As we well know mistakes happen, even more so using email marketing. Knowing how to correct mistakes or avoid them all together can make the difference between a successful email campaign or a failure. For example, suppose you have a moderate-sized list, 500k on a good day, but today isn’t a good day. You just sent out an email campaign to your entire subscriber base and then it hits you: there’s a huge mistake in the campaign, the Discount on Designer Diamond Rings is listed as 50% off. It was only supposed to be 15% off. Somehow, the most important piece of information, the very reason for the campaign is wrong; the proofreaders missed it, the editor missed it and you missed (until you hit the send button) and “you just know” the consequences of this will not be good for various reasons.
Should you email a quick apology with the right discount or ignore the email and apologize for the error as it comes up? Will the mistake reflect on your company image, customer relations or worse, your bottom line? ( For myself I would email an apology with the correct information, but that’s just me) How you react will depend on the degree of severity of the error and your audience and from our experience we know that most errors are not as obvious as an incorrect discount. What about those “letter-perfect” campaigns, those yielding unexpected low open rates and bounces, could those unanticipated results be attributed to hidden errors, those cause by email misconceptions and mistakes.
Do you know what to look for and think about in addition to your content, format, list members, timing and so forth. If not (or if so) here is a shortlist of sender misconceptions and hidden errors to watch out for:
Always Design to impress. I configured my email client to ignore pictures/images and attachments. I find it faster and more convenient to read text than wait to download pretty pictures. Those messages with images offer a clickable “x” that will download the image when selected.
What about your email client?
As an email recipient: Do you download all the images when you open and read an email or do you do the same as I do, just read the text?
As an email marketer: Are you spending time finding the right image(s) for your email newsletter, assuming your subscribers are displaying them in their email client?
As an email marketer do your research and plan the numbers of images to include in your newsletter, the size, and the placement? And what about the great video or audio file you want to share with your readers?
Should you use these design components at all? Would you like to know if your subscribers in fact, actually viewed those images? Did you know you can track your image opens using Dundee Internet list hosting services and then design your emails accordingly?
Testing messages is key. You will find that some recipients respond better to HTML messages, some respond well to text messages and then there are some people who like to read email on their mobile devices (another subject altogether).
Believing that Permission is forever. People get bored, change jobs and so forth. Keep your email recipients engaged by allowing them to express their interests to you and the level of involvement with your email. Allow them to select the type of email offering they receive from you; newsletter, discount offers or product-specific information and the frequency they want to receive them.
Expect that your opt-in subscribers love receiving your emails. In reality, they don’t because your content is confusing. Your subscriber expected information on Dog Breeding; instead, your newsletter is about Dog Training. They might stick around for one or two more newsletter issues; eventually, they will unsubscribe.
Suggestion: Rewrite your Welcome Letter to set their expectations correctly; explain your objectives and include a delivery agenda.
They did opt-in; they are interested in your content: they are advent Dog Trainers. Your newsletter has just the right information to keep them up to date with the latest techniques. However, they just opened a second facility; being too busy to read email newsletters, they save them for later. This person remains your list subscriber, but they are totally disengaged.
Suggestion: Employ a re-engagement campaign that is simple and clear-cut with the purpose of regaining your recipient’s interest in your email messages.
It’s been a while since they read your newsletter (never open it) – they don’t remember signing up- they unsubscribe or may decide to report you as a spammer.
Suggestion: Send them a “remember us” email.
They signed up for your offer, used the offer and never want to receive your offers again: your newsletter goes directly to their delete folder or is marked as SPAM. They don’t bother to unsubscribe because they’ve taken care of it using the SPAM folder and eventually they may report you as a Spammer. Some people are just too lazy to click your unsubscribe link. A couple of spam complaints do happen.
Not following the Can-Spam Law – Stay email compliant. Follow the criteria set for sending of commercial e-mail. It’s so simple to comply.
Only viewing email as a (sale) promotional tool when in fact email is an excellent lead generator. Value, Call-To-Action and other content (good information) encourage people to share their good experiences and their knowledge of good deals with their friends. (Refer a friend in your email message, FB likes, Twitter and other channels). Your shared email offers to present an opportunity to generate a brand new lead for your service or product. In addition, prospects on your list, with the Right Call To Action may easily become customers.
Nothing wrong Here
Re-adding unsubscribes. To be successful with email marketing, realize that some people simply do not want to hear from you, again or ever. Delete those that unsubscribe and move on. Your unsubscribe rate, ideally should be under 1% . List Chun is a natural part of the sales cycle. Everyone has unsubscribed no matter how good the deal is.
Sending the Wrong information: wrong date, wrong discount, wrong offer or wrong link. The coupon went to 500K online shoppers offering a 50% discount on Designer Diamond Earrings, instead of a 15% discount, the weekend sale is not this Saturday in February it’s the first Saturday in March, and so on. You should consider rectifying that sort of error as soon as it’s discovered: an email apology with the corrected information. Depending on the severity of the error, your company policies and opinions, you might just post an apology and a correction on your website and social network channels. If you tell your audience, Kid Rock is appearing at our March Grand Opening and you really meant to say Mid Rock an immediate response is warranted. Take the opportunity to explain what happened in your next newsletter, offer a special to those who responded to that email.
Using Spammy trigger words that question intentions. I’m sure you heard it said, avoid spammy words in your email subject lines. Words that may trigger the initial thought: this email is SPAM. The list includes but not limited to “Save”, “Hugh”, “Discounts”, “Free” and “Cash” – you get the idea. However ESPS, ISPs and Spam filters have grown up, spammy words are no longer Spammy,. more importantly, are a combination of online factors such as your sender reputation – the bottom line your Spammy words are not really an issue: You are really advertising a Hugh Savings with a Free catalog.
Gauging your entire campaigns success on open rates. Metrics and measurements: do you know what comparative measure to use and why. – are you measuring the success of a particular Subject Line or a specific Call-to-Action relying only on your Open Rate as your only email tracking statistic?
Tracking statistics are important and interrupted differently. An open may represent the number of unique recipients who opened the message using an email client, which can read HTML or the percentage of unique clickthrough hits versus recipients. Evaluate your success unique to your own email campaign; don’t rely on just generic open rates to measure it.
There are more misconceptions out there. Please feel free to add the ones I missed, or comment on the ones listed here.