So you have a digital marketing strategy which includes an e-newsletter. Great! Aside from tracking the number of times a message is opened, how is content engagement measured? Is the message static and not at all interactive, marginally interactive or dynamic?
I’m surprised by the number of businesses who look perplexed when I ask those questions. But really – how do you know if your message was just opened and deleted, without the content even given a skim? Can you justify devoting resources to the production and distribution of email campaigns when no performance metrics aside from open rates are measured?
One dimension, push marketing methods are reserved for traditional media. Don’t make the common mistake of using those one size fits all, old-school tactics for email campaigns. Create interactive and trackable content so behavior is measurable and drives not only website traffic but direction for future digital strategies and segmentation.
5 Common Email Marketing Mistakes That Make Me Absolutely Cringe
1) Static logo or banner
Is the logo or banner image front and center at the top of your message inactive for branding purposes alone or did someone forget to hyperlink it to the appropriate landing page? Take the time to hyperlink the image to at least your website homepage so its dual purpose is to brand as well as engage. It only takes a few keystrokes to hyperlink – don’t miss that step in your design workflow checklist.
2) Social connect call to action above the fold
Yes, you want to gain followers on your social feeds but don’t place those call to action buttons above the fold right at the message start. The person just opened the message and now you’re sending them away from it to follow you? Let them consume the message content your team spent time and energy creating before prompting them away from it. Place social connect links toward the message end, below the fold.
3) Absent social share buttons
Although social connect buttons should position below the fold after content consumption it’s important to position social shares prominently above the fold. Depending on the email content design you may want to also include share buttons amid content and toward the message end. One way to maximize email marketing efforts is by encouraging shares via social channels and forward to a friend options. The more people you reach thru shares – the more bang for your buck.
4) Endless content on numerous topics
Messages that communicate everything without driving website traffic is a lost opportunity. Like most, I have no patience for E-communique with multiple topics that go on forever without an option of linking to read full content. I usually delete before getting to the end because its too much work to get through everything – especially when most of it turns out irrelevant the further I scroll. Then I resent having wasted my time skimming its length and just might opt out, or at the very least not engage as well with future messages.
Instead write a compelling headline for each newsletter topic and a captivating first couple sentences that best conveys the subject to attract the reader’s interest. Then place a call to action Read The Rest… or Read More>> driving traffic to a landing page on your site for full content. Once the reader is on your site you gain greater understanding of what’s most important to them and can ascertain how to best engage with future messages.
Placing the full content on a landing page also has the bonus of greater visibility with search engines. Fresh, new content posted regularly to your site boosts SEO efforts. Don’t hold the newsletter content hostage, confined to an email – expand it’s availability on a landing page for site visitors to consume as well.
5) Un-prioritized newsletter topics
This is a true story – I just received an e-newsletter that printed out 4 pages long (they obviously didn’t link even one article to their site for full read) and the very last blurb – 6th topic in the newsletter had a headline that read:
This Is Major!
Really? If it’s so major how come it was the last blurb in a 1000 word newsletter? Come on. It doesn’t take a journalism major to know if your headline screams “This is Major!” then give it better placement than dead last in the newsletter, or change the headline.
So there you have it. My rant on the top 5 email marketing mistakes that make me cringe. All easily corrected if someone just takes the time. It’ll be time well spent when your e-newsletter provides a better experience for the reader and thru tracking technology your digital marketing team gains insight into which content is of greatest interest. Wouldn’t that be good to know when creating future content instead of taking a stab in the dark?
To learn more about maximizing your email marketing efforts, Contact Us for a free consultation and see how marketing automation software can play a role in avoiding those 5 common mistakes that make me cringe.