email mistakes

Email marketing is still as relevant as ever. However, many business owners simply don’t know common email marketing mistakes they make that kills its effectiveness. This quote by E. Harbison has it all right:

Email marketing, although often underestimated as a strategy, is actually a powerful one.”

There’s an occasional arguing about whether email marketing is still relevant. It is and it doesn’t seem like there’s going to be a time where it will stop being useful for businesses. Email marketing gives you something other channels can’t: lets you create truly valuable and personal touches when it comes to reaching out to customers. However, there are a lot of potential mistakes marketers make that one should avoid in order to maximize the benefit this process can bless your business with.

“If social media is the cocktail party, then email marketing is the ‘meet up for coffee’. The original 1 to 1 channel“.

Source: Wes McDowell

A Case Study of Email Marketing Mistakes

The Radicati Group performed research that revealed interesting results that might surprise you: 196 billion emails are sent in the world daily, and 109 billion of them are business emails. Numbers speak for themselves, and although you might think that email marketing strategy for gaining more customers and elevating sales might not be that effective, especially with social media and its part in business strategies, the reality is quite the opposite.

Email marketing takes more than 7% of all e-commerce transactions, making it the second most effective e-commerce marketing channel after the search. 72% — yes, that much — of US adults actually prefer to receive emails from companies and e-shops more than any other form of communication, including social media, text messages and phone calls combined.

Email marketing is a truly great way to attract more customers and reach your target audience while delivering actual quality and adding more value to the overall process of business-customer communication.

Moreover, it is now possible to segment and personalize email marketing via various options and scales. Which was not possible 20 years ago. When email marketing began its journey. We can’t emphasize enough how extremely flexible of an e-commerce strategy this is, that. If used correctly — can do wonders for your business.

We’ve put together a cheat sheet outlining key points of every email marketing strategy to help you be sure you’re implementing it right and using the email channel of your choice to its full potential. However, there are some common email marketing mistakes that should be avoided in order to reach the highest efficiency level via email marketing.

Email Marketing Mistakes #1: The One-fits-all Approach

Image by AKF Partners

The key to generate revenue and business growth is a personalized communication with each and every client. The more accurate the approach, the more profit you get. But the downside about e-commerce is that there are thousands of customers for every online store and each one is utterly unique. Who has the time to sit down and personally reach out to every single one when they need you or you need them. No matter how big a company gets, they will never make human managers handle the task. There are chatbots, digital tools and templates. The key is to make the customers feel like it’s you interacting with them and not a robot.

Everything we have just said applies to email marketing. As for how to manage to make customers feel like it’s you sending the email and not an Ai. It’s pretty simple actually. You need to create the template. And then just adjust it according to the specifics of a particular campaign. Multiplying and sending it out to every customer is the part of the job that AI will take care of for you.

And with that, here comes the biggest and nevertheless the most common of all email marketing mistakes by those who are implementing email marketing. The idea that one newsletter will work for all of the customers and will bring each of them to place the purchase.

Business-Customer Relationship Is The Basis of A Successful Marketing Strategy

Marketing strategies are all about creating relationships with your customers. The key point and also a problem here is that all your customers are different. Categorizing your audience into segmented lists is a trick that you should use. As this approach gives you the opportunity to trigger consumers by behavior and other important factors. That makes all the difference when it comes to turning your target audience into customers, members or supporters. As the main goal for every business, is conversion.

Segmentation can happen on the basis of several factors. There are four main types of market division, being: psychographic, demographic, niche and on the basis of customer behavior. To keep it short, these types of segmentation includes things like age, gender, interests, purchasing habits, generations, location, educational and financial background, social class and such categories.

They can help marketers determine pre, during and post production details can appeal to different groups of customers. Promotional campaigns, collaborations and partnerships, event planning and social media activity depends on the market segmentation as well. And it’s widely used in email marketing.

Consider personalizing your email marketing messages as much as possible.

The average consumer receives more than 500 marketing messages in a month but opens fewer than 1 in 15. This means that most marketers don’t know how to use the information about their customers that they already have and turn it into a productive strategy. Making emails as segmented as possible is the key to great results: think age, gender, geographical location, purchase behavior, even favorite time of the day to shop or the most appealing color. Each aspect is uniquely important and makes it easier to create a truly personalized email message and engage the specific audience.

For instance, if the majority of your customers belong to a sexual minority, there’s a 90% chance of them opening an email offering special deals during June, the Pride Month. In fact, not sending out an email during such occasions will negatively affect your business.

Email Marketing Mistakes #2: Automation Equals Offering a Discount

Image by Bigstock

Offering a discount a couple of hours later after user abandoned cart to revert him to the purchase –  that’s mainly how most of the online retailers use email marketing automation.

But in the end, giving away 30 to 80% discounts to all users not only reduces the margin of the store but it also does not generate repeated purchases. Which are essential for every online store growth especially at an early stage of operation.

Delivering great content with personalization aspect through marketing campaigns remains the most important task when turning your potential or one time consumers into returning and loyal ones. This also means that your email marketing strategy should not be all about sales. Keep in mind that you can actually reach and engage your customers without even offering them a discount, but rather motivating them to take action through playing on emotions.

The solution?

People can get tired of seeing special discount offers and magic coupons everywhere, that’s why you need to find more subtle ways to give them offers via your email channel. Before proceeding further, make sure your discount strategy isn’t killing your margin. Some ideas would include things like offering discounts for a limited period of time when a new product launches. The reversal can happen when the product is almost sold out for the last few items.

Birthday discounts can be a bit tricky, especially for the beginners. There are so many customers, you will basically have to have a year long discount. It’s better to offer one on YOUR birthday. Make it big so it feels extra special. Tell your customers you are rewarding them on your birthday. The loyal ones will likely feel obliged to make a purchase as a thank you and congratulations. It’s a great marketing tactic.

You can consider offering exclusive discounts for specific groups of consumers — students, senior citizens, etc. This strategy actually allows retailers to leverage discounts without hurting their margins. As well as attract new customers without coming off as a needy brand that just wants to sell their products in any possible way.

Email Marketing Mistakes #3: Emails Don’t Follow Customer Behavior

email mistakes
Photo by Kieran Wood

You see a lot of promotional emails, lots of newsletters, etc. That’s the easiest place to start with email marketing so people focus on it. Then, you get lots of content around optimizing subject lines, writing better copy, when to send emails, etc. We’re missing the point!

Email marketing campaigns should be sent as a direct result of data and observed behavior. If a user is inactive, they get a nudge to come back. If they are active, they get emails about features they haven’t tried yet or inspiration to engage at an even higher level. Data-driven lifecycle email is so, so, so powerful. And that’s where most businesses are missing the boat on planning a great email marketing campaign. It’s basically everything we have talked about so far mixed together.

Segmentation is the key to data-driven email.

If you can’t track behavior via an app or e-commerce store, you need to do it directly via your email marketing software. Irrelevant content won’t only turn the customer away, but it will most commonly be the reason for unsubscribing from your store. Which equals never reverting back most of the time. And that’s how 80% of online stores die in their first 3 months. They fail to generate repeated purchases.

Without generating repeated purchases, without converting abandoned carts into orders, with thousands of abandoned browses and just a couple of newsletters your online store will be dead very soon.

Obviously reaching this level of personalization manually is impossible. Even a top marketing expert can’t ever analyze such a crushing amount of data to create so many individual campaigns. And the solution is an intelligent email marketing automation with Artificial Intelligence engine built in.

So basically how that works:

After analyzing tons of data, the AI engine identifies individual customer portraits and brings them the most relevant email sequence which is unique for each and every separate customer to bring them to the purchase and move to the next level of loyalty.

What’s the greatest benefit in all of this?

The automated email marketing solution is that – completely automated – all that is left from the manual job is to integrate to let the system receive and analyze the data from your store. Just like a personal assistant that knows your customers’ specifics and gives them the most relevant personal offers at the right moment.

Not sure how all of the above performs when implemented? Let the numbers talk. And by the way, you significantly reduce making mistakes you’d otherwise make using manual labor. Monitoring is still necessary though.

How to boost sales without making email marketing mistakes:

email mistakes
Photo by Lukas Blazek

Building an e-commerce store (in fact, any business) is a culmination of multiple small decisions. Make those decisions fast and push forward. This approach helped clothing store Alkaram Studio to boost their revenue significantly in only 24 days.

What they did to succeed?

Alkaram Studio discovered that a significant number of their store’s visitors return multiple times before actually buying an item. They decided that these group of visitors were the opportunity to help increase their sales.

To do this, they launched automated Abandoned Cart Recovery and Browse Abandoned email campaigns to encourage such visitors to return. Which drastically reduced their abandonment rate and improved their conversions. In total, they managed to make 641k in additional revenue from launching just two (out of seven) email automation campaigns. Pretty impressive numbers for the revenue left on the table, huh?

Key Takeaway on Avoiding Email Marketing Mistakes

There are many touch points your customers will have when engaging with your business. Optimize these touchpoints to personalize emails as much as possible. Automate the whole email marketing process to improve your sales without wasting time and resources. You don’t need to be a marketing expert to send out automated email sequences. Just create a template that includes relevant information, useful links and professional formatting. This way you will avoid making the above mentioned major email marketing mistakes.

Sofia Nikolaishvili
Latest posts by Sofia Nikolaishvili (see all)

Sofia Nikolaishvili

After earning a professional degree in linguistics and literature I decided to try out blogging to explore my passion for writing and gain first hand experience. I write about everything I'm interested...

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