5 Email Missteps Every Online Marketer MUST Know

5 Email Missteps Every Online Marketer MUST Know

Written by: Kevin Layton | Data-Dynamix

Email is by far one of the best digital marketing solutions to have in your toolbox.  However, with this approach there is plenty of room for error amid an industry rife with regulations; delivery, filtering and other technology concerns and a glut of ever-evolving best practices. While email marketing is definitely not rocket science, there IS a certain degree of skill and artistry involved in crafting a winning email campaign. Proceed with abandon and it’s likely you’ll end up wasting time and money on failed email campaigns. 

Email campaign failure can happen for a multitude of reasons, and the 5 missteps listed below are among the most common and easily avoidable offenses that every online marketer should take proactive measures to avoid. 

1. Boring the Audience

There are a ton of ways online marketers can bore their audience, from lackluster subject lines to verbiage-laden text only emails, to emails that only talk about the company and provide nothing of tangible or even perceived value—the all-important “what’s in it for me” factor.  While email can feel one-sided, it is really intended to be a conversation—the start of one. Savvy marketers understand this.  For a better success rate, provide an enticing offer and certainly an eye-catching subject line to encourage positive open rates.  Design colorful and well-branded graphics to appeal to our world’s love of visual content.  Provide valuable resources, articles, offers and calls to action that truly give something to your email audience.   Ultimately, think about how you can provide value to those on your email list.

2. Annoying the Audience 

You know the feeling when you get interrupted by a little fly buzzing around your head, and then again 30 seconds later, and then yet again 30 seconds after that?  Don’t be the little fly pestering people too frequently.  Of course, finding the “sweet spot” for the timing tolerance of each audience takes a little experimenting, observation and an understanding of the industry in which they operate.  Your audience will love hearing from you if you are providing value in a way that gives them room to breathe—to consider your office and how it fits into their own needs and objectives. Understanding the “pulse” of an industry and the standards by which they operate is a great starting point to determine a suitable frequency and timing of emails.  When you find the sweet spot, you’ll know it and your audience will respond to your campaigns in kind.

3. Confusing the Audience 

All too often online marketers try to cram too many messages into one email, trying to accomplish or convey too many things at once.  There should always be one clear call to action and any messaging or imagery, and links should always direct the customer to a landing page where they can act upon that main call to action.  When an email campaign vehicle is cluttered with multiple messages—to purchase one thing, call for a free consultation, follow the brand and more—the recipient can be distracted from the main reason for the email.  Stick to one primary message around which all else is focused and be sure to tell your potential customer what you want them to do next. Don’t cause them to wander aimlessly around your website or landing page.

4. Bombarding the Audience   

Marketers get excited when they’re embarking upon an email marketing campaign. It’s where the rubber meets the road. . As touched on above, they often try to throw everything they've got at their audience in the form of too much written copy and too many design features such as star bursts or complicated shapes.  While you can include all of these bells and whistles from a technical standpoint, it’s simply not necessary or even beneficial to do so.  The best email campaigns are those that keep the design interface and messaging simple.  That means clearly written and formatted content as well as clean, fresh graphics and design. Keep in mind that even the best email marketing vehicle won’t convey your message as effectively as a well-conceived and executed website. This is why the email campaign should compel the recipient to head in that direction and facilitate in an intuitive, efficient and streamlined fashion.

5. Missing the Audience

At a high level Email marketing seems simple enough but, when you dig into all of your options with data filters in particular to specifically target certain audiences, it becomes clear just how complex the endeavor really is.  Today, online marketers have countless list segmentation options but, sadly, they often choose poorly when it comes to filtering their email list.  There are many mission-critical segmentation options to consider like geographic, socioeconomic and demographic filters that allow the user to refine a list.  For example, a localized Mercedes dealership would target potential customers who live within a certain zip or area code radius of their location, have certain interests and make enough in salary to afford a high end vehicle. In this way, online marketers can use list segmentation filters to target an audience with a high likelihood of being receptive to your message.  

While nothing in the advertising and marketing realm with notable upside comes without risk and there are definitely ways to waste money and ruin opportunities with email marketing, there are even more ways to increase site traffic, lead generation and revenue among other goals.  The key is to invest the time up front to design an effective email campaign, which starts by heeding the blunders detailed above     .  For extra assurance, digital marketers often enlist the help of field experts and outside voices who can consult on the preparation process and catch errors that may have otherwise been missed.  When executed properly, email marketing can grow a business in a very strategic and calculated manner, not just delivering a good return on investment for a single campaign but also ultimately growing your business over the long-term.

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Advisors Will Be Extinct in 5 Years Unless…

Advisors Will Be Extinct in 5 Years Unless…

I’ve had financial advisors for more than 40 years. Not once in those years have I called my advisor to find out what stock/funds I should buy or sell. But I have called to find out where I should get my first mortgage, when to sell my house, or how much income I could get in retirement.

In short -- and I think I’m pretty typical – I was looking for financial advice, as it relates to my life.

Here’s the disconnect, what most advisors do is simply manage their clients’ assets. They determine what to buy, and what to sell, they think about risk management, about growing their practice by finding new clients and about getting paid.

Historically that has been the business model. But as more women take control over financial assets, they, like me, will be looking for a different experience. And unless the financial community is willing to change ….. advisors, as they are today will be extinct in five years.

Advisors who want to survive will have to do a lot more than just manage money – they will have to provide genuine “advice”.  That means doing what’s right for the client, not pushing product and pretending it’s advice.

Women especially, but all investors generally, are becoming more and more cynical. They says, “If I want advice about reducing my debt, that’s what I want and not ‘here’s more debt’ because that’s what my advisor gets paid for! And if saving taxes is what I want then saving taxes should take precedent over selling me a product.”

You may be thinking that spending your time providing advice isn’t lucrative but the reality is that in the long run – it pays off in spades. The advisors who take the time to build real relationships with clients, who provide advice as it relates to their clients’ lives, even when there is no immediate financial benefit to themselves, those who don’t simply push product – are the ones who over time have the most successful practices.

Generally women understand and value service, but they will say, “If I’m paying, I want to know what I’m paying for: Is it for returns? Is it for advice? Is it for administration? I want to know. Then I can make up my mind what’s worth it and what isn’t.”

Investing is becoming a commoditized business and technology is replacing research that no one else can find. Today the average advisor is hard pressed to consistently beat the markets, and with women emerging as the client of the future, unless they start providing real advice, their jobs will likely be extinct in five years.

Learn how to Retain Female Clients through this online course and earn CE credits. Or visit us at here and learn everything there is to know about what women want and how to serve them well.

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Paulette Filion and Judy Paradi are partners at Strategy Marketing and have run their own businesses for more than 20 years. Paulette is an expert in financial services and Ju ... Click for full bio