Like all online communication channels, email marketing has gone through a major evolution in recent years. Contacts interact differently with their inbox then they did 5 years ago, and the content of email messages has changed significantly as well.
Our customer support gets a unique glimpse at the content and results of hundreds of emails every day. In this list you will find the five most important elements that you should avoid in your email marketing strategy in 2015.
1. Badly chosen sending information
The success of your email campaign mostly depends on one single element: whether your contacts open your email message. Your message probably is only one of the many emails your contact will receive in his or her inbox that day. So you better stand out.
Choosing whether or not to open an email, depends on only a couple of element: recognition and relevance. Your contact needs to know who is sending your campaign, and what it’s about. If he or she thinks that your email isn’t interesting enough, it could be deleted before the content of your email had the chance to convince your contact.
So never use a no-reply email address as the sender of your email. Contacts want to feel that they are being heard. With a no-reply address you’re showing them that you actually don’t want to receive reactions from them. So go for an easily recognizable email address, preferably from someone they know. This could be a manager, or even a support representative.
Your subject line needs some attention as well. There is nothing more boring as “Newsletter January 2015”. Clearly show the value of your message, and excite curiosity.
2. Thoughtless content for your messages
To get the most out of your email marketing, your email messages should be adapted to your target audience. We often see email messages that are way too long, contain lots and lots of text or only consist of images. So take the following list next to your email message, and have a look where you could improve.
My email message consists of one big image: We understand that you want creative liberty when creating your message. But it’s best to have a good balance between text and images in your messages. That way, you’re not only making spam filters happy, but your contacts will be grateful as well. Certain email clients turn off all images by default, and your contacts need to download the images to be able to fully read your message. Not every contact will take that effort when they are initially confronted with an empty screen.
My links are hidden in my text: A contact needs only 8 seconds to determine whether he will read your message entirely or not. You better make sure that your email contains enough elements that attract the eye. Let your titles stand out by making them big enough, and let your links get noticed by giving them a proper layout and enough whitespace. By also adapting the text of your link to your contact, he or she will know what will happen when they click through. Use “Order now and get a 10% discount” rather than an unclear “Read more”.
My links all point to the homepage of my website: There is nothing more annoying for your contact than having to look for the right information himself. He has read the information in your email and has clearly shown interest by clicking on the link, only to land on the homepage. Make sure all your link always point towards the correct information or the correct products.
3. Email messages that are too long
Also make sure your email messages aren’t too long. The information at the beginning of your message will always get the most attention. It’s important to get to the point quickly. One paragraph per article is often enough to entice interest, after which you can present them with a good call to action. That way, they can read the rest of the article on your website. The more click-through possibilities you have, the more you can get to know about the interests of your contacts.
Have a look at how many articles you have in every newsletter. 5 articles usually is enough, starting with the most interesting. If you use more articles, it might be worth it to split up your newsletter into two shorter ones. That way the articles that were way at the end of your long newsletter will get more attention.
4. No subscription form on your website
To make sure your email marketing pays of it’s important to collect new contacts on a regular basis. Your website visitors are your most interesting audience: they are already interested, otherwise they wouldn’t have visited your website. Make sure you can immediately get them in your mailing list by placing a subscription form on your website and your blog, so you can follow up on them later on. In this episode of Flexmail TV we’ll share our best tips for your subscription form..
5. No Email Authentication
Spammers have been increasingly active in recent years. These illegal practices are a nuisance for legitimate email marketers. Countering them requires ever more powerful spam filters, and even legitimate emails can often disappear into the ‘junk folder’. We have provided a solution to address this issue: Email Authentication.
The primary aim of email authentication is to prevent abuse (spoofing, phishing) and to make possible a reliable identification of the sender of an email message. By adding certain records to your domain configuration, you can significantly improve the deliverability of your email messages.
Do you want to use Email Authentication for your own Flexmail account? Make sure you follow the 3 easy steps in your account under Home > Settings > Email Authentication.