10 Conversion-Crippling Email Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Are you struggling to generate conversions with email marketing?

According to research conducted by the Data & Marketing Association (DMA), previously known as the Direct Marketing Association, businesses generate an average of $38 in revenue for every $1 invested in email marketing. Not all businesses, however, experience such a high return on investment (ROI) with this marketing tactic.

If you make any of the following email marketing mistakes, you can expect a lower ROI or even a negative ROI.

Email Marketing Conversions Avoid These Marketing Mistakes

1. Sending Duplicate Emails 

You shouldn't send the same email to the same subscriber more than once. Duplicate emails such as this suffer from low conversion rates. If a subscriber has already received an email, he or she probably isn't interested in receiving it again. Some subscribers, in fact, may feel like you are spamming their inbox if you send them duplicate emails. As a result, you may also suffer from higher unopened rates, which can also affect your email SPAM rating. 

2. Purchasing Email Lists

Although this may seem like an easy way to reach a large audience, avoid the temptation of purchasing email lists to use in your email marketing strategy. There are businesses that collect and sell large lists of email addresses. While the allure of acquiring thousands of email addresses for pennies a piece may sound tempting, it can harm your conversions. Email lists are often sold to dozens of customers, so the addresses on them are bombarded with commercial messages. If you use a purchased email list, recipients will likely ignore your emails or mark them as spam. Regardless, the chances of generating a conversion without having the awareness or familiarity of your audience, are slim to none.

3. Sending From an Unbranded Email Address

Don't make the mistake of sending emails from an unbranded address. Users who subscribe to your newsletter are voluntarily opting to receive commercial messages from your business. If you send emails from an unbranded email address, subscribers may not associate them with your business. For more conversions, send emails from a branded address consisting of your business's website. You can still use your real name as the sender name, but the sender address should reflect the address of your business's website.

4. Excessively Long Subject Lines

The number of characters used in an email's subject line can affect its conversions. If the subject line is excessively long, it may result in not being read. When deciding whether to open and read an email, subscribers will check the subject line. If the subject line is engaging and relevant to their interests, they may open it. The problem with excessively long subject lines is that they don't display completely. Most mailbox providers only display about 30 characters of a subject line for mobile users and 60 characters for desktop users. Any additional characters are automatically deleted, meaning subscribers won't see the full subject line.

5. Failing to Segment

While it's easier to send all subscribers the same email, you'll likely experience more conversions with segmentation. According to research cited by HubSpot, businesses that segment their subscribers generate over seven times as much sales revenue from email marketing as their counterparts. Email segmentation involves dividing your subscribers into groups based on various criterium. Once segmented, you can then create a custom email for each group that's highly relevant to the respective subscribers, to increase their likelihood of engagement. 

6. Overlooking Mobile

It would be best if you didn't overlook mobile subscribers when performing email marketing. According to Campaign Monitor, over half of all emails are opened on a mobile device. Whether it's a smartphone or tablet, mobile devices display emails differently than desktop computers. For example, mobile's display fewer characters of the subject line, and they have a smaller screen size. Therefore, images and graphics used on your email must be sized correctly, feature correctly sized text and be free of clutter, to ensure the best viewing experience.

7. Using a Dull CTA

If an email has a dull call to action (CTA), it probably won't drive many conversions. As a marketer, it's your job to persuade subscribers to take action. You can create an engaging subject line, as well as body text, but it's the CTA that ultimately determines whether a subscriber takes action. To drive more conversions, create a bold CTA with actionable copy, such as "Shop Now" or "Subscribe Today," that stands out in your emails.

8. Creating Image-Only Emails

Another common email marketing mistake is creating image-only emails. Each image you add to an email increases its file size. With only images, an email may have an excessively large file size that prevents subscribers from quickly loading it. To make matters worse, images are automatically blocked in many email clients for mobile devices. If a mobile subscriber opens an image-only email, he or she will see placeholder images rather than the actual images. To view images on a mobile device, subscribers must manually click them or configure their email client's settings. It's best practice to use a mix of text and headings with images, to break up and format your email layout. This will make it more appealing for readers to maintain interest and actively click "display images" on their email provider, creating further engagement and brand immersion. 

9. Neglecting to Emphasize Value Proposition

The focus of your emails should be on value proposition. In other words, tell subscribers why they should click the CTA and purchase the advertised product or service. Without a clear value proposition, there's no incentive for subscribers to take action. You can emphasize the value proposition by talking about the benefits of the product or service you are selling. If a subscriber believes a product or service is beneficial and worth the price for which it's sold, there's a good chance he or she will buy it.

10. Not Honouring Unsubscribe Requests

If a subscriber no longer wants to receive emails from your business, you should honour his or her request. Keeping a subscriber on your newsletter isn't just bad email etiquette; it's a liability to your business. Once a subscriber asks to unsubscribe, it's safe to assume he or she no longer wants to communicate with your business. Any emails that you send the subscriber will go unread.

Furthermore, businesses are legally required to honour unsubscribe requests within 10 days. If you wait longer than 10 days, or if you don't honour unsubscribe requests at all, you could be fined under the CAN-SPAM Act.

Email marketing isn't an exact science. Like other forms of digital marketing, it requires constant testing. If you don't test different subject lines, body text and CTAs, you won't be able to optimise your emails for the most conversions. During all stages of your email marketing strategy, though, you should avoid making these conversion-crippling mistakes.

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