Email marketing has become one of the most essential tools for businesses and has been proven effective in communicating with customers, building relationships, and driving conversions.
So why do most companies do it so darn poorly?
Marketers are making a very critical mistake in their email marketing. One that's costing them customers but also wasting their time, money, and resources. What is that mistake?
Their emails are not relevant to their audience.
Today's article discusses why this mistake is so costly and, most importantly, how you can fix it and make your email marketing efforts stronger, more engaging, and more effective than ever before.
The biggest mistake in email marketing
If you're a business owner, marketer, or simply a human living in 2023, you've purchased something. We'll even go out on a limb and say that you currently opt into some other company's emails. Someone sends you special offers or coupons or educates you on their products.
As consumers and receivers of promotional emails, we can usually gauge what's good and bad. Yet, when it comes to creating our own emails, it's as if we forget all about our own experiences.
Inherently, we know when a company is sending something that could literally be to anyone. We, as an individual, are an afterthought, and what they are offering has zero relevancy to us. What happens to those emails? They quickly become trash.
However, when an email is tailored to us or our needs, we are more likely to click through and learn more about the offer or information.
We know that a one-size-fits-all approach to email marketing is not good.
Yet, some of us make that mistake over and over again. Then we wonder why our email marketing efforts fail.
The biggest mistake in email marketing is sending things that no one cares about.
Create engaging content instead
Creating engaging content is essential for successful email campaigns. Companies should consider their audience and tailor messages accordingly to ensure that the emails are relevant to the needs and wants of their customers.
Like you, your customers are inundated with emails every single day. And like you, customers will only read those emails if they feel there is something in it for them.
Your emails need to have great images, valuable information, and something worth paying attention to. That's how you create engaging content.
How to create content that engages
The boring, run-of-the-mill stuff is what everyone is doing. And it's why nearly everyone fails. It's easy. It's a few clicks, a bit of copy, and they're done.
In return, the company that sent it will also get a few clicks, probably more than a few unsubscribes, and poof, that's it.
Let's do better.
Choose beautiful designs
In today's digital world, where you can find free email templates for any occasion, there is absolutely no excuse for sending an ugly email. It doesn't matter what skills you have in Photoshop or if you can only draw stick figures.
Beautifully-designed emails are table stakes, and if you aren't focusing some of your efforts and time on making them look good, you are missing out.
Write concise and conversational copy
Think about the last time a salesman came to your door or approached you at an event. How soon into his spiel did your eye gloss over and your brain tune out? We'd bet pretty quickly. We know when we're being sold to, and none of us like it very much. Yet we take that same approach when writing emails to our audience.
"When you speak to everyone, you speak to no one." - Seth Godin
Treat the words in your emails as though you are talking to one person. Your email list subscribers aren't all huddled in the same room, reading the email together. They are alone on their desktop, laptop, or mobile device. They are in the middle of their workday or rewatching reruns of Friends.
You can't expect them to appreciate you for sending them something that interrupts their day.
So you have to make it a) worth their time and b) not take a lot of their time.
Keep your emails short, simple, relevant, and to the point.
Tailor your messages
Which message do you think would have more success:
"Hey, you, buy my stuff." or "Hey, Jim, we heard you might be looking for some new running shoes."
Okay, if your name isn't Jim, you're probably like, "meh." But, if your name is Jim...you're wondering how we knew that.
Fortunately, excellent email marketing software lets you tailor your messages according to the information you have on your customers. If you have their first names, you can use those! If you know what they do for work or if they are married or have kids, you can utilize that information, too.
Remember, you want to speak to one person in each of your emails. So you should use the tools you have to help you do that.
Segment your lists
Speaking of tailoring messages, this is one area that is constantly overlooked by email marketers; segmentation. Creating a segmented list is simply putting like-minded people or people in similar circumstances in the same group. For example, if you're having a local sale, wouldn't you want to send an email only to the people in your area who can attend that sale? If you have data that shows where your audience lives, then you can do that!
Or, let's say you offer multiple products in different categories. You can build segmented lists based on what a customer clicked on in a previous email. Now, everyone who is looking for a new car is in one category, and those who just need some floor mats are in another.
Most email marketers aren't going to take this extra step. Why? Because it requires more work. But it's a lot less work than you might think. And it will get you the results you won't get if you keep trying to sell ice to an Eskimo.
But that's a good thing. Because it means better results for those willing to take the few extra steps.
Optimize your delivery
To optimize email delivery, companies should focus on testing content and format. This involves sending out different versions of emails to small groups of customers to gauge reactions before launching a full-scale campaign. Companies can test various aspects, such as the subject line, personalization, layout, and visuals, to determine which version resonates most with their target audience.
Additionally, businesses should consider customer preferences when crafting emails; for example, some prefer plain text messages, while others are more likely to engage with HTML or multimedia formats. Understanding these preferences allows companies to create customized messages that are more likely to connect with each recipient.
Analyze your performance
Analyzing performance is essential to any successful marketing campaign, and email is no different. By profiling interactions and understanding customer behaviors, companies can gain valuable insight into their target audiences and tailor campaigns to fit customer needs more effectively. This can be done by looking at behavioral metrics such as click-throughs, unsubscribes, and purchase history, which will better understand what content works best for each segment.
Companies should also look at the devices used when opening emails. Then they can optimize the layout of emails to ensure compatibility on desktop computers, mobile phones, or tablets so that users have a seamless experience no matter where they are accessing it.
Additionally, companies should analyze the timing of their emails to determine when messages are most likely to be opened, allowing them to send out campaigns at peak times to maximize engagement with subscribers.
Email marketing effectively allows businesses to reach out to customers and increase conversions. Utilizing the right tools and strategies helps companies create engaging content that resonates with their target audience instead of sending lame emails that are easy to ignore.
Ultimately, by leveraging these steps, businesses have a much greater chance of achieving email marketing success.