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10 Mistakes to Avoid in Business Email Marketing

No matter how popular social media and other forms of digital communication get, direct mail and business email marketing remain popular and effective. If you want to avoid any current or potential customers or clients clicking delete before they read, avoid these 10 mistakes with every marketing campaign.

Mistake #1 – Lack of Responsive Email Design for Mobile Devices

No matter what email server a person or company uses, whether it is one of the major free ones like Outlook or Gmail, or a proprietary system used specifically for their company, it is essential that your mail shows up properly on their screen. This is also important due to the proliferation of tablets and smartphones with smaller screens than work computers and laptops.

To maximize efficacy, test each B2B email with a multi-screen preview tool so you can be confident it shows up as you intended. Anyone presented with a scrambled or unattractive email is much more likely to delete it than to try to decipher its message.

Mistake #2 – Forgetting to Segment and Personalize Contacts

Do not send the same email message to everyone on your list. However, you can also not send individual emails. For maximum results, segment your contact list based on where each person or company is in the sales process or what interactions they have had with your company already. For example, long-time clients would be in a different list than people who responded to your first marketing contact.

Not only does this keep your direct mail system more organized, but it allows you to personalize the messages you send to groups based on what they need to know and when. After all, sending the wrong call to action to a person will result in very poor responses.

Mistake #3 – Too Much Marketing, Not Enough Value

Every email should not be an advertisement. Give your customers, clients, and potential contacts something of value that can help them. Engage the professionals you target and build a professional relationship involving mutual benefit and trust. In return, the people on your targeted direct marketing list will be more likely to open your emails and act on them.

Mistake #4 – Boring, Vague, or Awkward Email Subject Lines

In the email marketing world, the subject line is the first thing anyone sees. If it does not grab attention, no one will click through to the body. The best way to find the most effective ones is to try a few and test the results.

Keep it catchy and informative. Old practices of screaming “Free!” or “Money!” Now stands you a greater chance of running afoul of spam filters. They also seem a bit cheesy in this modern, connected world. Also, avoid subject lines designed to catch attention that do not deliver on their promise. These are commonly termed “click bait.”

Mistake #5 – Avoid Text-Filled Graphics 

Besides being a popular method for scammers to avoid their words being detected by email antispam methods, sending a business email marketing message that consists of one large graphic with words on it can cause other problems. Some email recipients may prefer plain text. Server errors or glitches may stop the image from loading properly. No image. No message at all.

Mistake #6 – Overwhelming Them With Content

If you cannot attract interest quickly, you probably can’t attract it at all. With hundreds of emails in a business’s inbox every day, each email may be open for only a few seconds before the reader moves on. Avoid lengthy emails that require scrolling and close attention. Include attention grabbing graphics and about 50 to 100 words.

Initial contact with B2B audiences is all about taking an impression and encouraging action. It is not the time to educate or give a rundown of every product and service your business offers.

Mistake #7 – Rapid-Fire Emails

Just as each marketing email should have unlimited text, the entire marketing campaign should have limited emails. Many companies err on the side of too many emails to their business contacts, which can become overwhelming or annoying to the recipient.

Sending out too few is also a problem. As with most things in the business world, A/B testing will allow your company to determine the best rate to improve your ROI and get a more positive response overall. Another excellent option is to allow email recipients in each segment of your mailing list to choose how frequently they want to hear from you.

Mistake #8 – Sending Spam to People Who Didn’t Ask for Contact

Any company who sends unsolicited email or spam, and does not provide an unsubscribe link in compliance with international anti-spam laws, is asking for trouble and a big blow to their reputation. Only send messages to approved and vetted business email marketing lists from reputable brokers or to recipients who have opted in to receive the contact.

Mistake #9 – Paying No Attention to CTR or ROI

If you do not track and analyze your click through rate or return on your investment for a particular email marketing campaign, you will have no idea if it was beneficial to your company or not. Without these metrics, you cannot create more effective campaigns in the future.

Continuous improvements are the way that businesses succeed and stay in profit for the long-term. Always check to see if your efforts are bringing in the leads, clients, customers, and money that you need them to.

Mistake #10 – Not Keeping Your Email List Up to Date and Accurate

One of the best ways to maintain an accurate and up-to-date email mailing list is to engage the services of a list broker or management team to check the database on a regular schedule. These tasks can also be done in-house, but they do take up time and money that could be used for developing your next direct mail campaign. Three things to watch for include emails that have bounced, ones associated with throwaway free email servers instead of the business address, and those that have not responded to any offers or re-offers in a long time.