What not to do in an email campaign

What not to do in an email campaign

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What not to do in an email campaign

Throughout this month we are focusing on email campaigns, the tips, tricks, dos and don’ts to get you on track. Today’s blog looks at what not to do in an email campaign. As though they are a quick and easy option to put together, they can also quickly and easily go wrong.

Here are seven easy mistakes to make they may cost you business.


Send it to everyone

You have some email addresses. You know you should go through them really, but that takes a lot of time that you just don’t have. So you send your one email to the entire list.

This brings you a lot of bounces, unsubscribes and generally not a great return on your ‘effort’. So why doesn’t it work?

Well there are a number of things wrong with this scenario. Firstly, you should regularly clean your data, as database’s tend to decay 22.5% each year. You should also take the time to ensure everyone has opted in for your emails. Then you need to look at the other data you have. Check out our previous post for more on this. But really you need to be making sure that the email that lands in your customers inbox is one that is relevant, useful and personal to them, otherwise what is their incentive to buy?


Put really long subject lines

So you want to make sure the customer knows exactly what they are opening, so you write a brilliant subject line. It’s a little long, but it’ll be okay, your customers will understand once they open the email.

Wrong. If your subject line can’t be seen fully in the preview, chances are they won’t open the email full stop.

It has been proven that more emails are opened when they have a shorter subject line and ideally you should be keeping them under 50 characters. Make the line as short, snappy and to the point as you can. It should point to what the content is, but the email itself should explain what’s going on, the subject line is just the precursor.


Bad timing

Newsjacking or scheduled emails can go horribly wrong pretty quickly. Always check current events and the schedule of the email, and if in doubt of how it will be interpreted, always get a second (non-biased) opinion.

Newsjacking or topical content is a brilliant tool, but when you are delivering that content straight to someone’s inbox, you need to take extra steps to ensure it won’t cause offence.


Spamming the hell out of people’s inboxes

Have you ever thought ‘Ooo that’s the fourth email I’ve received from that company this week, I definitely want to go and check out what they have to offer’ … No didn’t think so. So why do we think it’s okay when we’re the business?

Your emails should be useful, and if you have to send 5 in a row, they might not be providing all that benefit to your customer. Not to mention they should be expected, and your customer will most likely be expecting all the information they need in the minimal amount of emails.

Carefully plan out your email schedule, and explain at the point of signing up what users can expect in terms of emails from you. If you state then and there you will be sending an email every day and they still sign up, then that’s okay.

Also remember to only re-send the same content to non-openers. Don’t annoy the people who are actually clicking your email.


Not suitable for mobile

Did you know that 45% of email opens occur on a mobile phone? So why when building up your email do you not consider what it will look like on a mobile phone?

Consider how your images will resize. Is there a lot of text? Will people be having to try and expand to read it? If you received an email that just didn’t look right on your mobile, would you click back off it and forget all about it? I’m guessing you probably would.

You have to design for mobile first if you want to keep up with your customers. Luckily most free to use email programmes such as MailChimp already use responsive templates, you just need to make the most of them!


No obvious action

You’ve got a great subject line, loads of your recipients have opened, but then nothing. Why is nothing happening? You’ve spent so long putting together this fabulous email with a beautiful design. And it’s full of loads of useful information too!

But what did you actually ask your customers to do? Was there a singular call to action which was obvious to the reader? If you are bombarding your readers with lots of beautiful pictures, and all of this information, how do they know what to do next? They may just absorb everything and continue with their day.

All of your email should be pointing to a single call to action which is clear to the reader, and appealing enough to inspire them to click. Make it as easy as possible for the reader to complete the action, and for you to be able to measure the result.


Not bothering to test, or read through, or just generally speeding through.

Again, we love to rush and get these things out don’t we? But how do we know our links work? That it makes sense? And that its going to achieve what you want it to achieve? You need to test it!

Send it to yourself, to your colleagues, to a beta set of customers. You need to test drive this to make sure what you send out will have people looking forward to your emails, not unsubscribing from your list.

You also need to commit to the changes you may need to make. Though you may love the design, or you really hadn’t factored in the time to change your CTA button, you have to change to make it better. Otherwise what was the point in testing? Or sending for that matter.


What has been the worst email you’ve received and why? What would be your advice on what not to do in an email campaign? Let us know in the comments!

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