Top Biggest Email Automation Fails and How to Avoid Repeating Them
Your co-worker is on the email list and opens the email in Yahoo Mail, only to find that the images won't load properly. Upon closer inspection, she finds a bunch of spelling mistakes in the first line. She alerts you to your mistakes but it's too late: you've already sent that email out to the more than 2 million people on your email list.
This happened to Brazilian marketing expert Andre Armenni a few years ago and could have easily been avoided had he given the project a bit more time to ensure that everything worked properly. See? Even the experts can make mistakes. But you can learn from them.
Here are some email automation horror stories from marketing pros, and what you can do to avoid repeating their mistakes.
Bombarding customers with too many emails — or not emailing them enough
Fine-tuning your email frequency is one of trickiest aspects of automation marketing. Depending on your niche or the quality of content you have to offer, subscribers may be open to multiple emails a day or only once a month. The best solution is to test out frequencies with portions of your list to see how often your subscribers are comfortable being contacted.
At the very least, be sure to state how often they can expect emails on the opt-in form. Setting expectations and coming through on them is a fast route to trust...and opens.
Not personalizing and segmenting your list
This is why user personas and segmentation are key to engagement.
Before putting together your next campaign, take time to research:
- who your target customer is,
- where they are in the decision-making process or your sales funnel,
- the specifics of their problem, and
- how each feature you offer solves it.
Not sending from a real person's name or sending from a "no-reply" address
Seriously: no one likes talking to a robot. You'll get higher click through and open rates if you make it seem like the email was sent from someone in your company, such as the CEO.
Plus, the more you invite people to reply to your emails, the better your deliverability will be so future emails don't end up in their spam folders.
If it looks and feels like it's been written by an actual human, then you're doing it right.
Not having useful content
Be sure that 80% of your emails have valuable content that your subscribers can use in their lives, or helps them learn more about how to use your product if they've started a free trial.
For example, if you're sending a 5-email sequence, write 3 emails that are focused on value and engagement and only 2 that are focused on sales.
When you've built value that goes beyond sales, it's much easier to get your subscribers to buy when you only send direct sales emails 20% of the time.
Not having an adequate enough platform for what you need
The tools you use to create your emails are just as important as the content in the emails themselves.
Make sure that you're using a platform that can accommodate all your needs.
Reply.io offers a fantastic platform that allows companies of all sizes to send personalized emails, drive up conversions through analytics and tracking, and create target lists and segments.
Sending without previewing & testing
The lesson: always preview, fix problems, and preview again. If your email marketing platform doesn't offer the option to preview or send a test email, there are several low and no-cost email testing apps you can try out.
Speaking of testing, A/B testing is an integral part of improving conversion rates. Split test different variants of the same campaign by sending them to a small percentage of your list. That way you'll see what works in terms of opens and clicks.
When email automation is done right, all of the pieces of your plan and your potential for growth will fall into place. Many of these common mistakes can be avoided by collaborating as a team and really listening to what your customers are looking for.
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