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Avoid the Seven Deadly Sins of Email Marketing

Email marketing can help you convert visitors into customers, build long term relationships with those customers and introduce new profit streams into your business. But none of these benefits are possible if you commit one of the “seven deadly sins” of email marketing.

What are these deadly sins? They are mistakes that many email marketers make either out of lack of knowledge or the wrong perspective on email marketing.

Let’s take a closer look so you know what to avoid.

1.    You don’t ask permission to send emails.

You should never send an email to a recipient who hasn’t opted into your list. You shouldn’t add email addresses to your list that you find online, that you purchase or that another business owner provides you with. This is considered spam, and your sender/reply email address can be penalized.

2.    You make them jump through hoops to opt in.

Since you need your new list members to opt in, make sure that the process is easy for them. Don’t make them fill out a long complicated form in order to join your list. Their name and email address should be enough for most list owners. You can also add their industry or zip code if it’s relevant to your needs. The shorter the opt in form is, the easier it will be to get people to opt in.

3.    You don’t provide quality content.

The main reason people join your email marketing list is to get more information - not to be sold to. If your emails are full of ads and promotions, or your email messages are all about special deals, discounts and sales, you need to rethink your approach. Think about what your target market would like most to learn about and then provide content each month that reflects those needs. This doesn’t mean that you can’t send promotional emails, just be sure to balance them with informative emails.

4.    You don’t proofread your emails.

Nothing makes you look more unprofessional than an email with spelling and grammatical errors. Before you send out the email, make sure to proofread it well. Read it out loud to make sure that you aren’t missing any words and to ensure the message reflects your purpose.

5.    You don’t work on improving your subject lines.

Your subject lines are the gateway to your messages and newsletters. If the subject line isn’t compelling, your list members will be less likely to open your email and read the information that you have to offer. Boomerang’s split test feature allows you to test out different versions of your subject line and see which version gets the most opens. You can use your winning version as a template for your future email marketing messages.  See here for more:  Email Marketing Subject Line Testing…Do You Test?

6.    You don’t communicate the next steps for the list member.

Although one of your main goals is to provide information to your list members, there should be a “next step” for each of your messages. Whether this next step is to get them to your website to read the rest of an article, to sign up for a new service or to contact your office, you need to communicate this in the body of your email. If you don’t ask, they’ll never follow through with the action.

7.     You use lots of graphics in your email messages.

Graphics don’t always translate well in email inboxes. Using a simple HTML template for your email marketing messages is preferable to using large sized graphics in your emails. Use graphics as supplements in your emails, if they are necessary but make sure that most of your email message is text based.