Email marketing is often praised as having the best ROI of anything else. But if you’re making some costly mistakes, you could be spinning your wheels.
Do you hound people with a flood of irrelevant information after you’ve got their email address? Or do you never email them again, except once in a blue moon?
Finding the sweet spot can take a little time, but once you have a system in place and stop making common email mistakes, it can be smooth (and profitable) sailing ahead for your email strategy.
How Beneficial is Email Marketing?
First, let’s take a look at why email marketing is so important and how it can benefit your IT business.
Email marketing is cheap, which is a bonus. Plus, it gets right in front of the person you want to convert. It’s a much more targeted form of content marketing, making it an essential fuel for your marketing engine.
For example, when you put out social media or do online advertising, you’re hoping to reach someone interested in your products and services.
When you’re emailing to a list of people who have visited your site and given you their email address you KNOW they are already interested.
So, the sales funnel gets a little shorter and you have a much better chance at a conversion. Of course, you can still lose that lead if you don’t have a good email marketing strategy.
Email is also a great way to cross-sell other products to existing customers and retain customers. Why would they go to anyone else if you’re giving them helpful information regularly that makes their job easier?!
Here are a few email marketing statistics showing the power of email marketing:
- For each $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $42.
- 49% of consumers say they would like to receive promotional emails from a company they do business with at least once a week.
- 81% of SMBs rely on email as their main customer acquisition method.
- 80% of SMBs rely on email for customer retention.
Email marketing has a lot to offer… if you do it right.
Avoiding Common Email Marketing Mistakes (Do Email Right!)
Email marketing seems simple enough. You get a lead, you send them an enticing email, then hopefully they convert. But you can end up getting in your own way if you’re making one of these common and costly mistakes.
Not Segmenting Your Email List
Not all your leads are interested in the same types of things. Some may be interested in cybersecurity for a business network, others may be looking for computer repairs. Still others, may be considering managed services for a newly remote workforce.
If you don’t segment your email list to allow you to send targeted information to each of those different customer types, you could end up losing them.
People like receiving emails from companies as long as the information is relevant to them. Your residential subscribers aren’t going to care much about advanced business networking systems. Likewise, your business clients may not care about an email targeted to parental controls on home computers.
You’ll get people unsubscribing if you don’t send them targeted information, also your emails will be falling on deaf ears if you send the wrong information to the wrong customer type.
Use just a few different customer types for segmenting that allow you to laser focus the content you send.
Sending Too Many Emails
The balance in an email drip campaign can take a while to figure out. Some users may like an email once a week, while others prefer them once a month.
One big mistake that IT business owners make is to bombard a new lead with everything they can at once. They send emails daily, and then just end up losing someone from their list and possibly annoying them in the process.
The frequency used by most email marketers (35%) is sending two to three emails a month. On the receiving side, 61% of people prefer receiving a promotional email from a business at least once per month.
While there’s no “one size fits all” frequency, it’s a good idea to target perhaps 2 – 4 times per month and adjust according to your unsubscribe and engagement rates.
Not Personalizing Emails
Just having a person’s name in the salutation of an email can make a huge difference. Everyone likes to feel special, and email engagement and transaction rates back that up.
Email programs like MailChimp make it easy to use a field identifier that will fill in a person’s name, so you can have “Hi, Phil!” instead of just “Hi.”
Adding personalization to your email marketing can bring you:
- 6x more email-driven sales
- 41% higher unique click rates
- 11% higher open rates
Not Using a Call to Action
Do you sent out a great email newsletter every month that people love, but it doesn’t seem to result in many sales? It could be because you’re missing a call to action.
People will tend to do what you tell them to when it comes to marketing, so if you don’t give them any direction at all, then they may not take any.
Make sure you have a clear call to action in all your content marketing emails, including email newsletters.
Here are some examples:
- Sign up for our cybersecurity training today
- Download my free eBook on password security
- Start your managed services plan now
Learn more about writing effective calls to action here.
Not Implementing Automated Drip Campaigns
Do you never have enough time for email marketing, so you only do it half the time? If you’re not using automation in your email marketing, then you’re missing a big opportunity at having an “automated salesperson” working for you 24/7.
Setting up a drip campaign can ensure you’re putting the right information in front of the right lead and that it’s happening automatically, without your interaction.
Here’s an example of how a drip campaign can work:
- Lead downloads free eBook and clicks “remote workers” as an interest
- Lead is automatically tagged “remote” in MailChimp (or other email program)
- Lead receives “Thank you for downloading eBook” email.
- 4 days later, lead receives an email advertising remote security product
- 7 days later lead receives link to blog about tips for managing remote workers
- 14 days later lead receives sales pitch about remote managed IT services with coupon for 10% off first 3 months.
When you have a drip campaign set up, all of the above happens automatically. You can easily watch stats and adjust the emails you send based upon conversions and open rates.
Not Having Emails Look Professional and Consistent
Having consistent branding across your emails is important. Just think about the emails you get from certain retailers. You can tell right away who it’s from just by the header image.
Part of looking professional is using a consistent branding template in all the emails you send. Which means they may all have the same logo and banner image at the top and the same footer at the bottom.
Tips for professional emails:
- Proofread for spelling and grammar errors (Try using the new Editor in Word)
- Make sure images aren’t blurry, stretched out, or grainy
- Keep your same company “voice” in each email
- Double check links to make sure none are broken
Not Following SPAM-CAN Compliance
Companies that send emails in violation of the U.S. SPAM-CAN Act can face penalties up to $43,280.
If you use a commercial program for sending email (Constant Contact, MailChimp), then it will assist with putting the necessary information on your emails (like your company address and an opt-out link).
But if you’re sending marketing emails on your own, then you definitely want to be aware of the regulation and ensure your marketing emails are in compliance.
Some of the main requirements of the act include:
- Don’t use false or misleading header information
- Don’t use deceptive subject lines
- Identify the message as an ad (the FTC gives a lot of leeway to interpretation here)
- Tell recipients where you are located
- Tell recipients how to opt out of future emails
- Honor op-out requests promptly
Not Making Gathering Email Addresses a Priority
It can be frustrating to know you have website visitors but have no way to reach them to help further because you don’t have their email address.
It’s hard to get email marketing off the ground if you don’t have a strategy to fill up that email list with addresses.
You want to use a variety of tactics to get subscribers to your marketing emails and email newsletters so you can keep filling your sales funnel with people that you can reach out to and provide targeted information.
Here are several ways you can gather more addresses for your email marketing list:
- Add a checkbox to your contact form that people can check to (“Receive tech tips, tricks, and specials in your inbox regularly!”)
- Use a lead magnet like an eBook or infographic
- Have a tablet at your front service desk with an email newsletter signup loaded
- Add “Sign up for our awesome monthly newsletter” in all your email signatures with a link to the signup page
- Invite new social media subscribers to sign up for your email newsletter
Not Being Consistent with Your Email Newsletter
Consistency is key when you have a monthly email newsletter. If you “sometimes” send it “when you have time,” that’s like a flashing light to your subscribers saying that your company isn’t very dependable.
Trust is a big part of earning and keeping customers, and continuing to send helpful content each month, consistently earns you trust and helps you build a relationship with people.
I’ve seen companies that had sales come from people who had faithfully been reading their newsletter for years. As soon as they had a need, they reached out because of that relationship that had been fostered through consistent email messaging.
If you’re running short on time and need help putting a monthly email newsletter in place, check out sister site, Tech Blog Builder. They’re offering a new program that builds upon your blog content to give you great newsletters.
Email Marketing Can Be a Winner for Sales
Email marketing is one of the most powerful ways to build relationships with leads that convert to sales and with existing customers that continue to grow.
What’s your biggest challenge with email marketing? Let us know in the comments!