment allocation is a local case of the previous error. After all, segmentation involves taking into account the characteristics of all segments of the target audience when preparing an email campaign. The more personalized newsletter your subscribers get, the more loyal they will be. Customers require a different approach. For example, it’s silly to offer the customer in the mailing the goods that he just bought, or the teenage mom’s mother, to offer clothes for the baby boy.
Identify all the main segments of the target audience and decide what data you need in the database to allocate them. Data is most efficiently collected at the subscription stage. But even if you do not have anything other than the subscriber’s email address, you can conduct behavioral segmentation.
Why send letters to those who do not open them? email providers of such subscribers can take your letters for spam and start transferring them to the appropriate folder. It is better to create a separate segment “Inactive subscribers” and send them letters less often or conduct a reactive chain with an unsubscription if the subscriber does not open any letters.
Conduct an RFM analysis based on the purchase history and highlight such segments as “new”, “promising”, “loyal”, “hung”, “sleeping”, “SOS segment”. Work with each segment separately. Do “loyal,” ask for a response, “hung” and “sleeping” prepare a special offer.
Send trigger messages in response to subscriber actions on the site or in the mailing list. If the client does not show any activity, push it to the action and return it back. If active – involve even more. Mailings based on the analysis of behavior are much more effective than mass ones.
Often people, filling out the subscription form, hurry and enter a name with a typo or a small letter. Or even point out that. And here email-marketer takes such a “shaggy” base and sends a letter with a call by name, thinking that this way will increase the loyalty of subscribers or the effectiveness of mailing. And everything happens the other way around.
Already no one is surprised by the appeal by name in the mass mailing. Subscribers understand that this is done automatically through tags, and are used to it. Therefore, the former positive effect on the statistics on the mailing appeal by name may not even provide. And if at the same time the data in the database is not put in order, then the subscriber’s trust will be completely lost.
Therefore, before making a personalized mailing, first make sure that the names field contains valid names and in the correct form, and the tags in the letter work correctly, the default value is set. Then, do an A / B test to see if the caller’s name is affected by the conversion. Maybe the candle is not worth it.
The lack of systematicity in the newsletters
Many companies distribute chaotically. There is a desire-held, no-no. The results of such mailings: medium or even low efficiency, low openability, and high scores. It is especially sad if the mailings were not sent more than three months, and then launched several letters a week. This happens, for example, when an email marketer leaves the company, no one performs his functions for a long time, then comes a new one and starts “killing” the base.
Quality email marketing is possible only if there are a serious approach and planning. Try to systematically carry out mailings, then subscribers will be ready to receive letters. Make a dispatch plan for three months ahead or more. If you can, create all the letters at once and plan their sending, so you will not be distracted by them for a while. Ideal – your letters come on the same days of the week and at the same time.
Of course, the most successful day and time for mailings will have to be calculated empirically. The frequency can be different. It depends on your strategy and audience: you can send letters every day or once a month, but, most importantly, do not stop! If this happens, you should reactivate the database, as described in paragraphs 1 and 2 of the article.
Misleading or deceiving
There is nothing worse than cheating on the subscriber. But you can even deceive even simply because of inattention or forgetfulness. For example, if you promise in the form of subscription promotional codes only for subscribers, but never once a year it was not sent – it’s a hoax. Or a person subscribed to useful content and receives only promo letters from you. Or, instead of the promised letter once a week, you send it every day. Agree, this causes a negative.
If you promised something, keep your word. And better promise less, but let’s more! This is the only way you can build trust with your customers. And your subscribers will always be with you, and, probably, even become lawyers of your brand.
The inconsistency of the title to the contents of the letter
One of the types of deception is the discrepancy between the title and the content of the letter. The fact that the subject of the letter affects the openability of the newsletter, everyone knows and mindlessly uses it. Yes, the shock header will give an instant result in the statistics of discoveries, but if the topic does not match the content of the newsletter, the subscriber will be disappointed, his trust in the brand is lost.
This technique is perceived by the reader as manipulation, and on its own no one likes to test it. Therefore, often in such cases, the growth of discoveries is associated with an increase in complaints about spam and unsubscribes. Do you really pursue this goal?
Writing headlines is a real art. It is clear that subscribers need to be motivated to open letters. But if they are constantly disappointed in the content, this will have consequences in the long run. Therefore, it is better to lose a little in the statistics of discoveries on the mailing list and to designate the truthful subject of the letter, rather than deceiving the subscribers with “useless content”.
Ignoring the announcement of the letter
Most email clients can display a small text preview next to the title. It is called a preheader, or an announcement. Usually, it does not exceed 100 characters and consists of the first two lines of the letter. Surprisingly, many people still forget about it. As a result, next to the subject of the letter in their mailbox, the recipients see something like: “In order to view this letter in the browser, click here.” Or even worse – a piece of code letters.
In the screenshot below, a random chunk of incoming messages from our test box for receiving various mailings. It shows that only half of the companies work with preheaders, using it for the semantic expansion of the subject of the letter. The rest do not track it at all!
In creating a mailing list, all the details are important: the sender’s name, the return address, the header, the preheader, and so on. The announcement can strengthen the topic and cause the opening of the newsletter. After all, you only have a few seconds to catch the attention of the subscriber, so why not use all the tools you have for this?
Lack of feedback
If a company sends letters using the address “no-reply” or from a box that no one ever checks, it makes it clear that it does not want to conduct a dialogue with its subscribers. But it is losing a wonderful opportunity to involve new customers in communication through the largest direct communication channel!
Do not use the unremarkable words “Administrator” (admin) or “No reply” and so on in the “From” line. People want to communicate with people, not with mailboxes. Ask the letters to give feedback instead of an explicitly read message “Do not write to us never in life.” If people have the opportunity to talk with customer support and get answers to their questions, the likelihood that they will become your customers is increasing.
Too many calls to action
E-mailing is often full of several different calls for action: go to the site, make an order, subscribe to the social. networks, leave feedback. Such letters are an endless sheet of content from which it is impossible to understand what the main idea of writing is.
The result is an ineffective email campaign. In addition, in this case, it is difficult to measure the effectiveness, as it will be necessary to analyze several metrics, the data on which can vary widely. And when you have only one measurable factor (for example, the number of clicks), the information becomes reliable and understandable.
Try to communicate clearly to the user what exactly you want, and make sure that you gave all the information necessary for this. The ideal ratio: one letter – one call to action. In this case, your proposal will be correctly interpreted, and as a result, the conversion will be higher.
Lack of tests before starting the mailing
Hit the spam, the layout curve – usually, this is all a consequence of the fact that the mailing was poorly tested or not tested at all.
There are a lot of subtleties and rules of writing. For example, if you make a letter with one solid picture:
- You will lose adaptability (pictures are not optimized for mobile version).
- If the subscriber disconnects pictures, he does not see the content at all.
- There is a high probability of being blocked by a spam filter of the mail provider.
There are other rules, such as: do not use shortcut links and domains from the “black” lists, do not use stopwords, capslock, java-scripts, and much more. It’s very difficult to keep everything in your head. In addition, spam filters from email providers are updated regularly. The only reliable way to find out where your letter is today and how it will be displayed is to conduct a test.
Email-list, like a word: not a sparrow, will fly out – you will not catch it. Therefore, when creating and running the mailing list, you need to be careful. Before starting the main mailing it is better to send it to the test database. So you can check the substitution of tags in the letter if they are used.
In the test database of addresses, it is desirable to specify their electronic boxes on all kinds of email providers. And do not forget to include the inner skeptic and qualitatively evaluate what you got. With interest, Mistrustful Earnestly? No? Boldly cut, adjust, and improve.
Most companies are afraid of experimentation, so it’s very rare to see truly unique newsletters. Typically, they come with typical advertising letters that do not catch the eye. But in the subscriber’s mailbox, there is fierce competition for his attention. Why waste time on 10 letters of the same type from different companies? Easier to unsubscribe.
Analyze the distribution of competitors and do the opposite. Keep track of the best practices, but do not repeat them on the forehead. Think about what highlights you could add to your own mailings. Perhaps people subscribed to your newsletter because they liked your writing style, the point of view, or something else.