If you have ever had multiple emails from the same company a day flooding your inbox or had to jump through hoops to unsubscribe from a newsletter you did not sign up for in the first place, you have had experiences with bad email marketing.
Email marketing that uses vague language in subject lines or sent too frequently is often labelled as spam or deleted immediately once it enters an inbox. Here are ways to avoid bad email marketing and increase the readability of your emails:
Buying a poorly targeted list
In the past, companies have bought lists of emails which can result in users being frustrated over receiving emails they did not choose to have. In email marketing, the best practice is having subscribers opt-in by signing up with their email address on your site. Giving subscribers the choice to opt-in is better for your credibility and brand and allow you to target these emails to subscribers who will think your emails are relevant.
Having non-specific, over the top subject lines
Subscribers do not want to be misled by clicking on emails with vague or hyperbolic subject lines. Good email marketing should have subject lines that are direct and make the email seem useful to the subscriber, whether giving more information about the features of a product or service or offering a promotion to entice customers to buy.
Sending too many emails
Sending redundant or repeated emails a day will most likely end up with customers unsubscribing because they feel like a company is spamming their inbox. Analyse how many customers read the emails and those who actually click through in order to find the right amount of email frequency.
Sending not enough emails
In the opposite extreme, sending too few emails will result in subscribers forgetting about a company or even that they subscribed in the first place. After doing email analysis, send enough emails to keep subscribers aware of the company or brand but without resulting in too many unread emails.
Not seeming relevant to the subscriber
Related to emails having vague language, emails that do not have a clear or stated purpose tend to be deleted. Immediately after a subscriber opts in, send an email giving a short description of how they came to receive the email. With specific goals in mind, send concise emails to convey useful information in a short and impactful way and always include a call-to-action, whether to try a promotion, find out more information or visit your website.
Having a complex or non-mobile optimised design
For email marketing, content is more important than design and reflect that in emails by keeping the design simple and formatted to be easy to read. Design emails with plain text and HTML, such as for larger and bold fonts, and avoid CSS. When formatting emails, avoid using tables and columns because they tend to be distorted when viewed on mobile devices and keep mobile optimisation in mind. For more readable text, use light background colours.
Not spell-checking emails
Typos and errors in email marketing are embarrassing because they show companies do not put the effort to check for mistakes and present themselves in a professional manner. Spell-check and proofread emails before they go out to avoid any embarrassing issues afterwards.
Jumping through hoops to unsubscribe and then not actually unsubscribing emails
In the effort to keep emails subscribed, newsletters sometimes make the link to unsubscribe small, mask it with wordy language or force users to search for it. After letting subscribers opt-in, let them make the choice to opt-out just as easily. Make the unsubscribe link clearly visible within the email or webpage and without surrounding it with confusing language. Once users unsubscribe, they should stay unsubscribed.
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