Mindbox’s Lead Manager, Philip Volnov, spoke to Business Secrets, addressing the main mistakes he comes across when working with email marketing. He also suggested some solutions to these mistakes.
The 5 Most Common Email Marketing Mistakes
Email marketing has many benefits. It drives the highest return on investment (ROI) among all direct communication channels. It also comes without any added customer acquisition costs (CAC). There are, however, a number of common mistakes that brands tend to make which can render all of their email marketing efforts ineffective.
In this article, we'll be sharing the five most common mistakes our clients have encountered, along with ways to overcome them.
Replace Some Bulk Campaigns with Tailor-Made Trigger Scenarios. Trigger emails are automatically sent to a customer when they make a certain action. A classic example of a trigger scenario is an abandoned cart email, sent when a customer adds items to their cart but does not complete their purchase.
Abandoned carts, abandoned browsing and other simple campaigns can be sent via a CMS or other relatively cost-friendly services such as Convead.
An example of a more advanced approach is sending discounts to customers who do open emails, but have not visited your website for a long period of time – these types of campaigns will require a more sophisticated tool that can consolidate all of a customer’s information in one place. But if you have a small database that does not require any manual uploads from different sources and is stored in one place, you can quite easily make do with an inexpensive solution – especially if you're just getting started with these kinds of campaigns.
Exclude Some Customers from Bulk Campaigns. For example, exclude those who have made a purchase within the last three days. This can be done manually by importing the whole database and a list of recent customers into MS Excel. You can then delete these customers using the VLOOKUP function.
Once you get to the stage where there are too many segments and campaigns, you can connect an automation service that comes with a system of filters.
Personalize Your Bulk Campaigns. One good option would be to enrich your emails with product recommendations that show only in-stock items and items that the customer hasn’t yet bought.
Another option may be to divide the database into segments. This can mean sending different emails depending on how long ago the customer last made a purchase.
Set up UTM Tags to analyze exactly how people make purchases. The UTM tags are added to links in order to get detailed information about each traffic source. You can track your conversions using UTM tags in Google Analytics.
Add a Promotional Code or a Secret Code Word. A customer can enter a promo code or secret password at checkout or when placing an order. This method is, however, not 100% accurate as some customers forget to use the code they saw in their email. Nevertheless, it can help us to understand customer trends and compare how effective different campaigns are.
It may seem that the more emails you send, the more revenue you will receive from your mailing lists, especially if you have last-click analytics set up. That is, when the last channel with which the client had an interaction is given credit for the purchase. However, in reality, there may not be a connection, as there is always the possibility that customers will make a purchase without being sent an email.
In addition, aggressive spamming can lead to database burnout, where customers open emails less often, and therefore click on the links within them less often as well.
Get Emails from Your Order History List. This kind of customer base is also considered historical data, so you should be careful when working with it.
If a business has just started up, building a subscriber database is quite an easy process. Customers will remember that they gave their consent to receive campaigns and are therefore prepared to receive them.
It is more difficult to work with a database that has not been touched for several years. If you send emails to all the customers from the database at once, it may negatively affect the domain, and hosts such as Gmail or Yahoo will block your emails.
It's more worth your while to split the database – for example, into 10 parts. You should then send emails in stages, carefully assessing the open, click, and unsubscription rates. This is called warming up the domain.
In addition, it's important to consider the difficulties involved in restoring a dead domain. If you face this problem, contact email services and relevant agencies, and change your IP addresses as needed. As this is a more time-consuming undertaking, it is better to do these things right from the beginning.
Set up the sender authentication and digital signatures using SPF, DKIM, and DMARC:
- Clarify your SPF record to indicate which mail servers are able to send emails from your domain.
- Allow your DKIM signature to prevent spoofing when sending emails from your domain. Spoofing is when an email's content is changed by a hacker impersonating someone else.
- Publish a DMARC Record. This enables senders and recipients to automatically authenticate messages by identifying the sender’s domain. It also determines what to do with suspicious emails sent by scammers who are posing as you. If the email fails the DMARC check, then whatever action that has been instructed in the DMARC rule will be carried out. This can include marking the email as spam, rejecting it, or taking no action at all.
Set up Postmaster Tools. These are needed to gather data from email services such as Gmail, Yahoo, and others. They assess the potential for emails to be delivered.
Postmaster Tools let you know:
- how often your subscribers mark your emails as spam
- why your emails do not get delivered
- if the email identification is correct
- your domain or IP reputation, and its effect on your email delivery rate.
It is important to use Postmaster Tools because not all mail providers have deliverability data, and email services may not provide a complete set of information. This means that collected statistical data may, in fact, be skewed.
Gradually Increase the Volume of the Campaigns You Send. If you have just started sending emails to your mailing lists or if you are working with a historical database, you should gradually increase the volume of messages sent while simultaneously monitoring the reaction of recipients in the postmaster. A sudden jump in the number of emails sent may lead to an increase in complaints from recipients.
Mistake number 1: Sending Everything to Everyone.
- Partially replace bulk campaigns with tailor-made trigger scenarios;
- Exclude some customers from bulk campaigns;
- Personalize your bulk campaigns.
Mistake number 2: Focusing on Open Rate and Click Rate Instead of on Revenue.
- Ass UTM tags to links in your campaigns;
- Add a promo code or a secret password to the emails you send.
Mistake number 3: Sending Emails Too Often.
- Use a control group that excludes some customers from the mailing list;
- Monitor the open rate and the click rate.
Mistake number 4: Sending Emails without Subscribers’ Consent, with a Database You Purchased.
- Create a
pop-upwith a promo code that your customers will receive for entering their email address;
- Collect emails from the purchase history.
Mistake number 5: Not Complying with Technical Requirements for Emails.
- Set up the sender authentication and digital signatures using SPF, DKIM, and DMARC;
- Set up Postmaster Tools;
- Gradually increase the campaign volume.