If you make any of the common email marketing mistakes you’ll look dumb in front of your prospects and customers.
I’ve talked about why use small business email marketing and also given you the exact steps to get started with email marketing for your small business.
Now I’m going to show how to avoid damaging your reputation.
Avoid these mistakes and you’ll not only build a successful small business email marketing campaign but you’ll generate on-going leads, sales and profits for your business.
Mistake #1: Emailing Without Permission
It doesn’t matter where you got a person’s email address from, if they haven’t specifically requested to receive your messages, don’t add them to your list.
A common mistake is adding people who have given you a business card, or have emailed you – perhaps even because you’ve asked to be on their email list.
Successful small business marketing is about building trust and sending marketing emails without express permission will destroy trust, not build it.
Mistake #2: Not Using An Email Marketing Service
Don’t start your small business email marketing campaign using your normal email account in Outlook or GMail. This is a mistake for three reasons:
- the software isn’t designed to send bulk email (more than fifty at a time)
- you risk your emails not being delivered
- you won’t have the detailed delivery and response statistics
Email client spam filters are very aggressive, if you don’t use a professional email marketing provider that has agreements with the major email and hosting companies you risk many of your emails not being delivered.
I recommend MailChimp as they provide a free account for lists with up to two thousand email addresses and their service is very easy to use.
Mistake #3: Not Having A Purpose
As with all small business marketing you need to be clear about what you are trying to achieve.
Yes, you want to grow your business and get more customers but in which way? Are you trying to gain customers for a specific new product or service? Do you want to learn more about your customers problems so you can be more relevant? Think carefully about what you want to achieve.
The more specific you are with your purpose – the most chance you have of achieving it.
Your email marketing list and every email you sent should have a specific purpose.
Mistake #4: Irregular Emails
There is no right or wrong answer to how many emails you should send and how often.
Pick a schedule that you can commit to, such as one email a week, and stick to it. You can create emails in advance and schedule them to be sent on a specific date or time so there is no excuse not to keep to your schedule.
But don’t send emails just for the sake of it, people will soon lose interest. Spend time delivering quality, useful information.
However, if you send too infrequently your subscribers will forget about you and someone else will steal your customers.
I’d recommend starting at once per week as subscribers will be happy to hear from you that regularly and four emails a month should be an easily achievable amount to write.
If you are going to write a series, write the whole series before you announce it, it’s a mistake to tell people to expect your series for the next ten weeks and then struggle to have enough time to write next weeks – remember it is all about trust!
Mistake #5: Panicking About Numbers
Don’t panic about the number of people on your small business email marketing list. You will have low numbers to begin with, everyone starts at zero.
Always write your emails with the same effort as if you had thousands on your list, but with the same personal touch as if you are talking to one individual.
It’s better to have fifty people who are engaged with you, replying to your emails, commenting on your blog posts, sharing your email with others than have thousands who just ignore you.
Mistake #6: Ignoring Results
Regularly review how many people are opening your emails and clicking on the links you’ve included.
Adapt your style according to the types of headlines that get more people opening your emails and the subjects that more people are reading.
Results help you make your small business email marketing a success.
Mistake #7: Writing Poor Headlines
Good headlines get emails opened – poor headlines get them deleted.
Spend time writing a great headline that will promise your reader something worthwhile inside the email.
“10 Best Tax Tips” is nowhere near as compelling as “10 Ways To Pays Less Tax And Save Thousands“.
I’ll show you how to write headlines in a future part of this small business email marketing series.
Mistake #8: Writing Irrelevant Content
A good headline will get your email opened but if you don’t give your subscribers relevant information within the content that fulfils the promise of that headline, they will quickly lose interest.
At best they will stop reading the email but at worse they will unsubscribe from your list completely or ignore your future messages.
Pack as much useful information into each email as possible!
Mistake #9: Not Building Relationships
Small business email marketing is a great way to build customer relationships.
Make an effort to get to know the people on your list, reply to comments and feedback and invite people to engage with you.
The better the relationships you build, the more enquiries, sales and profit your email marketing campaign will generate.
Write your email in a natural style, almost as you would talk to a friend.
Don’t be formal, email marketing is not like sending memos – you want people to get to know, like and trust you.
Help subscribers recognise who the emails are from by using your name and email address in the from fields – you can’t build a relationship with a “don’t reply unattended mailbox”.
What Mistakes Would You Add?
Have you seen or made any other email marketing mistakes? Have you experienced people making some of these?
Please share them by leaving a comment.