Bad email marketing advice and bad habits are sometimes what my clients come to me with, they have gathered information from previous coaches or something they read, and began to implement.
This episode is busting bad advice and giving you an easy way to move forward or fix what's already been done. I'm going to chat with you about 10 bad email marketing advice. Things like, don't use the dontreply@yourdomain email for your customer service or email autobots, why long-form sales emails are not the best way to covert and what to do instead, and why segmenting is not a waste of time.
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Bad Email Marketing Advice
One : Use Donotreply@yourdomain.com
No-reply@ or DoNotReply@ sender email addresses, are uninvited and unwelcome. If you send an email from one of those email addresses, don’t be surprised if your open rate is low.
In fact, the number one reason why an email is opened is based on the sender's name. Have you ever emailed a business for a refund, or general question and the first email response you get back is @no-reply? I know I have. Who am I supposed to reply to if I can't reply to this automated system? It’s the small things with customer service and this is one of the biggest don'ts.
Statistics show that the number one reason people open emails is due to the sender's name 64% in fact, 47% is the subject line, 26% is an offer, 14% is an infographic, and 4% other. So you can see why having an email with this as your automated system is a huge no.
Always send an email from an address your customers can reply to, and be sure to include phone numbers and links to your social profiles in your email to help the customer contact you, should they have any questions.
If you’re the Managing Director of a large corporation, most likely you’re not the one sending your emails out. However, you are certainly the person that people in the industry will know. Whether or not they’re written by you or not, emails should be sent from a recognizable name. If you have other people sending your emails out be sure to let the customer know this. Your response would then be, "Hey, It's Me Jen, I am part of Blu Radicals Help Desk Team and I'll be happy to assist you."
Two: Ignore Mobile
My second bad email marketing advice is to ignore mobile. 61% of all emails are opened on a mobile device and the percentage will continue to rise. More than 40% of mobile users check their email up to four or more times per day, which means that having a mobile-friendly email design is not a maybe. It’s a requirement. And yet, 1 in 5 email campaigns is not optimized for mobile devices.
If your email is not optimized for mobile devices, regardless of how relevant your message is, people will not be able to read it. Think about your own actions and habits when checking your email in general and how you would like to receive your information and whats might frustrate you as a consumer.
Three: Write Your Emails with The "Dear John" Approach & "One-Size-Fits-All"
Write your emails like you are applying for a job interview and write as though one-size-fits-all. No images, no lols, no funny business. Boring!
The most effective form of marketing is relevance. The "one size fits all" approach no longer works. Your message needs to be relevant to the reader. CEO’s do not have the same challenges as end-users. This means that your message needs to change based on who the audience is.
Segmentation can be basic, or it can get complex. If you segment your list into different groups and customize your messaging to each reader, you’ll see higher click-through rates and more engaged customers.
You can segment your customers by location, job title, industry, company size, or interests. Personally I have apothecary, marketing, DIY, and health/fitness. These are then broken down into even smaller segments.
As far as writing your emails like you are applying for a job interview, that's so 1960s, I like to write my emails as if I'm speaking to a friend. If you are a part of my email community you'll know exactly what I mean. I send gifs, sometimes curse, and talk to you guys one on one. I feel like getting these types of emails are so much better than “To whom it may concern”... no thanks.
If you know your audience well enough and they know you, this shouldn't be a problem. There is definitely a time and a place, and it could be inappropriate if you, well, work in a bank. If you are your own boss and you want to build that know, like, and trust factor, being a virtual pen pal is much more comforting.
Four: Long-form sales emails are the best way to convert
This is with the thought being that it works on webpages. It doesn't. What happens is that it comes across as a giant wall of text. People tend to tune out quickly because then the email looks like work. They didn't check their email to read a novel. They checked it because they were between meetings or in line at a grocery store. You've given them work without asking and they're less likely to respond.
If you really want to send a long-form sales email to someone, write a blog post instead and then link to it, from a super-short email. The blog post will be easier to reuse, you'll have better tracking statistics within the context of the browser and you can use images & good design to make it easy for a reader to consume.
There are some exceptions, but generally speaking, long-form sales emails should be avoided. I use Google chrome extension GoFullPage to capture my sales page and then link to it - if my audience wants to read more. I find that this works, as it's more visually pleasing and easier to read.
Five: Don't resend the same email to those that didn't open it.
So why is this bad advice? There is no issue with resending the campaign to the subscribers or customers that didn't open your email. Just wait 24/48hours, change the subject line and add a small note if you wish to explain why they should not miss this email.
Always be transparent, I know I have missed emails in the past and I'm glad I received it again. Maybe because I overlooked it, or ended up in my spam folder. Who knows, but what I do know is that it didn't come off as spammy and I was liked that the person who sent it to me told me that it was in fact a resend.
Six: Always Aim For The Highest Email Open Rates
Now you might be thinking, Sai, you said high open rates are key and yes they are, but tricking your readers to open your emails would do you a great disservice if you start implementing each and every 101 marketing and sales tactic for your subject line. Plenty of online marketers "cross the line" by writing scandalous subject titles, using intense scarcity for their customers, or tricking them into opening an email at all costs.
There is a certain level of trust you need to build with your readers. Don't go for subject lines such as "ATTENTION!!", "Your account has been compromised", "I wish I was dead" or anything that may as well cause a heart attack to your readers.
I see more and more marketers applying these techniques and receiving waves of unsubscribers by infuriated readers who feel betrayed or scared to death by a marketing trick. Don't risk your reputation for the sake of 2% higher email open rates.
I once had an email that read “CONFIRMATION to your purchase for $900, inside I found an image of a receipt that looked pretty realistic. I emailed the business right away and they said it was just a regular sales email showing what someone could be making in one day.
It was one of the worst email marketing campaigns I have ever seen. There was no call to action aside from their website and the text read "Do you want this?" My fake money back, yes, but purchase from you? Never.
Seven: Use two email platforms at once
Unsure about a platform so you decide to test both to see which one has higher conversion rates. While this isn't a terrible idea, its also not the best. Keep in mind that you should never send the same email from both platforms.
Choosing the right email platform has a few important elements besides delivery to inbox: Does the platform help overcome your most important marketing needs? Is the platform intuitive to use? How is the support and is it personal? Is it cost-effective? Just because your favorite influencer is using it, doesn't mean it is going to work for you, you could be a victim of bad email marketing advice.
Email open rates can change between platforms, due to the fact that the pixel that counts the actual 'open' can be on top or bottom of the HTML, so it may not always count. Also, some ESP's show total opens and not unique opens. Comparing the click rate or 'click to open' rate, is a lot better than the actual open rate.
I have used a lot of different email platforms over course of nine years but it comes down to what I actually want to use. Convert Kit was great, but I wanted better landing pages without having to use another platform like Lead Pages. I also used mail chimp but I didn't care for the overall design. I have used built-in platforms and so on, but like I said, I wasn't eager to use it, and for me, that's the biggest thing.
If you are between email marketing providers know that you won't be able to see mass open rates overnight and this will take some time as you are starting all over again. Once you choose a provider try and stick with it.
Eight: Segmenting is a waste of time
Segmenting is the absolute best part of email marketing, especially if you have different offers. I have a marketing audience and also an herbalism audience. It wouldn't make sense for me to send my herbal students marketing information, and my marketing students herbal recipes.
Segmenting helps build your relationships on purpose. If you start sending out the same information to both groups, you'll lose both unless they have opted in for both. Segmenting is not a waste of time, it is essential. This goes back to number three, as one-size will not fit most.
Nine: Sending Too Many Emails Is Bad
It's not that sending too many emails is bad, it's that sending too many irrelevant emails is bad. If you honestly have something to say to your audience every single day of the week that doesn't involve hard selling and is completely relevant to your brand, then, by all means, do it, but make sure it is of value. The thing that would land you in the spam folder is if you are sending too many emails unintentionally and with zero value.
Instead of worrying about being too frequent, let your audience choose their frequency. Upon signing up for your email list let them pick what works for them. Consider that the average open rate is 25%, and many companies don't experience a change in open rates from daily to weekly to monthly email cadences. Test the frequency and find what works for your customers and organization.
Ten: You need an exit pop-up opt-in
The last piece of bad email marketing advice is that you need an exit pop-up opt-in. Chances are you have witnessed this in your own time and if your anything like me, found it rather annoying that you couldn't leave a page without first trying to find the little x.
If your content is great, people should WANT to sign up for your email list, if your content sucks, then why try and capture someone against their own will because they will most likely not engage anyway. Pop-up blocks are great for offering a freebies, yes, but do it while the customer is on the page browsing and not as they are exiting.
It looks desperate and comes off as needy with an opt-in that says "Hey don't leave yet, did you sign up?” Not having a clear escape, will backfire. They won't want to go back to your site inorder to avoid the dreaded pop up.
Recap of good advice:
1. DON'T use @dontreply emails
2. DON'T ignore mobile
3. DON'T use the “dear john,” approach if you are trying to build the know like trust factor or assume that “one-size fits most”
4. DON'T use long-form sales pages to convert
5. DO resend the same email to those that didn't open it and be transparent about it
6. DONT aim for the highest open rates unintentionally and with sleazy sales tactics
7. DON'T use two email platforms at once to measure open rate or send the same emails
8. DO segment your customers
9. DO send relevant emails as much as you'd like
10. DO say bye to the exit pop-up for good
The Big Picture
Starting an email list can be challenging, but don't make things harder on yourself by taking bad email marketing advice. Have questions or bad advice that you want busted? Leave a comment below and be sure to check out all the other episodes of A Rad Show Podcast.