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10 critical ecommerce email marketing mistakes to avoid

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6 minute read

Email marketing is a valuable tool, allowing the opportunity to send targeted content directly to someone who has expressed interest or who has already engaged with your company. It’s so common place these days that a lot of companies forget just how valuable a tool it is when done right.

However, when done wrong, it’s a total waste of time. And, getting it wrong only requires one mistake. So, let’s take a look at some ecommerce email marketing mistakes you need to avoid.

1.Forgetting about mobile

It’s a fact of the modern world that smartphones, tablets and other personal devices rule the landscape. It’s probably surprising to hear but so much of life, business and pleasure, is conducted within the few inches of that small screen. The consequence for you is that your ecommerce emails have to be formatted for mobile. It’s an absolute must, don’t forget it. Your images and text should be adjusted for mobile versions which can be done through coding or using various options with your email marketing service. Test your emails to see that they work before sending them out. 

Forgetting about monbile_Get Elastic
Source: Targetinternet.com

2.Low email frequency

Once someone has agreed opted into your database, use it!“It’s tempting to be cagey about over-intruding. But the truth is that it’s more important for you to be there consistently, ready for when they want to shop than worrying it will annoy them”, says Marcus Shaw, email marketer at BritStudentand WriteMyx

Sending emails daily is not appropriate. But a weekly email is a perfect solution for the frequency – they will be interested and you won’t be over-intruding. Even twice a week isn’t too much. 

3.Too much promotional content

This isn’t to say you shouldn’t be promoting. It is called email ‘marketing’ after all. But it can be off-putting when every single communication is simply raw self-promotion. It’s too soulless for the current climate and feels pushy. Send helpful content, updates, opinions and so on. For instance, if you send emails twice a week, have one of those emails be promotional and the other purely there to help your subscribers with a problem they have. Helpful content is also self-promotion, but in a more subtle and enjoyable way. 

What a bad email looks like:

bad email example_Get Elastic
Source: Hubspot

What a good email looks like:

Good email example_Get Elastic
Source: Coschedule

4.Lack of call to actions

It seems an odd idea, but you should be tasking your email readership often enough to keep them engage. Keyword instructions like ‘check out’, ‘log in’, ‘browse’ and ‘login’ act as a call to action (CTA) for the readers, who will quite often respond to the request, simply by virtue of having been asked, especially since more than 90% of visitors who read your headline also read your CTA copy, according to Unbounce. Place your CTA button at the bottom of an email. That’s a very appropriate place and not so over-intruding – same goes for mobile. 

5.Too text-heavy

“Email recipients will internally groan if the open an email to a wall of text. You have to break it up with all sorts of other forms of communication such as images, videos and gifs”, writes James Harmison, tech writer at Australia2Writeand NextCoursework. Stick to sparse, exciting uses of keywords.

When your email servers are text only, you should use good formatting with plenty of white space. Use bullet point lists, headings, subheadings and short paragraphs to create something great for your readers to consume.

Too text heavy email example_Get Elastic
Source: Hubspot

6.Sending blanket emails

Blanket emails are easier, save time and cost less money. However, they should be avoided. Segmentation of your email membership is far, far more likely to bring in good results for you and your company. Users want to feel noticed and valued and blanket emails display none of that.

Sending emails that are personalized or based on any factor of segmentation like interests, behavior, where they are in the sales funnels – make your message that much more powerful. The recipient will feel like you are speaking directly to them which is really important. Using their name is another powerful trick there. 

7.Not linking activity to email addresses

One of the smartest tools available to email marketers is the ability to link email addresses to user activity. For example, if someone has added an item to their basket but not checked out, that is something worth noting in the next email communication, reminding them to check out. You could also show them other offers similar to the one in their basket.

For example, you can use the “abandoned cart” emails with other messages that you send out. This can also be powerful if you give them a discount on the product in the abandoned cart. Track your email list subscribers and what they do on your website so that you can segment them even better. To do this, use one of many tracking options. You can be explicit about this and tell your customers that they will receive personalized emails and offers. 

8.Lack of special offers

Another special tool that is quite a lot of fun. Take the same scenario as in number seven. This time, instead of simply reminding them, send them a special offer, a deal on the product that they are hovering on. You can also send people little birthday gifts or seasonal gifts of discounts, specific to them.

 Special offer email example_Get Elastic
Source: Fitsmallbusiness.com

9.Making automation too obvious

Automation is a huge timesaver and a really useful tool for a lot of companies. However, when your readers can see that all of your messages are a product of a simple automation tool, that’s when it gets bad. In order to avoid this, add a human touch to your emails by personalizing a bit more. Sign the email, send it from a proper email address they can respond to, use their name and offer things that they are really interested in 

10. No monitoring

It’s an ongoing task, so it’s vital that you monitor all feedback and all sales results. This will help you to build and refine your email marketing, until it is as clean as possible garnering the best results. You need to track your email open rates, email click through rates, the depth of scroll in your emails, actions taken and so on. 

Michael Dehoyos
Michael Dehoyoshttps://phdkingdom.com/
Michael is passionate marketer and editor at PhdKingdom and Academicbrits, where he works to help companies create effective marketing strategies.
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