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2007-11-27

Email Marketing mistakes by Chris Haycock

Email marketing can be very effective for promoting your business. It is a tricky area though and it is easy to make mistakes if you don't know the right methods to use. This can be frustrating for you as it will cost you money, yet not generate any additional sales. Here are some common email marketing mistakes and pitfalls you need to be aware of. It will make your marketing strategies more effective.

Consumers want to feel like they are a person to your business, not just a statistic. Take the time to address each email personally. It is more expensive, but it is more effective. You will get a much better response then something addressed to ‘Dear (customer name)". Don't use dollar signs in your email marketing campaign. It's a big turn off to consumers, who view it as you only want their money. Don't use email marketing during the holidays. Customers are inundated with them and yours won't stand out. Plus the fact that people are too busy and stressed to relax and read email that is not personal or important at this time of year. If you want to market for the holidays then you need to do it early, at least before Thanksgiving.

Consumers don't have a lot of patience! Your email message needs to jump out at them the moment they open it. Put the most enticing information first with the other details further down. They are more likely to read the entire email message if you get their attention from the start. As each consumer is different, so is their computer set up and the type of program they use.

Don't assume the email will open up the same in every type of email service. You will need to test it out for each popular email service. Always give the consumer the option of opening the email in either html or plain text. As a rider to this I always recommend that you you either Arial or Helvetica as your font of choice. Practically all computers have those two fonts, and they are easy to read.

Confidentiality is very important to consumers. Make sure your email sign up clearly states that you will not sell their information and that it will be kept confidential and secure. You will be surprised how many people won't sign up for your email promotions if you don't offer this bit of information. There are rules and regulations out there regarding what you can and can't do when it comes to email marketing. Make sure you are familiar with those laws. They vary by country so if you do global marketing make sure you check the regulations for each area you will be sending them to. Failure to do so can lead to huge fines for your business.

Don't make the mistake of thinking you know what your consumers want. If you really want to know what they are after then take the time to ask. Be open to their comments, questions, suggestions, and concerns. Letting them know you are available for such customer service is a great way to earn their loyalty. It is easy to sell something to a consumer but much harder to please them so they will come back again and again.

If you are new to email marketing, you could consider consulting with a professional. It doesn't have to be expensive, and will make the entire process flow easier for you as well as yield better results. Take the time to research the consultant before using them. Ask for references and talk about what your goals are. If the consultant is not willing to make your goals a priority then don't work with them. If you are nervous about spending a large amount of your revenue on marketing then you could use a broker consultant. This means you only pay them for the actual positive results the marketing brings you. They will be paid based on the traffic they generate for your site or the amount of new sales resulting from the email marketing. Make sure what ever method you choose is clear to both parties and in writing. Make sure the time frame that they will receive benefits for is clear as well.

You don't want unhappy subscribers to your email marketing campaigns. The law requires you to offer a link where customers can unsubscribe. While you want to do all you can to keep them reading your emails, it is important to respect their wishes and remove them from the mailing list immediately. They will become very frustrated if they continue to receive them once they have asked to be removed. It can cost you their future business. Email marketing can be effective for your business if you keep these common mistakes from becoming part of your marketing plan.