By Hollis Thomases @Inc 12/5/12
With the end of the year looming, my battle cry going into 2013 to all business owners is,“Stop making costly marketing mistakes!” Over the past several weeks, I have covered how this waste emerges from variously poorly-executed online tactics: costly website mistakes, sabotaged social media, andmismanaged or under-optimized Google AdWords campaigns. Since email is still one of the top online activities, it’s time to cover the common email marketing blunders to avoid. Otherwise, you might as well stop spending time and money on email marketing too.
1. Don’t get labeled as a spammer.
Federal regulation called CAN-SPAM exists to govern the way in which you can legitimately conduct email marketing. Best practices also states that you should try to get the recipient to give you their permission to receive your emails (“opting-in”), but even those who give you permission may not remember who you are if you don’t email them soon after the opt-in. Taking your recipients for granted with any of these circumstances can, at very least, lead to an instant deletion of your email but at worst can lead to them reporting you as a spammer, which will hurt your chances to succeed at email marketing at all. You can’t do email marketing if you’re blacklisted by major ISPs or spam filters.
2. Avoid poor, obtuse, and misspelled subject lines.
Your email subject line is the most important element of your email marketing piece–a great subject line can ensure more people open your email. If your email gets open, you’re at least on the way to helping your marketing efforts. On the other hand, a bad subject line severely diminishes your response rates. Trying to be too clever or not obvious enough might mean few recipients even open your emails.
3. Avoid unrecognized or unbranded senders.
Recently, I received an email about a company’s news but with a woman’s name in the sender field. I just happened to know this woman from 12 years ago. Were she the president of the company the email was coming from, it might have made sense, but she was not and there was no reason I would have correlated her name with the email subject line. It would have been more sensible if the email came from the company owner or the company brand name than from this otherwise unknown individual. (continue @Inc)