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Top Ten E-mail Marketing Mistakes

With the presence of bulk e-mail services and new software, e-mail marketing has become increasingly easy to execute.  Now is not the time to let your guard down – make sure you aren’t making any of these common mistakes:

1. Sending An Email Without A Strategy. You must have a strategy detailing the who, what, and why for each message.  Otherwise, you might be reaching the wrong audience.

2. Using A Old, Tired or Just Plain Mysterious List. If contacts haven’t opted-in to your e-mail list, you may be flagged as spam and prohibited from sending messages in the future.  Also, a fresh list cuts down on undeliverable emails.

3. Missing Subject Opportunities. Your top-line message should include a link to a Web-based version in case your message is being viewed by a reader with a PDA or other e-mail system that doesn’t support HTML content.

4. Focusing On The Wrong Content. The audience of your message needs know that it is important.  E-mails with the highest open rates come from thought leaders in the industry or from personal insights on industry trends.

5. Being Too Graphic or TextHeavy. Having too much text or graphic content in your e-mail can be overwhelming to the reader if there is nothing there to move them smoothly through the page.

6. Having An Obvious Sales Pitch. If your readers sense a sales pitch, they are likely to stop reading, delete the email, and may even report your email as spam.

7. Testing On Only One Browser. Don’t assume that all e-mail systems will display your message the same.  Testing with a Mac, PC, Internet Explorer, and Firefox and in the most used email clients will ensure that readers are able to see all of your content correctly.

8. Ignoring Statistics. Metrics will reveal whether your message was successful, along with showing bounce rates, open rates, opt-outs, and spam reports.

9. Sending At The Wrong Time. Keep your contacts’ time zones and business hours in mind.  Recent data suggest higher open rates occur on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

10. Forgetting To Lead Your Web Traffic.  Opinion-driven news letters are most effective when they have content directing web site traffic.  A portion of your story should have a link to “read more” and have links relevant to specific website pages.

One more thought – what are you using for your “From” line in your marketing e-mails?  B2B Magazine recommends using a real person’s name for this line because, after all, B2B buyers are still people.  Personalize the “From” and ‘Reply to” fields so that they are coming from the sales representative that the particular lead or contact “belongs” to.

What strategies are you using to give your e-mail a more personal touch?

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Filed under Economic Downturn, Email Marketing, marketing basics