3 Reasons Why Your Email Program Is Worthless

Email marketing can be a complex task if you’ve been spending all of your energy on social media, events, or other cold sales strategies. We’re here to tell you email doesn’t have to complicate your job as a marketer. Can you revive your worthless email program? We’ve created a list of common email marketing mistakes and how you can use email to provide value.

  1. You never asked permission.

I love to be the bearer of good news, so let me be the first to tell you — not asking permission is rude! Let’s look at it like this, you have a database tracking every person who visits your website, where they are, their name, title, and company. Solid? So you ask your intern to find their email addresses online and add them to your email newsletter list. RUDE! We agree, you should be monitoring your web traffic. Does that mean you have permission to email every single visitor? NO! Unless you want to pay the FCC, then be our guest. However, spending your marketing budget on FCC fines is not something we advise.

Here’s how to fix it: First, stop mailing to this list! It’s your responsibility to make sure your contacts ask to receive your email communications. If you notice on the left sidebar we invite our blog readers to subscribe to weekly blog post updates. This is not where customers would subscribe to receive emails about product updates. Use the space on your webpages to ask your visitors to opt-in to your mailings. After all, an opt-in is an invitation to an inbox. This is just step one towards reaching email marketing glory.

2. You purchased your entire email list.

….And let’s face it, you could’ve spent that money elsewhere. Repeat after me, “buying email lists is always a bad idea.” It hurts your deliverability rates by setting off spam filters. Basically, this causes you to get your IP address blacklisted. We also think it confuses people.

Basic questions you can ask yourself before pressing send:

  • Is this list of people going to recognize me or my brand?
  • Am I going to upset the multitudes?
  • Will this email be appreciated?

If you purchased your list here’s your answer key: Nope, hell yes — then they are going to report you as spam, and probably not.

Here’s how to fix it: Time to get creative! Begin acquiring your own subscribers organically. You open the door of communication by inviting your website visitors to input their email address into a lightbox on your site. You can also use your social media channels to allow users to sign-up for your emails. If you’d like to learn how to grow your subscriber list, consider signing up for a free list growth strategy session.

(P.S. This also applies to you if your brand doesn’t have an email program.)

3. You don’t know your audience.

If a subscriber tells you their favorite child actress is Raven-Symoné then you shouldn’t send them a headline that reads “Have you heard what Lindsay Lohan is up to today?” Excuse me, I need to look away and wreck your open rate….because I’m going to unsubscribe. Why? Because you don’t know me.

Here’s how to fix it: Your emails shouldn’t make your subscribers look away. You can easily learn what mailings they want to receive from you through a well-designed preference center. A preference center also allows users to select how frequently they would like to hear from your brand. If you are collecting data on your subscribers you can easily segment your lists by creating similar behavioral profiles. Once this is in progress, you can send different email campaigns to the separate groups.

Voilà! You now have three easy steps to begin driving your email program out of the world of worthless things. Just because you made a few mistakes doesn’t mean you can’t right your wrongs little by little. Subscribe to our blog for more email updates! Then dance off into email marketing wonderland.