Email marketing is big business. It may seem like an older form of online communication, but over 300 billion emails are still sent every day. This daily figure is only increasing over time and marketers are showing no lack of success with their email campaigns. It’s just a case of doing it right.
Now, how many of us can safely say that we’ve had an experience sending an email, only to realise AFTER you’ve hit send that you’ve made a mistake? Perhaps there’s a misspelling or maybe you’ve forgotten to add a link. It happens. Now, Google Mail has a pretty cool feature where, if it’s registered that you’ve typed the word “attachment” in your message, and hit send, but not actually attached anything – it will prompt you to tell you that you’ve forgotten. This is great – a simple feature that has saved many people from embarrassment – but it’s not perfect. Things can still be all too easily forgotten. Simple errors can make or break an email campaign. You’ve already only got such a small window of time to hook people in with email marketing, and if the reader notices an error, they’re most likely to not buy into your message at all. You could be dining at a Michelin-star restaurant, but if you find 1 fly in your food, your entire experience is ruined. This is just the same for mistakes in email marketing. Don’t let one simple error stifle your efforts.
So, whether you’re new to email marketing, or an experienced player in this game, in this blog we’ve got you the perfect email marketing checklist. A brief and concise list of all the most common errors found within email campaigns, so that you can avoid any embarrassment, poor results, or looking unprofessional.
Here we go…
1 – Broken Links
Links only work if every character within it is correct. They HAVE to be concise. So, if you’re working on particular email campaigns over a period of time, regularly check that your links are still working. If for whatever reason the address of that link has changed, then the link will change with it. Meaning the one you worked with previously won’t work. This will appear sloppy to the reader and you can almost guarantee that if the link doesn’t work, they will not make the effort to find it themselves, and instead, just give up.
2 – Forgotten Links
Just like adding broken links, missing links can also be just as embarrassing. This usually occurs on the flip side of the previous point – when you’re adding in your links last. Proofreading is major here for avoiding this one. Always be proofreading your emails before sending them, double and triple checking. But also be on a specific lookout for anywhere you’ve planned to add a link but forgotten.
3 – Broken Buttons
Much like the previous 2 points, broken buttons can also seem just as unprofessional. Buttons are usually used to get your reader to redirect somewhere for YOU, not them (social media buttons for example). So, potentially even more so than links, if you’ve not properly added a working button, your reader will give up that move there. Audiences don’t give much of their time these days, so if they give you a chance to follow a button’s direction and it’s broken, they won’t be giving you a second chance.
4 – Spelling & Grammatical Errors
This is an easy one. And an even easier one to correct. With email campaigns (with all marketing in fact) you want to seem knowledgeable, professional, and well-informed at all times. However, audiences are ruthless. One typo and/or spelling mistake and a good piece of content can suddenly seem completely unqualified. These kinds of mistakes are even easier to make with smaller teams, with fewer people to proofread. Writing and reviewing your own work can result in a loss of objectivity, where mistakes become invisible to you. That’s why you need backup. A great and massively popular tool is Grammarly.
Grammarly is a plug-in for your computer that sits in the background, observing your writing. Now, that sounds ominous, but really it’s there as a safety net. The moment you misspell anything or make a grammatical mistake, it shows you where and how to correct it. The best thing of all with this though is that it works across any program you use. Whether your writing an email or writing a social media caption, Grammarly is always watching…
5 – Distorted Images
When you’re building out an email marketing campaign, everything can look and seem fine. It’s not until after you’ve sent it that you notice an image has compressed and looks distorted and low res – instantly taking integrity away from the messaging. The first thing to battle this is to work exclusively with very high-quality images. Pictures with crisp contrast and with massive dimensions. A great place to find pictures like this is on royalty-free photography sites like unsplash.com, pixabay.com or shutterstock.com. These websites allow users to upload amazing, high-quality images that are readily available for any other users to download and use in their marketing. If you haven’t got the facilities or budget to take your own professional images, then these kinds of sites are a lifesaver.
6 – Personalisation
Email campaigns can be a really effective marketing avenue to go down and one thing that can make it even more effective is personalisation – in both who it’s from and who it’s to. First of all, do you want your email to come from a specific person within your business, or from the business in general? This can depend on the context of the message and how you structure your brand, however, personalising your message so that it feels as though it’s being sent personally from a member of your team can yield great results.
This is just the same for personalising the text to address the recipient. Modern consumers like to feel connected to the businesses that they work with, feeling rest assured when they believe they’re connecting with REAL people. So, adding that added personal touch could make all the difference. However, where this could get embarrassing is addressing people with the wrong name. Or potentially sending a marketing campaign to an audience that the message doesn’t apply. Once again, the way out of this is proofreading.
7 – Working Dynamic Tags
This next point is much like the last, but in regards to a thing called Dynamic Tags. For those not in the know, Dynamic Tags are placeholder-coded tags that pull information from elsewhere, usually in an effort to personalize a message. For example, you might have an opening line read: Hello [FIRSTNAME], how are you? – if set up correctly, your emailing system should pick out the first names of your mailing list and insert them into the email. Now, the best method for reducing any errors here is by maintaining a clean mailing list. This means going through your audience and making sure that the fields are filled and formatted appropriately to allow a smooth pull-through.
8 – GDPR Compliant
Your mailing list will comprise of contacts that have opted into receiving marketing materials from you. From either your website or your physical location, people have chosen to stay in the loop with your business – which is exactly where you want them. However, despite your feelings about it, it’s a matter of the law to allow them an option to opt back out again, with ease, at any time. Failing to do so is a matter of breaking GDPR rules. Of course, this is something that should be added as a permanent fixture on your email marketing, however, it is often over-look or not even known about. So, always remember to add a section, however small you want to make it, that allows your recipients to opt out of your marketing. It might be upsetting if they do, but look at it as an urge to make your content as strong as possible – so they don’t want to leave!
9 – Mobile-Viewing
Now, considering the nature of how people consume their media these days, this next one is criminally overlooked. Most people operate from their phones these days. So why aren’t businesses making sure that their marketing looks just as good (if not better some might say) for mobile viewing? Marketers are most likely working from desktop computers and so build everything to look great in front of them. However, that content is then sent out and viewed on a completely different platform and screen, which ends up formatting and looking completely different. Lucky for us, most email marketing builders these days allow you the option to switch between desktop and mobile viewing. So, when in the building stages, make sure you’re continually switching between these two modes and optimising for each platform. You never know how your recipients will view your email, so make it look great for both.
Well, there we have it, a brief list of some of the more “popular” mistakes in email marketing campaigns. Save this link, or print this list off, and keep it by your desk, ready to consult when you’re building your next killer campaign. With so many factors going into email marketing, it’s all too easy to make a simple error. And as we mentioned before, a simple mistake could undo and tarnish a campaign that is otherwise stellar.
Here at Unaro, we understood the complexity of email marketing and so developed our very own near-automated tool, complete with a jargon-free dashboard and pre-made templates, to help businesses out. Take the hassle out of the grind with Unaro Send and reap the rewards of email (& SMS) marketing right now. Get in touch with us and find out how we can help you and your business TODAY!