Not having a “Big Picture” plan
The biggest mistake that brands make in marketing their company is not having a plan. Make sure that your team has an end goal in mind when you set out on your email marketing adventure – whether it is to get more customers to your in-person events, to convert newsletter readers to buyers, or to increase traffic to a particular product or sale – you must have a plan. A simple way to make this easier is to set up an editorial calendar, this will help you schedule your promotions and associated email marketing campaigns ahead of time. Here's a way to check to see if an email is adhering to a plan, just ask yourself – are you…
Leaving Out a Call to Action
The most important feature to include in your email marketing campaign is a call to action. If your email doesn't include a specific course of action for your customer to take, don't send it. Your call to action should be short, simple, and it should visually stand out. The link behind your CTA button should lead to a webpage that fits into the context of your email – this isn't the time to surprise your customers or send them somewhere they don't expect to end up, this will just cause grief for them, and higher bounce rates for you.
Making it All About You
Congratulations, you've grown your list and you have some loyal customers in your corner. The only problem? They're getting sick of hearing your spiel. Make sure that your email marketing plan includes some way of engaging your customers beyond your general sales pitch. Maybe promote a photo contest for user submitted photos – or a coupon code for your top customers. Whatever you do, make sure to include some way of showing your customers your appreciation.
Not Running Spell Check
Details Matter! Be sure to check all communication for spelling and grammar mistakes. Better yet, check everything twice. If you don't feel confident that your grammar skills are up to par, have someone else look over your emails and other written materials. Another set of eyes can save you a whole lot of embarrassment and potential customers.
Sending Image-only Emails
But wait, no images? This may seem contradictory, but sending an email with one large image and no text is a big mistake. You see, some recipients will block images, losing the effect of your message. Your best bet is to use a mix of engaging text, a few striking images, and an enticing Call to Action.
Force-Feeding Your Customers
One quick way to get on an ISP Blacklist is to send emails to people without their permission. Email Marketing best practices are to never send unsolicited emails, ask customers to verify their sign up, and adhere to CAN-SPAM act policies. Briefly, the CAN-SPAM act requires you to include both a physical address for your business, and an “unsubscribe” link.
About the Author: Jacki Van Meter is the founder of Root & Branch Marketing, a Social Media Marketing company which helps small businesses grow through customized digital marketing plans. Find Jacki blogging, tweeting and posting small business marketing tips, tricks, and advice. Find Root & Branch on Facebook for ideas on how to use social media marketing to grow your business.