5 emails you should never send

5 emails you should never send

Ok, so we all make mistakes from time to time, but there are some people out there who seem to have made a profession out of doing email marketing all wrong. Scrutinise your own email account for old marketing emails, and take note of the ones you never opened. And of those you opened, which got banished to the spam folder for being pure junk? Chances are the sender may have made one of these critical five mistakes.

1.  The “I couldn’t care less who you are” email

Dear customer, dear blog subscriber and dear (misspelt or wrong name) should all be banished in email marketing. Not only do they say to the customer ‘you are not very important’ and ‘I’m far too full of myself to bother checking your name’, they also signify unsolicited junk and are usually destined for the spam button.

2. The copy and paste pitch

Getting your elevator pitch right is fine, but verbatim copy and pasting it to numerous clients is not. If you are trying to sell services with an individual email, make it individually. Explain to that person or company why you think your services will benefit them, and what has inspired you to contact them. Of course with marketing emails there is an element of repetitiveness, but it’s your job to make sure that each customer still feels treated like an individual.

3. Ridiculously short / mega long

There is no magic number when it comes to length of emails, and your perfect length will differ based on your industry and audience. However, the one line of ‘Hey! Check out our new product! <link>’ will do nothing to boost credibility or clicks. Similarly a three page discussion on the benefits of your products compared with your competitors will not inspire people to actually read it at all.

4. The English murdering email

There really is no excuse for not spell checking your work before you send it. Similarly, there is no excuse for misplaced apostrophes, lack of appropriate capitalisation or generally sloppy content. Nothing beats a real humans proof reading skills, so have a colleague or two give it a thorough once over before anyone else gets a look at it.

5. The crazy salesman email

Buy, buy, buy! Err, should that actually be bye, bye, bye? Customers are not keen to be ‘sold’ to any more. They don’t mind being asked for business, and a friendly ‘click here’ or ‘buy now’ is perfectly acceptable. But the car salesman stroke market trader approach of in your face flashing discount signs and top of the lungs self-promotion really should be reserved for the late night shopping channels only.

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Top tips for creating a mobile marketing strategy that works

Top tips for creating a mobile marketing strategy that works

With the news that the number of people opening emails on mobile devices is up by around 61 per cent, all businesses should be thinking about how to make a mobile marketing strategy that really works. This means you need to have a website that is either a responsive design, able to be mobile friendly on demand, or a separate mobile site ready to receive your ‘on the go’ visitors.

As well as your site, you’ll need to be considering how you can design your emails to work just as hard for you on mobile devices as they do on desktops. Here are some key tips to creating optimised mobile marketing messages that will demand attention from your recipients.

  • Short and sweet: Keep your emails short and avoid using too many graphics. Graphics may not render well on mobile devices and, even if they do, useless graphics are doing nothing to deliver information to your busy, on the move customer. Reduce the text to a few simple lines, making your message clear in as short a space as possible.
  • Optimise images: If you are planning to use images in your emails, make sure they are optimised for mobile viewing. This should help loading times to be shorter, displays to be more correct, and will define an image size based on the size of the viewing screen rather than the number of pixels.
  • Make links bigger: Clicking anything on a mobile device can be tricky, if not near impossible, if the text is the size of your fingernail. Make calls to action, links and buttons bigger and easier to click, even on a small smartphone.
  • Use responsive email templates: Adopting responsively designed email templates will make it easy for you to write one killer email and ensure it looks great on any device.
  • Link back to your mobile site: A bit of a no brainer, but needs mentioning just the same, is the need to link back to your mobile site when the email detects your recipient is on a mobile device.

Don’t forget to ensure your emails still work on desktops too, as you never know where your recipient will be or how they will choose to view your email.

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5 email design tips from the pros

5 email design tips from the pros

Designing emails that work for you and your brand is not an easy task. Here are 5 top tips from the professionals on how to create the very best email designs for your needs.

1. Align the design with your brand

Your subscribers have already demonstrated their trust in your brand by giving you permission to write to them. Build this relationship by positioning your company logo somewhere prominent in your email, and by following corporate branding principles when choosing your colours, fonts and tone.

2. Understand where readers will scan

Extensive research shows that we tend to scan in a capital F pattern, particularly when reading information on the internet. Make the most of this knowledge by placing important titles, your logo, key headlines and your call to action in the hot spot areas of the scanning field of vision. Try to keep most of your marketing email above the fold, but if you do need to use more page space, ensure that all the high priority information is contained in the top area.

3. Give total priority to your call to action

The hottest of hot spots is the upper left quadrant of your email, so reserve this space for your well-crafted call to action. Make the reward for completing the action something your subscribers will actually want, such as a competition entry, some unique downloadable content or a juicy discount code, and tell them right here in the first place that they look what it is you want them to do as a result of receiving this email.

4. Ensure it looks great, no matter how it’s viewed

Remember when designing your email that around 60 per cent of email clients will block images by default, so don’t rely on images in your emails to deliver the important messages. Use alt tags with images to describe what would have been there, and ensure you develop a text only version of the email too. With many emails now being opened on mobile devices, consider how your message will look on a small screen too.

5. Test it, then test it again (and again)

Keep testing your email format and design to continually refine and perfect the design and message you are using. As well as this, test it yourself with several email clients to see how it performs in a variety of viewing pane scenarios.

Register now for your free Emailey account and start sending emails today!

 

The essential email deliverability checklist

Nothing hurts quite as much as realising a huge number of our beautifully crafted emails never even got in front of the recipient. Email deliverability rates are a sore subject with many email marketers, and when it all goes wrong it can be tricky to know what to do about it.

If you’re suffering low deliverability rates, or simply want to avoid having a problem in the future, here is the essential checklist. You can perform this quick check on each and every email to give your message the very best chance of ending up in front of your customer.

1. The subject line

The subject line does two things. Firstly, it is the first place those spam filters will be checking to see if your message is going to make it into the inbox or not. Secondly, it is the first thing the customer sees when they open their emails, and your best shot at getting your message read. With this in mind, check that your subject line:

  • Doesn’t make false claims
  • Has no or very few special characters
  • Does not say anything in capital letters, not even a couple of words
  • Doesn’t contain spammy words (click, win, free, profanity etc.)
  • Contains no excessive punctuation (!!!!)
  • Does not have FW or RE at the start of the line

2.  The senders name and email address

Email marketers find they get varying responses whether they use the name of a person in their company as the sender, or simply the company themselves. It’s worth testing how your audience react to the two sender ID’s. As well as this, make sure:

  • The sender is consistent
  • The sender is familiar / recognisable
  • The message is sent from a consistent IP address

3. The email itself

  • Avoids spammy words and phrases
  • Includes a clear link to unsubscribe
  • Doesn’t have attachments
  • Is not a huge file, less than 40KB is optimal
  • Doesn’t have huge numbers of links, 3 – 5 is the maximum
  • Is no more than 600 pixels wide
  • Doesn’t use Java, PHP, ActiveX, Dynamic HTML etc.
  • Doesn’t have embedded videos

4. Your mailing list

As well as making sure the message you are sending is suitably clean to pass the spam filters, you’ll need to make sure your marketing list is suitably clean too. Failing to keep your list up to date and free from deadwood runs the risk of acquiring spam trap email addresses, which is a quick way to get lots of your emails sent into junk. As a quick guide, check that:

  • You are using a double opt in process
  • You purge email addresses where the message is returned because the address or domain no longer exists (known as a hard bounce)
  • You also purge email addresses after several soft bounces
  • You remove email addresses which do not get opened for a long period of time
  • You are consistent in the frequency of sending your emails to them

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The email marketing dictionary for 2014

The email marketing dictionary for 2014

2014 is set to become a year of buzzwords, abbreviations and generally impenetrable lingo for many email marketers. If you are in the marketing profession already, much of this will be old news to you. But for a business person running an email marketing campaign, you might be wondering what on earth everyone is on about. Here are some of the top buzzwords for marketers in 2014, as well as what the deuce they mean.

1. Location-based

This is not, as you might think, about targeting your emails at a geographical area, but more about basing marketing on where that customer is. Think, sending a push notification with a discount code when they check in at your restaurant, or sending marketing messages via GPS.

2. Responsive emails / websites

The idea of a responsive email or website is simply that it determines how that customer is viewing the content (i.e. on a laptop, a smartphone or tablet) and displays the content in the very best format possible. With emails being opened on mobile technology up 65 per cent from this time last year, having responsive capabilities is essential for 2014.

3. Gamification

Gamification is about making it fun for users to engage with your brand. This means presenting marketing messages as games, challenges or using voting scenarios to encourage users to interact with you. This is something email marketers will need to work hard to get their head around in 2014, but again is going to be important if you want to stand out from the crowd.

4. Social proof / social signals

No matter what industry you are in, getting your customers to trust your brand is the name of the game in 2014. And with so much revolving around our use of social media, the only way to do this effectively is through social proof and social signals. Social proof is the proof that your brand is trusted by existing customers, and the best way to achieve this is through social signals, such as Facebook likes, customer reviews and even celebrity endorsements.

5. Content

OK, so it’s not a new buzzword, but for 2014 nothing is changing. Content is (still) king. That means you need to gather around you the best marketing brains and content writers you can find to produce original, engaging, sharable content not just for your emails but also for your websites, social media channels and blogs.

Register now for your free Emailey account and start sending emails today!

 

More than just content and design: What else do your emails need?

More than just content and design: What else do your emails need?

It can be all too easy to get bogged down in creating beautiful emails and fussing over pantone colours when you’re prepping an email marketing campaign. Indeed, as the content is the most important component, you could spend hours, even days, refining, tweaking and perfecting your message to get the best results. However, we don’t think that’s enough. In fact, we think that if all you’re doing is creating content and designing emails, you might be missing a trick.

There are three main things that you should be putting just as much, if not more, effort into when you are preparing your emails. These are:

  1. The FAB of your product
  2. The call to action
  3. Your overall strategy

The FAB

It’s old, old hat now, but the marketing mantra of ‘Features and Benefits’ is still just as powerful today as it has been for many decades. Your customer will be delighted to hear about your new range of men’s socks, but unless they can understand what’s different about these socks and why they need to buy them, the message will be wasted.

Instead of promoting a ‘new range of men’s socks’, or even ‘new socks at half price’, you should be focussing on the FAB of the product. ‘New 100% wool dual layer men’s walking socks, for increased thermal comfort and blister free walking, are now half price’ on the other hands tells the customer what is great about these socks as well as what the benefits to them will be. Much better.

The call to action

All too often we see emails being sent where the call to action (CTA) is lost in the noise of the email. You need to have a clear, defined reason for sending this email before you start, and a specific action that you want the customer to complete in order to judge the email a success.

This may be clicking through to your website, downloading a document, using a discount code, making a purchase or any number of other things. The important thing for you is to define exactly what it is you want your customer to do, and to ensure that the entire email revolves around this purpose.

Your strategy

Take a step back from your email content and design, and try to see where this message fits in in the great scheme of things. Is this message a follow up to something else? Do you plan to follow this email up with another in a set period of time? Getting your strategy right is crucial to maximise the power of email marketing, so rather than just banging out an email when you think of it, try to work to a set schedule of emails, giving your customers predictability and consistency with your email messages.

Register now for your free Emailey account and start sending emails today!