5 Most Common Mistakes Marketers Make in their Email Campaigns

What Am I Doing Wrong with My Email Campaign?

So you know your email campaigns could be doing better, but you can’t pinpoint exactly what you’re doing wrong. Sound familiar? Here, we take a look at five of the most common mistakes marketers make in their email campaigns.

1. You may be using too many images. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. And using images in your HTML emails can be an effective way to tell your story and sell your products, especially if you have an e-commerce business. However, problems arise when your recipients open your email, their email client disables images, but you haven’t used alternative text to label the images. All they see is an email with empty boxes. This could alienate up to half of your audience.

The use of alternative text to label the image boxes can help solve this problem. Here are a few tips to consider:

  • Use clear and descriptive alternative text on your images that entices recipients to download the images
  • Style your alternative text to grab recipients’ attention by using a variety of fonts, sizes, colors, etc
  • Keep in mind that as many as half of your recipients won’t see your images, so don’t put copy in an image that is essential to your email message.

2. You don’t segment your emails. Not all of your customers are the same, so why send them all the same email? By grouping subscribers based on their purchase history, demographic information, and browsing history, for example, you can create and deliver content that is relevant. Ultimately, segmenting your list will result in higher open, click-through, and conversion rates; increased engagement; and more sales.

Not convinced yet? In Campaign Monitor’s 2015 Report, marketers achieved a 760% increase in email revenue by segmenting their campaigns compared with sending “one-size-fits-all” campaigns.

3. You give too many choices. One well-written, focused call to action (CTA) is much more powerful than 10 ill-placed and shoddily written CTAs. Multiple offers and links and too many competing CTAs will dilute your message and confuse subscribers. And one of the most effective ways to drive conversions is to send an email with a single CTA.

This email sent by Vet Depot, which we reviewed in our Get the Click series, provides a good example of where streamlining the email design to present a single, more-prominent CTA would likely help drive more clicks.

4. You don’t test your campaigns. A/B tests can help you see where your success lies within your messages. By testing items such as the From address, HTML versus plain text, wording, and CTAs, you can use the data obtained to help optimize the performance results of your campaigns. In this way, you’ll achieve steady improvements in your campaign results, one test at a time.

A recent example of optimization testing success at FulcrumTech involved a client who was sending emails to prospects with the goal of getting them to book an appointment with the company. In this case, we were testing and optimizing for cadence: The initial (control) cadence was an email sent on Days O, 5, 12,18, 25, and 32. To help stay top-of-mind with prospects, we tested a shorter interval between emails: Days 0, 3, 7, 14, 21, and 28. By optimizing the cadence of this email series, we were able to increase the company’s bookings by 33%.

5. You aren’t sending enough emails. Believe it or not, the more you email subscribers, the better chance you’ll have of them clicking through. Rather than sending a single email, for example, create a campaign series that links emails together and builds momentum in your campaigns.

When increasing the number of emails you send, however, be sure to keep a close eye on your unsubscribe rates and spam complaints. You don’t want to overmail and have subscribers begin to ignore your emails, unsubscribe, mark your emails as spam, and ultimately hurt your brand’s reputation and email deliverability. Setting up optimization tests is the best way to determine your send frequency sweet spot.

At FulcrumTech, we recently ran a frequency test for a publishing client. We sent the same email to the same list of clients for five consecutive days to see if a higher email send frequency would: 1) increase engagement and revenue; and 2) outweigh the cost of list saturation. In this case, increasing the send frequency helped drive sales growth for our client: The open reach increased by 103%, and the number of paid subscriptions increased by 269%.

Need help improving the performance of your email campaigns? Contact the team of experts at FulcrumTech. We’ll help you identify and optimize the areas in your email-marketing campaigns that will have the biggest positive impact on your return on investment.

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