I remember when I was younger, my teacher would tell the whole class all the things we had to do to get a perfect A grade: perfect attendance, high exam scores, good behavior… not only is the list different for every subject, but it continually changed and grew year on year, making it more difficult to remember.
Frankly the list was huge and difficult to follow, and I always wondered:
“Why couldn’t they just tell me what NOT to do? It would be simpler and easier to remember.”
Honestly, I still feel the same way today when it comes to running my business.
I was watching a webinar for Email Marketing last night and it was filled with a long list of to-dos. “Yeah… that’s great” I thought, but what about the list of the things one should NOT be doing?
Aren’t the lessons we can learn from other people’s mistakes just as equally important as the tips we get to succeed? (As you can see, I’m one of those “inquisitive” people who needs to know EVERYTHING!)
“Hey Bianca… what lessons can I impart from the mistakes of others and myself?”
I’m glad that you asked (*wink *wink)! I’ve been dying to share all the valuable lessons I learned throughout the years. These include the mistakes that I have committed when I was still new to Email Marketing, and the ways in which I overcame them.
These lessons are possibly the most valuable thing I can share to all my readers.
Mistake No.1: Repetition.
Imagine watching the same episode of your favourite show over and over. There’s nothing that will kill the passion for your favourite episode of ‘Friends’ than by watching the same episode on repeat; I’m sure you’ll be ready to throttle Rachel by the time the episode had rolled for the 90th time!
Same goes for email marketing. When you present your readers with an email that imparts the same lessons or content over and over again, they will get tired of you. Very quickly.
So think of different topics that may be of value to your readers, and ensure you keep it varied. Heck… you may even want to change the way your email looks every once in a while.
Don’t be afraid to to try something new; you’d never know if they’d love it unless you try. Personally I like to stick to themed months… it gives my emails and blogs a sense of structure and helps ensure I give you guys a nice variety of blogs to mull over.
Mistake No.2: Lack of Focus.
Let’s say that at this point, you’ve already mastered the art of giving your readers a varied series of interesting emails every week. But no matter how varied and interesting your emails are… if they don’t have a specific purpose or focus, you could end seeing your readers flee in droves.
For example if you run a fashion blog, emails on women’s fashion may not be so interesting for your male subscribers. Even if the content is fresh and highly recommended, if it doesn’t focus on the interests of the receiver, they will not considered the content as being “good”.
My best tip would be to segment your list. Once you’ve got your prospects signed onto your mailing list, find ways to separate them into groups so that you can send more specific and relevant information to them.
This will help improve your ‘reader to buyer’ conversion rate, as your readers are more likely to look forward to and act on your emails as they are more relevant to their needs and interests.
Mistake No. 3: No Balance.
When writing emails, always remember to keep the balance: don’t add too many images as it can throw off the careful balance between text and imagery.
Having a too high an image to text ratio not only runs the risk of turning off your customers, but you may also run the risk of upsetting email programme’s spam monitors.
Many email programs these days (Gmail, Hotmail / Outlook etc) sees image heavy emails as a automatic “no-nos” and will dump your beautiful emails into the junk folder… and you don’t want that.
Mistake No. 4: No Unsubscribe Option.
The most disrespectful thing that you can do to your subscribers is to not give them an unsubscribe option. I’ve received a few emails in my time, and emails like this make me really furious. More often than not, if there isn’t an unsubscribe option, I’ll just report it as spam anyway.
You see, one person’s inbox is their castle. You don’t just enter it… you ask for permission and wait for their response. You also respect their privacy if they want to stop seeing you around.
Sending them emails without an unsubscribe option is like going into your reader’s home and not leaving even when they politely asked you to. And in the long run that can cost you a future customer.
Fact is, an unsubscribe option is a trust factor… sometimes you need it to build good will with your future customer. So make sure you include it (and yes… all Web123 emails include an unsubscribe option as standard).
Mistake No. 5: Erroneous Information.
If your readers spot a typographical error, they will most likely understand because it happens to the best of us. Sometimes, we’re too tired and we don’t see the typos here and there. However, when it comes to erroneous information, that’s another story.
This is especially true if you’re quoting some words or reporting the findings of an authority in your email. Make sure you double check your information. Even small errors in understanding an authority’s thought process can cause you to lose your customer’s trust.
These sort of errors bring your expertise into question, and if you’re no longer seen as an expert, your readers aren’t likely going to buy from you any time soon.
Do you find the tips above helpful? Have you been doing any of the items above? What changes do you want to implement in your email program? Let’s share some stories. Comment below with your thoughts.