6 email marketing mistakes that can crush your efforts

If your email efforts are netting you less-than-stellar results, make sure you’re not making one of these errors that can turn away your audience.

Email marketing is one of the best ways for brand managers to communicate with current and prospective clients.

It can be used to drive traffic to your website, share promotions, solicit feedback and share stories about your brand. The possibilities are endless—but what if your results are nowhere near what you thought they’d be?

Here are a few reasons why your email tactics might not be working:

1. You are sending too many. Many marketers are guilty of this. We have to meet a target, promote a deal or share news. The result: our customers feel bombarded, which results in lower engagement and increased unsubscribes.

Remember, your audience is receiving tons of messages each day. Be selective in what you communicate.

2. Your emails don’t fit your strategy. This is especially relevant for those who send out emails on behalf of their clients and senior management.

They want to make an announcement or sell more units, so they ask you to send out an email that doesn’t fit with your the overall strategy. Re-evaluate your efforts and look at alternative options. If email is the right choice, make sure your messaging is engaging and that it complements your other efforts.

3. Your customers are not using email. Audience preferences are changing as new mediums are introduced. Research your target market: Are they using emails, or do they prefer social media? If it’s the latter, which platforms are they on? Do they like to receive offers in the mail?

Free download: 10 Ways to Get Employees to Open and Read Your Email

Knowing your customer and how they like to communicate is important. Segmentation is a crucial part of your strategy, as not all of your customers and prospects use the same tools.

4. Your subject lines are weak. A subject line must entice your audience and give them a reason to open your email.

Keep it short and sweet. Use action verbs, give them a taste of what they will get in your email and create a sense of urgency. Check out these tips to help you write subject lines that garner clicks.

5. Your content is subpar . If your content does not add value to customers, your email efforts will fall flat.

Interesting, well-crafted content is what will engage consumers and keep them coming back for more. Weave photos, success stories and tips into your emails. If you have a blog, use snippets from it to provide additional interesting content.

6. Your design isn’t helping. Even if you have all the other elements of a great email, a poorly designed email will prevent your customers from reading it and taking action.

When your customers click on an email, it needs to be readable, clean and responsive on different devices. This is crucial in order to get your message across.

There is no doubt that email is a great way to reach your audiences. When used effectively and as part of a larger strategy, it can engage your customers, drive traffic to your website, increase sales and ultimately grow your business.

Maria Scopelliti is a communications advisor at the University of Ottawa. You can connect with her at mariascope.com. A version of this article originally appeared on her blog.

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