Editor’s Note: Sometimes, a little tough love is necessary. Thus, we bring you ‘Email Don’ts,’ a recurring series on Email Marketing No-Nos. On today’s episode: Don’t Just Sell.
At first glance, the concept might seem simple: don’t bombard people who are unresponsive. If you called someone and left five voicemails they never returned, you probably wouldn’t keep calling. So why would you keep emailing someone who routinely doesn’t respond? I know, email marketing is not as simple as a personal voicemail; you might think it can’t hurt, and why not try to reach them with your marketing efforts? Here’s why you shouldn’t email subscribers who don’t engage, and what you can do to be sure you’re not making a mistake or acting in haste.
By now, you know that any email design needs to incorporate CTAs in order for it to successfully garner conversions. However, CTA formats and quantity can vary widely across emails. How many CTAs should you include per email? We say the fewer the better. Simplify where possible.
There’s a big misconception that e-commerce businesses always need to offer discounts, freebies, or other incentives in their email marketing campaigns to get customers to convert. While it’s great to have a regular calendar of promotions to reward customers for their loyalty, that’s not always the case. Emails can be just as effective with compelling content and an eye-catching design.
Ever take a stroll through your spam inbox? It can be pretty illuminating. You’ve probably got your run-of-the-mill prescription drug offers, money requests from Nigerian princes, and possibly some deals on miracle anatomical enhancement tools if you’re lucky, but you may also have a fair amount of innocuous mail that should have made it to your regular inbox. For legitimate marketers, spam filters can be a big burden, any emails of yours that go to spam boxes won’t result in opens, clicks, or purchases. Meanwhile, they can also damage your long-term reputation as an emailer and perpetuate more spam box placement. So don’t send spammy subject lines!
Buying a list of emails ripe for the marketing certainly has an appeal to it. Hand-picked email addresses of people who meet certain criteria that perfectly represent your business’ target demographic?! Score. Targeting them through email, one of the most successful digital media? Perfection. Why wouldn’t you buy a vetted, legitimate list of email addresses? Well, simply put, because those people didn’t request to receive emails from you.
When starting up a new email marketing program, it’s important to make sure all your ducks are in a row before hitting the send button. ISPs (like Gmail or Yahoo) are sticklers when it comes to spam, as they should be. Unfortunately, companies that are perfectly innocent can have sending domains that get flagged as spam because of the strict criteria. This may be because you are trying to send from a Gmail address. Here’s the problem with that.
Have you ever been tempted to, or do you currently, send out a daily newsletter? We’re here to convince you not to do that with few exceptions, but first, let’s do an exercise. Raise your hand if you’re signed up for a company’s newsletter and you get an email from them Every. Single. Day. Now keep your hand raised if you open that email every day. Now keep your hand up if you buy from this company more than once per week. If you kept your hand up, you are in the VAST minority. Let’s face it; who’s reading content from the same company every day, let alone converting from it? Of course, there are notable exceptions, particularly in the media and business worlds. But with e-commerce shops, restaurants, and other B2C businesses, unless you truly have unique content offerings to share and crazy-high engagement rates (say, 50% or more open rates on frequent emails), don’t email daily.