10 Mistakes for Miserable Email Campaigns
Starting to be more and more personal and relevant to the consumers, the opt-in advertisement proved its efficiency in using the electronic mail as an important means in communicating all kinds of commercial or informational messages to an audience (usually clients) encouraging, this way, the customers’ loyalty, increasing the possibilities of repeated business.
And since the importance of email marketing campaigns is rising day after day, we kept our promises on returning on the topic, displaying the importance of knowing all the small things leading to a miserable attempt to create a successful email marketing campaign, because being given the low cost and the effectiveness of this kind of approach it is truly worth the effort as long as we are aware of the limitations it has.
Assuming you already took into count the tips we revealed for you in our article 10 Tips for Glorious Email Marketing Campaigns, then you’re on the good track. And if the purpose for all the hard work you have done so far is acquiring new customers or convincing the current ones to purchase some more from you, then we advise you to pay attention and avoid stepping into these traps:
1. Not asking for permission
We all know that email marketing is based on opt-in lists of clients receiving all kinds of advertisements… and when they say opt-in, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) really means it, so you shouldn’t just assume that your clients want to hear of you, because the FTC might be out to get you for violating the CAN-SPAM law.
So this means you have to ask everyone on your clients’ list for permission when you want to start sending advertising emails. This way you will avoid spam complaints (and avoid being blacklisted and sanctioned by the FTC) and you will keep your reputation untouched and preserve a great deliverability of your important marketing emails.
2. Never-ending online forms
When it comes to registration forms, size really matters. Because even if the users find your products or services interesting and worthy of their attention, all the clicking through endless registration pages and writing tons of boring and unnecessary information might overcome their patience limits. What else could you possibly need besides their permission, name, and email address?
So keep your registration forms simple and clean (only ask for information that has obvious usefulness for your email marketing campaigns) and consider that it might be nice to let people know that their subscription was successful (or not), just to make sure they will remember you once you start sending them advertising emails.
3. Where do I sign out?
With all the time spent and all the hard work you have done so far, rejection is not an option… well, for your clients, it is. If they don’t want to receive any of your emails anymore, it’s their legal right to have this option, so unless you want to be blacklisted as spam, we strongly advise you to provide an unsubscribe button.
Don’t even think of asking user names and passwords to initiate the unsubscribing, no one will ever remember it and you will only get everyone really angry and they’ll just report you as spam… again. And this is way worst than a smaller opt-ins list, right? Now it’s important to act professional and honor every unsubscribing request as soon as possible and make sure those email addresses are promptly removed from your mailing list as well, in order to prevent some unwanted spam reports.
4. When is next time?
From reader to buyer could be a long road, but if you don’t raise your clients’ expectations, the road might turn out to be endless… We don’t deny the importance of well-targeted and relevant messages, but everything will be worthless if the contact with your clients is infrequent and inconsistent. Why would they trust you, if you don’t deliver the emails as you promised when they applied?
So it’s important that you honor the frequency of the list’s intent, letting your customers know that you respect their interests and needs above everything. And then you can expect them to reciprocate, offering the most valuable trusting proof: buying products or services from you.
5. Rushing things
OK. So now you have the clients list (opt-in, of course) and some great ideas… then don’t mess up by rushing things, because when it comes to marketing, “the devil is in the details”. So consider segmenting your list into more focused and smaller groups, avoiding this way sending useless information to your customers and wasting their precious time.
Now choose your words carefully… everything that has the slightest resemblance to spam, gets thrown away in no time: forget about pushy sales lines, and never – and here, we really mean NEVER – use ALL CAPS lines in your emails, because your clients might get the wrong idea that you’re screaming at them… and you’re not doing that, right?
What also gets you blacklisted for lack of professionalism is poor content, misspellings, and poor grammar (they might get the idea that you’re stupid… sorry). If you’re too busy to check for these small things, use a specialized program or have someone read it for you before sending it. You might be grateful someday.
6. Assuming you know best
So you know everything about your company and every little detail about the products/services you’re selling and all the employers worship you… unfortunately, readers don’t fall for long, boring, technical descriptions. And we appreciate all of your good intentions, but you have to stop assuming what your consumers want to hear and stop answering questions that nobody is asking. It might sound selfish to you, but they just want to know what’s in it for them.
So the best approach, in case you’re not sure whether your presentation is appealing enough, is bringing an objective outsider to give some perspective on the matter. And for more questions, simply invite your curious customers to write you an email, having no risk to overwhelm the others with unnecessary information.
7. So what do I do next?
Let’s say everybody loved your email: it has great content and great style… now what? While your interesting content and bold design do the trick of capturing everyone’s attention, without a clear call to action, you might get your readers confused, missing the obvious: what’s the purpose of your email marketing campaign?
So after you made such a great impression and had them trust your intentions, tell them what it is that you want them to do next. And since they’ll probably be too busy or too lazy to google you, don’t forget to leave them open the option of getting back to your website for more information and services, by placing links in strategic places, leading to your main page… we don’t want to make our customers work too much, do we?
8. The road to nowhere
Remember we told you that in marketing, it’s all about the first impression? It’s still true, but when the pretty picture takes us on a road to nowhere, the first impression might fade pretty soon.
If the users like what they see first, they might want to see some more… and so they click around to get there. What happens if nothing happens (not to mention if you send them somewhere else…)? They get angry and then they lose interest.
So make sure you double checked all your links before sending your email marketing campaign to your clients, or you could lose your credibility… and your clients.
9. Looking good… but have you tested it?
They say the best way to learn is through our own mistakes, but do you really want to risk everything and learn the hard way? We thought so.
One of the most frequent mistakes is not testing your email marketing campaign in lots of different email programs and browsers. Looking good on your browser and your eyes are filled with pride? Not so fast… just because it looks fantastic on your preview window, it doesn’t mean it can’t go all wrong when launching it in some other browser. Since we don’t expect you to have testing computers, we suggest you start torturing your family and friends, and send them samples of your emails… we bet they’ve already offered, out of courtesy. Or you could try the testing services offered by your email marketing service provider. It pays to pay a small fee to prevent costly mistakes.
10. Never ignore campaigns reports
They say sticks and stones will break your bones, but words will never harm you… well, we don’t really approve. When it comes to marketing you might want to lend an ear to the gossips, adjusting your content according to what your clients look for. So after every email campaign, visit your email marketing service ( for example, use MailChimp or Google Analytics, or whatever) to get some feedback.
So you have to be receptive to what your target clients are interested in (objectified in open and click rates) adjusting your content in order to make them curious from one campaign to another, rising the chances of transforming them from readers to buyers.
In the end…
Now that you know all the important tips and tricks (and the traps to be avoided) there is nothing standing in your way to an amazing successful email marketing campaign. And if our articles on Successful vs Miserable Email Marketing Campaign helped you in any way, please let us know.