Mistakes we all make on email marketing but … should you continue to?

Mistakes we all make on email marketing but … should you continue to?

Has this happened to you? I just received an email in my inbox. It came up on my iPhone with the headline and one sentence of topic. I could also see who it was from.

Here is what it looked like:

Company Name: XYZ Widget
Subject line: “50% off …”
Email Description: Here’s how to….(I stopped reading)

How much money do you think it cost them to send this email:

X cost of email delivery service and setting it up = $25/month, plus $50 to manage the list

X cost of uploading the content

X cost of writing the content – 5 hours

= WASTE OF MONEY. I never read it.

Unless it was going to a much more targetted list (which I was misplaced onto)-they aren’t going to make ANY money on this — in fact, they’ve only lost money, and lost a potential customer because they haven’t encouraged me to start paying attention to them and their email marketing. In fact they’ve just told me that I don’t need to pay attention to them!

A perfect example of using copywriting tactics without purpose. And yes, as small businesses, even I’m guilty of it sometimes. If I have to send an email without having done a plan of which emails I’m sending to X target audiences on a scheudle in advance, sometimes I might send a “LAZY” reactive email such as because I know a little bit about copywriting tricks (so do spammers by the way) but spammers don’t know a lot about copywriting CONTENT. Messages matter as much as language and delivery. If you don’t have an editorial calendar and you don’t have a content strategy – you are WASTING money on online marketing. You’ll never get it back because:

1) You don’t have an email editorial calendar.

2) You loosely know you want to send an email at X rate of frequency, but you haven’t planned what your going to SAY in each of those emails (Storyboarded: X target Market, X offer, X incentive, X action, X value for my target audience, = X response)

3) Your using my e-newsletter as a way to connect with my target audience and you feel guilty if you don’t do it frequently enough so you react and impulsively send one without thinking about #2 and #1 critical factors.

So here’s how I responded to this email:

There’s this nice little feature on my iPhone that allows me to open up my email, select “Edit” quickly delete all of the emails which I know immediately that I don’t want to or have to read.

Hence, I looked at XYZ Widget’s email, promptly hit delete and actually rewarded myself for not encumbering myself more with useless information.

I’m working in my inbox. I don’t want to buy anything right now. I run a mean, lean and profitable business – I am permanently in a state of “I dont have any money for you.” So if you try to sell to me by an email with this kind of hard sell headline, I actually feel good about ignoring you. I don’t keep garbage with my filing system.

How many customers do you think might feel the same way as I do or react the way I do? Do you react this way when you see an email?

Instead – how to use email marketing more effectively? Give them information that is focused on what their daily problems are.

Emails that talk to me about my immediate problems – I go to. I make time for. I watch webinars and read videos, and occassionaly, I buy from people who know me, and my challenges and who have credibility or authority that they know what my problems are–so I see spending money with them as an investment. (Not just because they termed it an investment!)

Are you burning bridges or forging relationships with your online communications?

FREE Editorial Calendar and Content Strategy consultaition session until July 15th, 2012. Contact us today.


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