8 common email marketing mistakes you should avoid

Perhaps after creating your site, you can think email marketing is one of the next steps in your sales strategy. One of the most common calls to action is subscribing to a mailing list, this is very easy to implement having tools like MailChimp, which in its free plan allows up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month.

The ease of implementation of an email marketing platform can lead you to make some mistakes, which can have serious consequences. We want to share some tips to avoid these traps when you run this marketing strategy and since at Toky we use MailChimp, we want to explain how you diagnose some of these errors in this tool.

1. Not having a defined objective for your email marketing campaign

Before creating your first campaign, you must define what goal you want to achieve. Creating a campaign without a goal is like starting a conversation without any subject; you may end in any way but never with the benefit you expect. At Toky, we have goals with our weekly newsletter like:

  • To keep the contact with our customers, users, and supporters.
  • To provide value with our experiences and knowledge learned in our journey as entrepreneurs because if our clients grow, we grow with them.
  • To provide customers with tips and features to use better our [cloud telephony platform] (http://www.toky.co)

When you define the goals for your campaign, you must be sure that your calls to action (CTA) in your email body help to achieve them and are easy to click.

2. Use email lists unverified or not validated

You can be tempted to hunt and gather emails or even buy databases and build your mailing list with questionable sources, but this is a big risk and you may be incorporating invalid emails that increase your bounce rate or worse, it could cause you to be reported as SPAM by recipients and this can make your account in the email marketing platform is disabled.

Mailchimp deactivate accounts when it finds risks of abuse in any campaign. Abuse can be evaluated by having a high bounce rate or because the destination e-mail servers or even the recipients report you as SPAM.

You can validate the emails in your list using these tools:

3. Send useless content with no value for the subscriber

Anything you share with subscribers must give them something valuable even if you add offers and product features. When you share commercial information about your products or services and you don't give something extra you can lose your public easily; unless they are subscribed specifically to a promotional newsletter.

At Toky, our newsletter has always the last post from our blog, a section with tips and product features about our cloud telephony platform and some extra things like offers by country.

4. Using bad and unattractive subject lines

If a good title is what makes your readers open your blog posts, the email subject is what make subscribers open your campaigns; but you have to bear in mind that the email content must be valuable and it has to be related to the subject.
There are some basic things to consider when writing your email subject such as the text should be short and direct, it must be related to email content, it can be a question to generate curiosity and you can't forget that to avoid being classified as SPAM, you must avoid writing words in UPPERCASE or include forbidden words like Free, Offer, Gift, Loan, Viagra and many more that you can research on the Internet.

In the sources section below the post, you will find some links to posts with lists of forbidden words in English or Spanish.

5. Using a free or unverified email as the campaign sender

You should have an email with your own domain before creating your mailing campaign. This will help to give authenticity to your mailing list and prevent that some email servers reject your campaigns due to policies like DMARC (Domain-based message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance). By using Gmail, Hotmail or Outlook you take the risk of being reported as SPAM or undelivered emails.

If you don't have your own email user@startup.com you can check Zoho Mail which gives you up to 25 free email accounts with your own domain.

In Mailchimp, besides this email validation, you can validate the domain using DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail) and SPF (Sender Policy Framework) for which you may need to access your DNS. You can read more about this in this post where you will also learn more tips to take advantage of free Mailchimp account.

6. Not validating links in the email body

You can create your campaign with a good design, but sometimes you can have wrong links, or even if you use previous campaigns as a template, you can send texts with broken or wrong links. It is important to verify that each link in the email takes the reader to the right page; so it is important to use standardized templates that have links in the header and footer and in this way you should only focus on the body of the email.

Mailchimp open link checker

MailChimp offers a tool called Open link checker that will generate a preview of the campaign and it will display all the links you have, besides an interactive way to see where in the mail they are and its URL. This makes really easy the review process.

A bad link in a Call to Action could make you lose everything. Mailchimp open link checker preview

7. Sending the campaigns in the wrong days or times

Many times your subscribers will not open your emails because you send them at the wrong time. A study by MailChimp usually the best open rates are given Tuesday through Thursday between 10 am and 12 m recipient's time zone. Sending an email on Monday is not recommended because people read messages accumulated during the weekend and on the other hand, Fridays and weekends are not good to do business, at least in our case, our clients are companies we must contact them in working hours.

Mailchimp on its paid plan has the Timewarp functionality which allows you to send campaigns at the same time depending on the recipient's time zone. So if you decide to send your email at 10 am it will be sent on a scheduled basis at this time for each country of your subscribers.

8. Not cleaning your list of subscribers

In mailing lists, maybe you could think that the more subscribers the better, but the truth is that what is really important is the opening rate and clicks rate in your emails. Is useless to have the 2,000 subscribers that allow Mailchimp in their free plan only if you have 200 that are currently reading, start paying for users who do not want to read anything from you, it's not a very good decision.

At Toky, we increase the list and when we reached 2,000 subscribers, we cancel the subscription of those who entered the list before certain old campaigns and which have not opened emails from a long time.
To do this in the main list have a segmented the inactive subscribers with the following conditions:


Unsubscribe addresses

We export this segment to CSV and then with the option Unsubscribe addresses we proceed to cancel subscriptions. This allows us to maintain an open rate at an appropriate level and avoid incurring unnecessary costs. A good open rate also helps improve the ranking of the mailing list and this helps to reduce the risks of being blacklisted.


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