Love it or hate it, email marketing delivers results, especially when done properly. In today’s world of ever changing technology, email has remained relatively constant as a great, mostly unobtrusive way to get consumers’ attention. The consumer gets the information they’re looking for delivered right to their inbox, and we marketers get leads, and metrics on which email campaigns are delivering results, and which need more help.  

In today’s fast-paced world of electronic communication, email marketing remains one of the most effective tools to get your brand in front of interested eyes — but it’s still an art form. The average consumer gets hundreds of emails a day. Many have multiple email accounts — one for personal use, one for work use, and maybe even one for “spam” like their coupons and sales alerts. That makes it tough for marketers to get ahead, and it means your email marketing game has to be on point, at all times. So, if you’ve noticed a recent uptick in “unsubscribes” here are a few things that you might be doing wrong, and what you should be doing instead:

8 Bad Email Marketing Habits that are Killing Your List

#1 Unsegmented List

If you’re email marketing to your entire list with the same emails, you’re going to lose subscribers.. Today’s consumers are particularly sensitive to irrelevant sales pitches, which is why it’s so important to segment your list based on consumer wants, needs, and demographics.  

Let’s say you’re a homebuilder who does new builds, renovations, and works with realtors to sell developed homes. When you send an email out to your entire list about a home you recently renovated, only one third of your list is going to care.  The other two thirds of your email marketing list, homeowners looking to build a new home, and realtors looking to partner with you to sell a new home, your email is not applicable. They don’t care about renovations, so they’re going to delete your email.

Worse, they might start to think that “this is a builder who doesn’t care about what I’m looking for, so I no longer see the value in subscribing to this newsletter. ” Herein lies the benefit of email marketing segmentation. You can send that awesome home renovation to subscribers you know are interested in renovating, and send your full-build subscribers information that’s more relevant to them. That way, everyone is happy. Sure, you sent out an extra email, but you’re more likely to get a better response rate from emails that are precise and relevant, than blanket emails that go out to your entire subscriber list.

#2 Not Testing Your Emails

People pay attention to details. If your emails aren’t functioning properly, if you commonly misspell words, and often forget to include links, your subscribers will notice. It’s important that you test every single email you send out, before you send it.

Today’s consumer will move on in the blink of an eye if the link they wanted to click on doesn’t work — and that’s a big miss for you. A simple test before you send out emails to your various segmented lists can save you a lot of trouble, and maybe even win you one or two more sales. Don’t forget this very important step in your email marketing strategy. Even if it feels like you’re running out of time and you just want to press the send button — give it one test before you send it out. It’ll help maintain your authority, and a well made email can help many consumers convert to leads.

#3 Sending Too many Emails

Almost every consumer hates spam. No one wants to go through their inbox every day and clear out hundreds of spammy emails. Unless you’re an e-commerce site with a new sale every day, you shouldn’t be sending out more than one email a week. If you’re in an industry with a longer lead time, like manufacturing and home building, you might want to cut your emails down to just a few a month.

Remember that when it comes to inbound marketing, consumers prefer quality over quantity. Minimize the number of emails you send out, and make sure the ones you do send out have worthwhile, high-quality information that people will actually be able to use. The better your content, the more likely people are to read it, and the more likely they are to click through to your site.

#4 No CTAs

If you don’t include CTAs in your emails, you’re seriously missing opportunities. The point of email marketing is to draw some of those potential clients into your website, and into your sales funnel. The only way to make that happen is to give them a way to get to your site. A click through button, a call to action, or a “get your free consultation today” button can work wonders, and will boost the number of digital leads you see, especially if you’re putting out quality content that’s relevant to each specific segment of your list.

#5 No Unsubscribe

If you email market, you have to have an unsubscribe button. Besides the fact that it’s the law, most consumers abhor being trapped in an email subscription that they can’t get out of, and aren’t likely to subscribe in the first place if the know it will be difficult to get out.

Try not to hide the unsubscribe button either. As tempting as it may be, the average consumer is likely to give your company more respect if you continue to give them control over the communication they’re getting from you. And really, you don’t want to be sending out emails to people who don’t want them, and don’t care — it’s a waste of everybody’s time.

#6 Sending Unsolicited Emails

In a similar vein, don’t send unsolicited emails. If someone hasn’t expressly signed up for your newsletter, or given you their email address, don’t email them. Again, you don’t want uninterested consumers subscribing to your newsletter, because it’s really only going to interfere with your metrics. If they don’t have an interest in your product, and never will, it’s not worth it to keep shouting at them about this really awesome product you’re selling. That’s called push marketing, and it’s so 1994.

#7 Sending at the Wrong Time

If you’re sending your emails out to your subscribers at the wrong time, you might not be seeing the kind of engagement you were hoping for. Again, most consumers are inundated with emails constantly, from spam to work emails, and if you send at the wrong time, it’s easy to get lost in a sea of “final sale” “This is your last chance” emails that no one actually wants to read. So, pay attention to your subscribers’ habits.

When do you get the best engagement, and when do your emails slip through the cracks?

The best time to send an email varies for every business, depending on what you’re selling, and who you’re selling to, so it’s just a matter of observing the metrics, and choosing a time to send an email when you have the best possible chance of getting read.

#8 Not Measuring your Success

The absolute best way to kill your list when you’re email marketing is to never look at your metrics. Every email marketing tool provides some level of metric reporting for a reason — so you can evaluate how well your outreach is doing, and what your ROI is. If your emails aren’t generating any results, you need to try something different. On the other hand, if the emails you send out at 3pm on Thursdays are seeing remarkable engagement, that’s something you need to know so you can keep doing it.

To have a successful email marketing strategy, you need to look at the data, and often. The more informed you are about the hits and misses of your email marketing campaign, the more prepared you’ll be to succeed in the future.

Email marketing is a key aspect of any digital marketing or inbound marketing strategy. If you’re having trouble segmenting and getting your list just right, give us a call. We’re email marketing pros, and we’d be happy to help!

If you’re not ready to chat just yet, check out our Smart Ass Guide to Inbound Marketing. We promise you won’t be disappointed — or at the very least, you won’t be bored.

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