Email marketing is a great way for businesses to increase their sales. So great in fact that it’s the most effective digital marketing channel in terms of ROI. But this is only if you’re doing it right. Countless email marketers are losing out on the full potential of their email marketing strategy, not because their strategy is wrong, but because they’re making simple mistakes.
These are mistakes you’re likely to see in your inbox on a daily basis, and they’re costing businesses both sales and revenue.
To alert you to these mistakes, we’ve created this list of some of the most common ones we see. This way you’ll be able to immediately correct any you’re making now and know not to commit any of the others in the future.
1) Manually Sending Every Email
While your subscribers may not notice that you’re spending hours carefully writing and formatting each email they receive, you’ll definitely feel the frustration that goes with doing so. Spare yourself this and free up so much more time by automating your email marketing campaigns.
Automated emails only need to be set up once, from then on they’re sent to your subscribers whenever they meet a certain trigger.
A good example are welcome emails that are sent out as soon as someone signs up to your email list. Trying to do this yourself whenever you get a new subscriber would take an absurd amount of time.
Beyond saving you time, the other benefit of automated email marketing is that it allows you to set up sophisticated email flows.
For instance, you can set up a winback email to send to subscribers who haven’t engaged with your brand for a while. This could be not opening a single email you’ve sent in the past 30 days, or not making a purchase in 90 days, ect.
Once you set up the email and trigger, you don’t need to keep track of which subscribers you’re at risk of losing yourself. Nor do you have worry about trying to win them back, your email does that job for you.
There are plenty of other triggered email flows you can take advantage of that will not only save you time, but will also help improve your email marketing.
2) Not Segmenting Your Email List
Unfortunately, one of the biggest mistakes we see every time we open our inbox are emails being sent to people who have no interest in them whatsoever.
This is not a case of emailing people who didn’t sign up to your list, but rather sending the same email to everybody who has signed up. This includes fashion stores sending out emails announcing their latest women’s line to men and vice-versa. Whereas simply creating a segment for people interested in women’s fashion and a segment for those interested in men’s fashion would have meant their subscribers only received content relevant for them.
Smart email marketers know to go a step above just using simple demographic segmentation such as gender, age and location and base their segments on people’s behaviour as well. This can include how they interact with your emails (people who always open your email, those who occasionally open it, and those who never open your emails), how much they purchase from your business (either in number of orders or a dollar value), and where people sign up to your list.
Creating meaningful segments allows you to improve the engagement you get with your emails leading to better open and click through rates with lowered unsubscribe rates.
3) Starting Out Too Late
You don’t need to wait until you have an email list with some arbitrary number of subscribers on it to start sending emails. One of the many incredible benefits of email marketing is its ability to scale. You will see results regardless of whether you have 10 subscribers or 10,000.
By delaying your first email, people who joined your list early (who can be some of the most valuable subscribers in the long-term) can simply forget about you. Sending emails to people who have forgotten about you will seriously harm your engagement when you eventually decide to start emailing.
Worst case scenario is that this leads to a spike in complaints, bounces and getting flagged as spam, which will harm your future deliverability making it harder to have your emails land in people’s inboxes.
And this is not to mention the lost potential of email you’ll miss out on while you wait. So if you haven’t started already, now is the perfect time to begin.
4) Not Sending Abandoned Cart Emails
If you’re involved with ecommerce email marketing, then abandoned carts are an absolute must for you.
These emails are automatically sent to shoppers who place items in their shopping carts but don’t complete the transaction, prompting them to complete their purchase.
With such a large amount of lost sales, this presents an enormous opportunity for savvy marketers to recover these abandoned carts and boost their ecommerce sales. Business Insider estimates that approximately 63% of your abandoned carts are recoverable. The most effective means of doing this is with abandoned cart emails.
SmartrMail’s abandoned carts feature lets you send up to three follow up emails every time someone leaves items in their cart. This lets you control whether you want to offer free shipping or a discount in your first, second, or third emails, as well as how long someone needs to leave their cart abandoned before these emails begin to send.
As abandoned cart emails tend to bring in the most sales and extra revenue for ecommerce stores compared to other types of email, not automating them is probably the biggest mistake you can make. Start sending them now and we’re sure you’ll start recovering lost sales.
5) Purchasing Subscribers
Growing your email list is important. The more people on your list, the more people your message will reach. However, whatever you do, do not purchase email subscribers. You’re better off with a small list than one populated with bought subscribers.
Purchasing subscribers is bad for your email marketing for a few reasons.
Firstly, these people are unlikely to even be interested in hearing from you. Most of them will simply ignore your email. And even if they open your email, they’re highly unlikely to be interested in what you’re offering. This will only reduce your open and click through rates as well as your conversion rates.
Secondly, there’s a good chance you’ll be purchasing email addresses that don’t belong to anyone. Sending to these addresses will increase your bounce rate and negatively impact your future deliverability. Meaning that those people on your list who are genuine subscribers will be less likely to have your future emails show up in their inboxes.
More seriously though, if you purchase lists you run the risk of having email spam traps on your list too. These traps are simply email addresses that don’t belong to anybody and are used by inbox service providers such as Gmail to identity spammers. Send an email to one of these addresses and you’ll immediately get flagged as a spammer.
Best to build an engaged list the proper way, such as with a free popup to collect email addresses of people visiting your site.
6) Not Designing For Mobile
The majority of email opens now occur on mobile devices. Thinking about how your email will appear on mobiles is now not just mandatory, but demands just as much consideration as designing for desktops.
If someone reading through their emails while on the train home after work cannot tell what your email is about because it’s not mobile responsive, you’ve potentially lost a sale.
Most email service providers such as SmartrMail will automatically make sure the emails you send are mobile responsive. However you still need to be testing your emails to make sure they’re readable on your phones.
It’s a good idea to try to test your email on as many devices as possible too, as well as how different email clients will render your email. Hopefully they’ll be a good selection of devices in your office to test on. If you have the budget for it, you can also consider using a service like Litmus. This would drastically simplify your testing process and make it much more comprehensive at the same time.
7) Not Utilizing Product Recommendations
Another mistake applicable for ecommerce marketers: not taking advantage of automatic product recommendation emails.
These emails include products individualized for the recipient based on their previous purchases and which products they’ve been looking at on your store.
Being so personalized to the recipient, these promotional emails do a great job at generating engagement and, more importantly, sales. We find that these emails generate our users the most amount of revenue per email sent after abandoned cart emails. Making these two types of emails essential for any ecommerce store to be sending.
Ready To Improve Your Email Marketing?
Now that you’re aware of the most common mistakes we see people make with their email marketing, it’s time to go about improving your campaigns. If you’ve committed any of these mistakes, you’ll know exactly where to start. Otherwise there’s still plenty of things you can do to realize better results from email marketing. Check out our other blog articles for some ideas.
If you’ve made the mistake of not yet starting with your email marketing and are in ecommerce, then we’d (obviously) recommend you start right now with SmartrMail. We make email marketing quick and easy for ecommerce stores on all the major platforms including Shopify and WooCommerce.
We also offer a free 15 day trial, so there’s no reason not to sign up today and begin emailing. You can start your trial right here.