Email marketing mistakes are so easy to make, and it’s easy to get carried away when vying for customers at this time of year. People are spending, so how do you get them to buy from you?
We recently received an email marketing message from an established and respected UK seller.
However, their email marketing left a lot to be desired. So here are 10 email marketing mistakes, from this email and others, to avoid in your own campaigns.
1. Don’t write whole sentences in capital letters!
Even if you write the email in festive red and green capitals, it is still a big no to write whole sentences in capital letters! In today’s digital world, this is still seen as shouting and aggressive. It also doesn’t look pretty – which email sales messages should.
A better option is just to use bold or italics for the occasional one or two words you want to highlight. Another subtle option is to keep important points to one-liners.
2. Excessively large font
This has a similar effect to using capital letters, it’s too in-your-face, looks unprofessional and will put potential buyers off. Stick to font size 11 or 12 and definitely not font size 16!
It should also be noted that the larger your font, the harder it will be to read on mobiles and tablets.
3. Spell it right!
You’ve only got 250-ish words so get it right! Read, read and read it again. Use free editing software like Grammarly and get someone else in your office or networking circle to read it as well.
If you’re a Twofeetmarketing member, we would be happy to discuss pointers and tips to improve your email marketing messages.
4. Don’t overdo the sense of urgency
Give only one reason and a clear statement why your customers should not delay ordering with you. For example:
‘Limited stock, so don’t delay!’
‘Don’t miss out on your Christmas turkey!’
‘This great offer is only available to the first 50 customers.’
The latter adds an element of gamification, which will enhance the urgency.
An excessive use of reasons why the customer should hurry up with their purchase will actually turn them away, as shopping with your will appear too much of a hassle.
For example, consider the following appearing in an email marketing message:
We’re a specialist service, with a small, highly qualified team and it’s challenging to have enough time for all our clients. Because we only have a limited number of spaces you could miss out on all 3 of our packages, especially the most cost-effective one, so we have no choice but to encourage you to order a package now. When our spaces are gone, they are all gone and will not be available for a considerable amount of time. We don’t want to rush you, but you really need to order now otherwise you are going to be very disappointed.
What did you think? Granted the example we saw was a retail email but it is pretty close. Many potential customers/clients reading an email like this would be put off from even attempting to make a purchase.
Don’t tell your email readers that it’s so urgent that they might as well not bother!
5. Don’t tell your clients not to order more!
In the email message we received, the reader was advised to confirm their order before going back to add additional items. They asked readers not to add items before confirming their original order.
Confused? Yes, us too! The reason they gave is that if you delay putting the original order through, any of the original items might go out of stock.
Well, there’s a small chance, but simplistically, you don’t ever tell your customers to stop shopping. For whatever reason. Look at some other e-retailers, before you can even make the payment, they’ll offer additional products to add to the basket.
6. Don’t be Scrooge
You may be closely related to Scrooge; you may not like thinking about Christmas until Christmas Eve, but many people like to plan early and do get excited about it. A recent email we’ve seen began with an opening line apologising for bringing up Christmas early; assuming readers will be unhappy with the holiday reminder.
Don’t give people a reason not to shop with you – that’s just absurd. It’s like starting a message with:
I know how most people completely run out of money at Christmas time, and decorating your windows might seem like an unnecessary expense….
Empathy is great, but not in this context. So, if you are sending Christmas sales messages don’t apologise for sending them so early! Build excitement and find ways to encourage early Christmas planning and purchases.
I’ll keep this one simple. Logos should be a sensible size, centrally placed and clickable to a relevant page on your website – home page, service/product page or a signup form.
- Don’t tell sensible people to complete basic tasks.
Don’t add any text telling people what to do with other emails you have sent. For example, advising readers to make sure they carefully read their order confirmations.
It’s a sales message with a purpose, don’t use your marketing email as a dustbin to clean up all outstanding issues you have with your customers. Not cool.
9. Segment your emails
I have missed well over four cycles of orders. I need a reminder email and encouragement to make a smaller purchase so I start shopping with this organisation again and then they can then start upselling.
Without this interaction, I am unlikely to do my full Christmas shop with this company. So offering the whole works was just too much, too soon.
10. Make it worth my time
Tell me something I need to read and give me an offer that’s interesting enough that even if I don’t want it this time, I’ll keep an eye on your future emails.
To write a great email marketing message, choose a topic, set the scene and give an offer that is tailored to each segmented group.
I asked David, our digital marketing expert, what the three most important components of a digital marketing message are and he said, ‘the benefits, the urgency and trust.’
So, keep this advice in mind and good luck with your festive email marketing messages.