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Avoid These 8 Common Email Marketing Mistakes

Avoid These 8 Common Email Marketing Mistakes

By | 12.13.10
Avoid These 8 Common Email Marketing Mistakes

Businesses large and small have found email marketing to be an effective way to communicate with customers and prospects, and generate sales leads. Unfortunately, many of them fail to realize the full potential of email marketing because of simple structural mistakes. Here is a list of the 8 most common mistakes businesses make and tips on how to avoid making them yourself.

A Picture Says a Thousand Words

Remember that your email message should be brief and to the point. Your prospects don’t have time to read a voluminous, highly detailed message. Properly placed images will get your message across and allow your prospects to actually see what you’re talking about. Whether you’re marketing a product or a service, remember that people are attracted to images of people. If possible, don’t include boring product shots in your emails. Instead, include pictures of people enjoying using your product or service.

Don’t Confuse Your Reader

Well written, properly structured copy shouldn’t require the use of embellishments. Many email marketers make the mistake of trying to draw the reader’s attention by underlining text. By doing so, they run the risk that the reader will think the underscored text is a hyperlink and attempt to click it. This can lead to confusion and frustration and reflect poorly on your business. If you feel compelled to embellish text, use bolded text instead of underscores.

Provide Shortcuts to Points of Interest

If your email is long enough to require scrolling, be sure to include links to any points of interest that fall below the fold and use compelling anchor text. Few readers will take the time to scroll through your entire email, so it’s a good idea to include these “short cuts” near the beginning of your message.

Write for Your Audience

Show and tell your customers and prospects how you can benefit them in simple terms. The bottom line is that people aren’t really interested in your products and services beyond how they can improve their lives. Don’t expect them to read highly technical copy that has no relevance or appeal to them. Remember that the last thing you want to do is confuse the reader, so steer clear of technical jargon and unnecessary detail. You can always provide links to other assets where readers can explore topics in greater depth if they choose to.

Use Simple Fonts

Just because you have access to hundreds of fonts doesn’t mean that you should use them all. It’s a good idea to limit your font palette to a few crisp, easy to read fonts of legible size. You should also avoid using all capital letters to draw the reader’s attention to particular words and sentences. Research has also shown that using upper and lower case letters makes your text far easier to read than using all capital letters. Likewise, you should stick to no more than three font colors. Your goal is to clearly communicate ideas to your readers, not  dazzle them with your extensive font library.

Get to the Point

Your customers and prospects don’t have a lot of time to devote to reading your email. You need to immediately tell them what you’re offering, how it will benefit them and how they can get it. If they’re interested, they’ll take the time to read all the supporting information you want to include.

Include Strong Calls to Action

Don’t be ambiguous about what you want the reader to do with the information you’ve provided. Tell them what you want them to do. If you want the reader to purchase your product or service, tell them how to go about making the purchase. If you want them to download a white paper, tell them to “Click here to download our white paper.” Don’t confuse them by telling them to “Click here for more information.”  People want to know exactly what they can expect when they click on buttons and links. Telling them will make them more inclined to do so.

Don’t Ask for Too Much Information

People are increasingly cautious about giving out their personal contact information for fear of being spammed. You should keep required fields to a minimum when requesting that your prospects fill out contact forms in order to complete a transaction or download your white paper.  The contact form should also include your company’s privacy policy to assure prospects that their personal information will not be shared or sold to third parties. It’s also a good idea to include your phone number as an alternative way for prospects to contact you.

By following these simple steps, you’ll ensure that all your emails provide relevant information in a clear, readable and logical method that gets results.

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