Using the right Email Marketing tools with the wrong results?

When an email marketer wears the hat of a list subscriber his or her perspective change, especially using email marketing tools

Depending on where you sit an email marketer will take on the role of an email recipient some point during the day. Designing, sending and tracking email campaigns require a certain skill set,  fine-tuned with experience. Opening and reading email is somewhat easier. No special skill is required other than logging into your email program.

Here are 10 examples of Subscriber versus Marketeremail marketing man

1. Subscriber Perspective: I hate it when my email address is added to an email list I didn’t sign up for. I may have inadvertently given my permission for these solicitous emails, by checking that little box to agree to “your” terms and conditions; but really, was I supposed to read all that? I hate any email that remotely resembles SPAM.

An Email Marketer may reason: From my website alone, I collected several thousand email addresses for my company email list. When someone opts into my list from my website, they must agree to my online terms and conditions, by putting a check in a box. My terms and conditions state email addresses may be shared, rented or sold. I am not an email broker by trade, but this potential revenue stream is difficult to pass up.

Acceptable Action: even though your privacy policy (welcome letter or small print on the bottom of your screen) indicates that by signing up for your list, the subscriber is giving you permission to ‘sell’ or rent their email address to others, doesn’t mean they really agree. If selling email addresses is part of your marketing plan, make it very clear this is what you’re doing.

2. Subscriber Perspective: I hate receiving unwanted emails (aka SPAM) especially emails from lists I know I unsubscribed from. If I find one more newsletter in my in-box from your company, there goes any relationship I may have had with you.

An Email Marketer may reason: I started sending email campaigns to email addresses that have been purchased, swapped, borrowed, revived from an old old list, or taken off email headers by adding these people to my list from the visible cc’s. I even add back those addresses that had unsubscribed the way I see it, the more the merrier (Better).

Acceptable Action: Make it a point to mail only to opt-in (permission-based) email addresses, then follow common sense email guidelines such as always use the same “from address” when you mail to a particular list, and so on. Honor unsubscribes. For whatever reason, they left. They might be back, but probably will not if you give them a hard time when they want to leave.

3. Subscriber Perspective: I hate opening ill-fitting HTML email on my mobile device. It’s so annoying when an email requires constant scrolling just to read one sentence, accompanied by huge graphics that take many seconds to load. Worse yet, it’s near to impossible to easily click on one of the links I won’t, because the links are laid out too close together, it’s easier for me to just delete the message and move on to the next one.

An Email Marketer may reason: Our Company doesn’t have a set email-marketing plan, believing that most email is read on desktop and laptop computers. Our email campaigns are normally composed of several paragraphs, typically loaded with carefully selected graphics and include several links to our website.

Suggestion: Optimize your mobile message with a single column template and do not embed text in the images. Include a descriptive alt text for all your graphics (in case they do not want to download them), and limit the number of clickable links in your message, position the ones you include for finger action. Do not send complicated and wordy content. Keep it short: keep it simple. Grab their attention with a well thought out subject line, as mobile devices usually display 64 characters or less.

4. Subscriber Perspective: I hate receiving an email with syntax in the place of my name. Your email starts with Dear [firstname, lastname] making the appearance of the message unprofessional and somewhat sloppy. What else did you get wrong, should I even bother reading this?

An Email Marketer may reason: I personalized 200,000 email addresses for this upcoming marketing campaign. I tested but didn’t catch the fact that my ESP (email service provider) doesn’t fully support dynamic tags. Consequentially: some recipients received an email from me delivered with Dear [firstname, lastname] instead of Dear Patricia.

Suggestion: Work with your ESP [READER] to set up an applicable default text for those occasions where “Filler text” would appear. With Dundee Internet, you can use most tags in all parts of your message including the body, subject, header, footer and documents such as the welcome letter. If a field is blank, the merge tag will simply be removed and can be replaced by nothing, or conditional content set up for a default text.

5. Subscriber Perspective: I hate receiving an email that looks like the other 100 emails I receive each morning: they all go in the trash.

An Email Marketer may reason: My last campaign worked like a charm. Today I am rushed to get out this week’s special so I’m reusing the Subject Line from my last mailing. Better yet, I am just going to say BIG SALE in the Subject Line and leave it at that.

Suggestion: Make it a point to add relevance to your email Subject Line, make it interesting and relevant enough to open. Consider using a call to action subject, targeted specifically to the recipient.

6. Subscriber Perspective: I hate receiving emails with no contact information, especially an email that includes a great offer because I know I’ll have questions.

An Email Marketer may reason: My new newsletter template only contains a link to my order form. I did not want to spend a lot of time on this so I decided to leave off the contact information, besides who scrolls all the way to the bottom of an email anyway?

Action to take: Comply with CAN-SPAM Act, a law that sets the rules for commercial email. Bottom line: include contact information in your email.

7. Subscriber Perspective: I hate receiving an email that has spelling and grammar errors.

An Email Marketer may reason: using the right tools with the wrong results. The spell checker works as designed, but human error accidentally changed a misspelled word to a misplaced word: in all applicable places my email now reads manger instead of manager. And I didn’t catch the error.

Suggestion: Always use a spell checker. Lyris ListManager, (for the past several years), offers a built-in spell checker for content before you send it out. In addition, engage another person to proofread your content for an error besides spelling. Check for understanding, presentation, and flow before you hit that send key.

8. Subscriber Perspective: I hate spam. I vaguely recall receiving an email from this company several months ago but I really forgot who they are. I think it was spam that I got last time. Not going to open this email: how did I ever get on this list?

An Email Marketer may reason: I don’t mail on a regular schedule, I’m too busy. Besides, I send out great information when I do mail so my subscribers will be looking for my next email. Sometimes I mail twice a month and maybe six months later I send another campaign.

Suggestion: Be consistent, create a mailing schedule and stick to it.

9. Subscriber Perspective: I hate when my inbox gets overwhelmed with nonsense emails; this time if the content is of no interest, I’ll just mark theses emails Junk to keep them out of my inbox. If I had more time I would open each one and unsubscribe, but earmarking them Junk is so much faster.

An Email Marketer may reason: I’m mailing on a schedule but I need an in-between email piece. Our lawn sale ends in a few days and management wants a discount coupon for grass seed emailed: I know more than 50% of our audience are apartment dwellers but they might have friends who can really use this coupon.

Suggestion: These are your subscribes, they signed up for your list with the expectations you set. Make sure you give them what they signed up for. Most likely you have taken time to collect some data intelligence; such as their zip code and other user demographics. Armed with the right data points your email-marketing piece can be written just for them. Here at Dundee Internet, our list can use the power of conditional content; easily create unique, one-to-one emails tailored to the exact needs and interests of your recipients without having to create or send more than one message.

10. Subscriber Perspective: I hate the fact that unsubscribing from your list is difficult. I did scroll down to the bottom of your email and at first, I did not find an unsubscribe link; it’s there, but the font is the same color as the footer background and it’s so tiny I can hardly make it out. At least you don’t have an unsubscribe link that is misleading such as “why am I getting these emails”

An Email Marketer may reason: These are my subscribers who believe our content is valuable, why would anyone want to leave. Besides I need to keep the subscribers number up for ROI purposes.

Acceptable Action: Make the option to unsubscribe simple to do; if your recipient wants to leave, they will take the time to scan your email, find the link and be removed from your mailing list. You decide how they leave the unsubscribe center, annoyed or satisfied.

Of course, there are more examples; mailing too often, not including a call to action, duplicate emails, not testing before sending. I know you can think of several examples. Feel free to share them here.