For the best email marketing results, don’t sabotage your own efforts.
All too often, I catch small business owners who simply aren’t aware of how they can be their own worst enemy in email marketing. Everyone is short on time, but some of these errors are just too easy to correct with just a little more effort.
What follows is my little PSA of the most common worst practices in email marketing. Because the more you get right, the better your open rates.
So, small business owners (and non-profit leaders, too) take heed of the following tips:
1 – It’s just not gonna get there without the right email address
Check out the screenshot of email entry errors. All it takes is 1 wrong letter or symbol to lose a warm lead. Just one error renders email totally undeliverable.
I have seen more 2s instead of @s (use the shift key!), more commas instead of periods, and more extra spaces and random input than I can count. It makes my heart ache when I see these simple typos because I know how hard it can sometimes be to get someone to provide their email address.
A good email service provider will flag errors upon an upload of a spreadsheet list. But, seriously, it is up to you or your designated staff member to give a damn about accuracy.
This screenshot example is a REAL list of address extensions errors caught in client email address lists. Oh, my, really? Please, please, please look at the screen when you enter data!
Note the many, many typos in this screenshot image of ACTUAL client errors, that with a little more time and attention, would have been valid and deliverable.
TIP: Use your email service provider’s app or text to join feature to capture emails to allow the new subscriber to enter their own information. This usually results in a much higher accuracy rate for your database. Handwritten is often horribly illegible.
2. Recipients delete what they don’t recognize
More often than not, subscribers block images. Notice that in this example, the “Images are not displayed.” People often don’t bother to “display images” if they can’t even tell who the sender is – especially with all the spam and hackers threatening our technology. Even if you are using “ALT Text” (which you should), instant recognition is key.
Especially for your introductory email, you want to ensure your subscriber recognizes your brand. Empty image boxes are death if that’s all they can see. Why risk a deletion before they even elect to view your email?
Always have a text header that clearly states who the sender is – YOU!
Consider captions so even if the images are blocked, an enticing caption may attract them to display the images.
3. OMG – My EYES!
Say this 3 times out loud so you’ll remember – No more than 3 colors and 2 Fonts! (not including black and white). First impressions (even for repeat recipients) mean everything.
Less, clean, and consistent truly is more as you can see by the email examples below.
It may be “fun” to play with fonts and colors, but your BRAND dictates your colors and fonts.
I bet you worked hard to make your website reflect your branding and business personality. Why wouldn’t you extend that branding to your emails? (…not to mention every digital presence and print collateral.)
Use your branding to determine which colors and fonts to use. Black and white do not count, so you are primarily choosing your dominant logo colors to create a branded identity. Your emails will not only look more professional, but your recipients will experience instant recognition. When is the last time you didn’t recognize your favorite retailer’s email? Pay attention to what the big guys do in their emails and you’ll note their logo, colors, and fonts are always consistent with their branding, no matter what the subject.
Now go look at your last email. If you can’t be objective in critiquing your own work, have an outsider take a look.
>> If you need an objective evaluation of your current email practices, contact me. I am offering a $200 summer special through Labor Day 2017 for a complete critique of your last email campaign. (I’ll be gentle, I promise.) <<
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