How to Avoid Critical E-Mail Marketing Mistakes

email-fingertouchWeb marketing tools alone will not help your business. How you use the tools is what makes the difference.

Me-Mail Marketing

Sending e-mail newsletters and messages that are all about you or your organization (rather than serving your audience) is not e-mail marketing. This egotistical use of e-mail is called me-mail marketing, and it doesn’t work.

Me-mail marketing is selfish and alienates subscribers. They will get annoyed, see no value, unsubscribe, and have a negative reaction to the brand. If an e-mail is more about you than it is about your customers, it is not helpful to anyone.

It is okay to talk about your mission or organization, as long as it is helpful, relevant, and educational, and serves and supports the readers. Just be mindful of the intention. Being less egotistical with an e-mail makes a big difference in the results.

Lack of Strategy

Think critically about your use of e-mail as a marketing medium. Define whom you are targeting. What information can be included in the message that would be of value? Where is the call to action? The goal here is to create an e-mail marketing campaign that will:

- Serve the customers

- Support the sales and marketing messages

- Sell from a place of education and value

Neglecting the Core Foundation of Your E-Mail Marketing

Loren McDonald, Vice President of Industry Relations at Silverpop, has boiled down the core foundation of a successful e-mail program to three Ps:

- Proposition. What value do customers/subscribers get from the e-mail program?

- Positioning. How does your offer differ from the competitors?

- Personality. What tone and image do your e-mails convey?

Be Authentic and Relate to Your Audience

Whether you’re a famous defense attorney, a respected marketing expert, or a shop owner, you have something valuable to offer your audience. Show that you can relate to your audience’s problems by understanding their perspective.

- Empathy + Personality = Great e-mail!

Think Beyond the Box

Don’t stick to any prescribed box of marketing. Have fun with e-mails—make them interesting and engaging. The result could be more subscribers forwarding them to their contacts.

Make Sharing Easy

Insert social media, forward, and share widgets so that recipients can easily share your e-mails with friends. Online marketing multitasks when e-mail has connections to social media, giving your audience choices about how they can interact with your organization. See if your e-mail newsletter service can insert sharing widgets for social media like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Digg, and LinkedIn directly into your templates. Have a call to action that is clear and easy. Having one social sharing link increases click-through rate (CTR) 30 percent, while having three or more sharing links increases CTR 55 percent, according to a study by GetResponse.

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