Mistakes. I bet you have made a ton of them in your life, especially as a marketer - but you should be aware that many of them can be very costly. We are here to discuss the most common email marketing mistakes and how they can be costly for you. Be it through the need to spend money to undo something or, more commonly, lose revenue.
Without waiting any further, let's dive into the most common mistakes.
Email marketing mistake #1: Not paying attention to the quality of your email list
The first big email marketing mistake many marketers do is to think that quantity is quality. This couldn't be farther from the truth. You should always look to have the best condition possible on your list. The quality of your list is essential. Make sure you're regularly auditing your list and deleting anything that's returning a hard bounce and deleting any user that hasn't opened an email in the last months (you may even try to send a warning email to him before). Also, keep in mind that Gmail and Hotmail both track email opens. For customers where the opens aren't happening, those emails are moved over time to spam and deleted in 30 days.
An email marketing mistake is buying lists from others. You will inherit users that are completely disengaged, don't know your brand, or are simply not interested. If you throw these email addresses into your list, you will make it "dirty" and possibly damage your sender reputation beyond salvation. Instead, you can send an email before ASKING for their subscription - that should save you from an email armageddon.
Some percentage of the emails in these lists are spam traps and will make you end up blacklisted. That's why most marketing automation tools have Terms of Service prohibiting you from using purchased lists, and they have a no-tolerance policy because blacklisting impacts them as well.
You should always run your list through an email verifier, like TheChecker, to make sure that your list is full of valid contacts. If they're poorly written (like @hmail instead of @gmail) or have been deleted since they subscribed, they should be eliminated immediately. That way, you don't have invalid emails that can negatively impact your campaign results.
#2: Not checking your email content for spam
Sensationalism hurts, and almost every email provider deals with it with the spam treatment. You might think you're exempt from that, but if you still include words, phrases, and design choices commonly used in spam email, that's what's going to happen to you. And being in the spam folder is the worst email marketing mistake you can ever commit.
You can get around this by using a spam checker before you send your campaign, which will give you a spam score to determine the likeliness that you’ll end up in the inbox rather than the junk folder. But there are a few guidelines that you should always obey:
- Using certain terminology, especially in all caps, like FREE in the subject line of an email. There are tons of "spammy words" that you should avoid at all costs. Avoid sensationalism and you will be fine.
- Using tons of variable colors and bolding and italics in an email body in a way that looks unnatural. It is better that you write it in the most natural way possible - tricks to grab your reader's attention will backfire and get you blacklisted.
- Having too much image to text ratio, again violating what is considered to be "common speak". That's the easiest way to get into a spam folder, by the way!
And always remember that If it's an automated email, you legally must have an unsubscribe and a physical address at the bottom. One thing you should be aware of: did you ever see the "unsubscribe" action in Gmail? Gmail sends a message back to you requesting the person. Fail to do that too many times, and Gmail will send you to the spam folder for all emails. That way, you avoid getting into the spam folder!
#3: Not using the right tool for the job
By now, you know that email marketing is one of the best ways to generate leads for your business, but a big part of reaping the benefits of email marketing is doing it correctly. But if you try to do it "the cheap way", it can backfire and make your life a living hell - don't ever be afraid to spend a little more to have the right tool for the job - and there are plenty of options that you might be using.
You can use market leaders such as Hubspot, Mailchimp, RD and Leadlovers; all of them can be integrated to TheChecker through our API. They will handle many aspects for you that will be worth of the money spend, you will be able to stop worrying about sending too much too soon from a new IP address, as these would need to be "warmed up" over at least a month, but these services will be able to deal with it way faster. You can also stop worrying about sending too quickly from a particular domain - they have shared servers and comply with all the rules.
Having the right tools can be a game-changer for you; don't try to avoid paying something and doing it for free through some "clever Gmail plugins." You can end up doing something that these plugins haven't been designed for and getting blacklisted because that will make you have costs that you can only dream of right now.
And don't forget that there's a tool for every pocket. Hubspot may be too expensive for a newcomer or small company, but Mailchimp has a free plan that you can use straight away. As the costs rise, you may try to switch to Hubspot later on. This is just an example of how you can proceed. Try to plan according to your needs, and be aware that there are new tools to try out every month!
#4: Not segmenting your list
Maybe the best way to avoid problems is so easy that you will not believe you didn't do that before: segmenting your list. If you don't do that, you may be sending emails that aren't relevant to your subscribers and will get many disengaged users. Segmenting your email list is the best way to guarantee a significant open rate, big responses, and good revenues through email marketing - don't let everything on the same list!
A subscriber from The United States, for example, probably isn't interested in knowing the "10 best restaurants in Paris", and this will end up as content that he will not be likely to click and interact with. If you do many geo-location contents, you could separate your subscriber list by location. Now you can send location-specific content to your audience and have them interact the proper way with you, which will be excellent.
This is the best strategy you can use, because no matter how hard we try to only have our target audience/clients/customers on our list - we still end up with a wide range of people, all of them with a variety of interests and pain points. Let's say you blog about blogging and business-related topics. A strategic way to segment your list would be to find out where they are on their journey and tailor your email content for each group. Then your bloggers only looking for beginner blogging tips will only receive those emails, and your entrepreneurs only interested in more advanced business tips willreceive those emails.
If you have only one email list, try making a few of them, and the further you go into the details of each list, the more likely you will be effective through your email marketing. This can be a game-changer and increase your revenues in the email marketing game. Good luck!
The ultimate email marketing mistake: Letting your email die
One last thing that you have to take care of is constant email validation, so the most precious of your channels don't die out. We call the ultimate email marketing mistake to let too many invalid emails enter your list and keep them. You should always strive to have only valid emails on your list.
That's what we provide, by the way. What is email validation, you may ask? Well, to put it simply: imagine that you have an email list for over one year. You started with 0 emails, and now it has 30,000 emails. Without validation, you will send emails to all these 30,000 addresses, and some would return - those are invalid emails. Over time it's costly (as mail SaaS is usually pricier when you have tons of emails), which damages your sender reputation.
With email validation, we (TheChecker) will find out which emails don't exist anymore or never existed at all (typos, temporary emails, and false addresses). You will end up only with the valid emails, therefore raising your deliverability and helping to keep a healthy email marketing strategy. Imagine that over a year, those 30,000 emails turned into 22,000 legitimate emails, because 20% of emails are not authentic after a year, and this number doubles if you are talking about corporative emails. We saved you from 8,000 potential problems and hard bounces. We have algorithms and technology that do that in a few seconds and very efficiently, with 99,9% success rates.
In the long run, this makes a massive difference for your business. Don't ever be afraid to see your email list shrink. That's good, as you're focusing on better emails with higher chances of being read. Write good content, and those users will bond with you and turn into costumers! We call it a good email marketing strategy that converts and helps you build your brand. In the long run, that's what you want.
You have to do it from time to that, like cutting your nails. There's no specific timing to it, but you should at least try to do it once every quarter. If hundreds of thousands or millions of emails are on your list, it might be better to do it every month or fortnight. The same if you have mostly corporate emails (as they change faster than personal ones). It will help you avoid those hard bounces that can be so damaging to your send reputation.
If you do these four things from time to time, yes, you will be helping your email marketing strategy to survive in the long run: you may avoid big problems. If you have to start over, you will see your ROI dropping deeply, and it will cost you too - after all, every time you have to set up a new server, it may be a few thousand dollars that go away needlessly. Many users are using email marketing again because of email validation. We're glad to help you to optimize digital marketing.
We are committed to helping you on that journey, and that's why we were chosen as the best email validation tool in places like Capterra and Trustpilot - amassing a significant number of clients that are among the biggest companies in the world, such as Netflix and WeWork. In other words, trust us to make your list more trustable. It's our mission. Try our tool for free on this link, and remember that we have custom plans which can be very helpful to your company. Good luck!