Have you ever had a friend who tries too hard? Perhaps they talk way too much but never say anything of value. Maybe they are a little too clingy. Or perhaps they embellish the truth or even lie to seem relevant. These friends just want to be accepted and involved, but their desperate attempts end up pushing people away.
The same can be said of certain email strategies. Brands want to connect with their customers and try to do so in different ways. But sometimes their efforts do more harm than good. Here are six things email marketers do that drive customers crazy.
1. Using Scheming Subject Lines
Subject lines have everything to do with whether a subscriber opens your email.
Some brands take advantage of this by using tricks to inspire clicks, and customers hate it. Here are a few examples of tactics email marketers should never use in their subject lines:
- Desperate, pleading words like “urgent” and “please read”
- ALL CAPITAL LETTERS
- Excessive exclamation marks!!!!!
- Subject lines that don’t accurately advertise the contents of the email
- Including “Re:” in the subject line to trick subscribers into thinking they’ve already engaged
2. Sending Emails Too Frequently
Email frequency is one of the top reasons people unsubscribe from email lists.
Some brands send several emails a day, which, unless you are targeting customers in real time with special offers, is never a good idea. Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer for How frequently should I send emails? It depends on your brand, your email content and the type of value you’re supplying. However, most experts agree that at least weekly is acceptable.
3. Not Personalizing
Feel free to put some personality into your greeting. After all, you don’t approach someone on the street and begin with “Dear”-you begin with “Hello” or “Hey.”
Remember to keep your email content conversational. If your verbiage is too stiff and formal, it will feel unwelcoming and won’t captivate subscribers. You also should segment your email lists to ensure the content you’re sending is relevant to the individual’s wants or needs.
4. Personalizing Too Much
On the flipside, be careful not to get too personal.
Marketing technology captures an incredible amount of information about customers today. The worst thing you can do is strike up your first few conversations with a customer by telling them all the things you already know about them. Instead, share one or two details, and reserve the other information for later.
5. Using Content Without a Clear Purpose
If your subscriber has to ask, “Why am I receiving this email?”, that’s not good.
Email communications should always provide obvious value to the customer-for example, a coupon code, product highlights or specific information. Be direct and don’t send content that your subscriber doesn’t care about. Lastly, place your CTA front and center to ensure readers see it. You only have about 8 seconds to capture their interest.
6. Designing Mobile-Unfriendly (or Just Plain Ugly) Emails
More emails are opened on mobile than desktop, which means your email campaigns better be mobile-responsive. If emails don’t load easily and display incorrectly on mobile devices, recipients will disregard them or even unsubscribe.
Furthermore, if your emails are cluttered with images, and the layout is confusing, subscribers become annoyed and your message will get lost in the chaos.
Email marketing is about building relationships and encouraging brand loyalty. The best advice is this: Always put yourself in your recipient’s shoes. Brands that are honest, listen to their audience and avoid the pitfalls above will have much higher levels of engagement and better success than businesses who aren’t empathetic or use devious tactics.
Now that you know what a bad email campaign looks like, what about a good one? Check out From Header to Footer, the Anatomy of a Perfect Email.