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Three Common Mistakes in E-mail Marketing

Improve your email marketing ROI by as much as 300 per cent by avoiding these three common mistakes.

Having been assisting clients with outbound e-mail campaigns and the supply of data for the past five years I have been privy to see exactly what works and what doesn’t when carrying out e-mail campaigns. Below is an overview of the top three mistakes I see made by clients when carrying out an email campaign.

Single Send
This is one of the biggest mistakes I see clients make. If you consider that industry open rates for e-mail broadcasts vary between 10 and 25 per cent, that means that between 75 and 90 per cent of e-mails do not get opened! That may make you wonder whether e-mail marketing is in fact a viable marketing channel, however, when you consider the relatively low cost, speed at which a campaign can be carried out (usually within a matter of hours) and perhaps most importantly, the measurability, you realise that e-mail marketing is an extremely effective channel.

The issue is that a single send simply doesn’t maximise your chance of generating ROI. The ideal campaign should have a separate follow up message – not only to those people who have opened your e-mail, but perhaps more importantly to those who did NOT open your original mail. Carrying out a re-send based on open/unopened status can increase campaign open and click through rates by as much as 300 per cent.

Wrong Audience
When considering who your target audience is most clients only think of the final decision maker. This is a logical thought process, however, it is fundamentally flawed in that it completely ignores the role of the ‘influencer’. These are people who may not be involved in the final decision, however, they have a direct impact on what product/service is ultimately chosen as they are involved either from a user or research perspective.

Consider the example of a Sales Manager who is battling to keep on top of his sales team and generating and managing inbound leads. He may be reporting to the MD, who would ultimately be the decision maker for deciding on what CRM system to use, however, the sales manager and even his sales executives would be influencers in the process of deciding what CRM system to use.

By targeting ONLY the MD this severely limits your chances of getting considered, whereas contacting multiple people that are influencers, as well as the decision maker, means a much higher chance of being considered as a service provider.

No Follow Up
As the old saying goes: ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try, try and then try again’.

Too many clients, however, simply ignore this advice and rely on a single mailshot to a poorly selected audience, and when they don’t get an avalanche of interest they simply discount the effectiveness of e-mail as a lead generation tool.

If you consider points 1 and 2 above, and then carry out a carefully thought-out follow-up campaign, either directly related to your initial campaign, or offering something different, your chances of generating interest increase significantly. Your company and brand generate familiarity and trust, and your chances of having your e-mails opened and responded to improve dramatically.

So, next time you are considering utilising an e-mail campaign for your business product or service, try to avoid making these three mistakes and watch your marketing ROI improve.

Article by Toby Hone

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