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7 common mistakes that can decrease your email marketing responses

Paul Evans 12-17

Common MistakesLet’s take a look at 7 common mistakes that can decrease your email marketing responses faster than any other:

Mistake # 1Pacing — getting it wrong

This is one of the hardest areas to master because there are really no black-and-white rules for how many emails to send out per month and what sort of interval to insert between each.  There are some general guidelines, but the rest involves being sensitive to “the conversation”, stopping to “listen” and getting to know your readers and their own, natural, organic rhythms.

These tips will help you fine-tune your pacing without having to rely on “rules” that don’t really work that well, anyway…

a)  Give your readers time to process information.  Yes, it’s important to keep the relationship going immediately after sign-up or purchase… but the worse thing you can do is bombard your new subscriber with multiple emails before she’s had time to even think about the first piece of information you sent.

Remember it is a conversation; and people who consistently talk over top of others quickly lose any favorable first impressions they’ve made.

Put yourself in your reader’s shoes:  If you’d just received a lesson requiring you to learn new information that throws you a steep learning curve, how would you feel if someone wrote and said “time to take step two” before you’d even been able to set aside time to implement step one.  (And they did that repeatedly!)

b)  Don’t add to Information overload.  Many times, people even want to read your emails — they just never seem to find the time!  You need to email:

  • Regularly.  A “Friday Freebie” or “Tuesday Tip” that always really does give a simple, juicy, single tip gives them a lot more to look forward to than six versions, all crammed together, of: “Did you get my message, Sandi?” (guaranteed to make Sandi feel harassed and hurried)
  • Not more than twice a week (unless there’s something really special or truly urgent you need to let them know about
  • Not less than once a week, if you can possibly help it!  You want them to remember who you are — but never, ever email just for that reason alone!  Make sure you really do have something worthwhile, interesting or plain old entertaining to say.

There is one rule it’s usually good to observe:  The more frequently you email, the shorter your emails should be.

And if you have difficulty coming up with ideas, use a quality PLR pack of autoresponder messages tailored to your niche to spark ideas.

Pick out the “gems” among these messages — even if it’s just one paragraph in one message, a single sentence in another — and rewrite these into your own, original messages, paying attention to the sequence.  (In fact, doing this can help you “learn” proper Autoresponder sequencing.)

If you’re sensitive to your audience and you’ve created the right dynamic and “conversation”, you can write daily, as one successful copywriter does — but if that’s your choice, keep those daily letters far more casual, chatty and entertaining than conventional guides would suggest.

You can even include a download link and call to action in these daily emails (or a link to your blog)… just remember to match your casual and straightforward tone in your call-to-action.

Download links like these work well in a P.S. .  (P. S. “By the way, I teach a whole course in “Oil Painting for Beginners”.  If taking a course like that online appeals to you, here’s my link — feel free to check it out…”) — it’s as simple as that!

c)  Pay attention to — and actively seek — feedback from your paying subscribers.  These are the golden eggs in your basket — those hallowed “loyal, repeat customers” who come back time and time again to see what you’ve got to offer.  Don’t overlook the chance to further refine your offerings to their budget, taste — and progression through your sales funnel.

d)  Make sure you have an exit or retention offer ready for unsubscribers.  Think of their needs right up until the last second (and beyond)… And if you can’t help them, point them to someone who can!

If you’re an affiliate of the person you’re sending them to, you’ll still make money on future sales.

And if they’re leaving because they’re not ready for you right now, they may (like Arnold) be back!

e)  Don’t ignore the power of signature lines.  Doing so can turn the heat of your email response down to “barely lukewarm” — yet making use of your email signature line is one of the most common sins of omission!

Treat your signature like an article-marketing resource box:  Make it as powerful as your subject line, if not more so.  Put your reader-relevant links under your name, along with whatever contact information you wish to share — contact information boosts trust.

By “reader-relevant”, you might include links for:

  • Your main site (one which holds a “directory” to all your offerings
  • Specific sales or squeeze pages you think they might be excited about visiting
  • More detailed information on your blog
  • A standard “freebie” you supply (in case they need to quickly download it again, to refresh their memories about your area of expertise)

f)   Don’t bombard people with your offer.  There are some marketers who take the attitude:  “Alright.  I’ve give you my freebie — now give me my sale.  Gimme my sale.  Gimme my sale…”  At least, that’s the effect their emails soon create.  (And you’ll usually find they have a very poor opinion of their average subscriber and a correspondingly high one of themselves!)

g)  Don’t continually ask for feedback.  Especially don’t use it as leverage or a ploy to create interaction!  I’ve just unsubscribed from one marketer (initially impressive) whose emails lately have all been requests for feedback or to leave comments on his blog.

While asking for the comments is great (if it’s an issue really timely to your niche), don’t pester people.  And don’t do what he did — forget to make it about your reader.  (This was all: “You owe me.  Now give!”)

h)  Take into account the experience level of your subscriber.  A new marketer who is also having to learn the basics of running a small business is going to take far more time to assimilate information, plus need a lot more step-by-step hand-holding and prompting.

On the other hand, a wealthy client with 30 years business background behind her is just going to be irritated by too much information.  The sort of tips she’ll want you to share with her will all be short ones, focusing on saving her time or giving her links and resources she needs right at that second.

Pacing is truly more of an art than a science, but observe the best practices above and you’ll soon find yourself in harmony with your subscriber’s rhythms.

And that’s true “listening” and dialogue!

Mistake # 2:  Being afraid to send reminders

Many marketers either forget to send a reminder about an expiring offer… or are afraid to “bug” their subscriber.

Sending a really short, friendly, simple reminder that your offer’s about to expire tomorrow isn’t rushing them:  It’s being helpful.

It’s far different from hounding them to buy your new traffic course after you’ve only just sent them their first tip about traffic.

If you’ve targeted your subscribers correctly, they may actually be planning to buy — even eager — but simply waiting for money to clear or come in.  Life gets busy, and people forget dates (and sometimes product offers) so assume you are doing them a service by sending a short, friendly day-before reminder as well as a short, friendly one the morning the offer expires.

If you’re up-front about it and don’t try to mystify or intrigue them with your subject line (this is not the place to do that), they’ll skip your reminder without rancor if they don’t need your offer… and be really grateful to receive it, if they do.

TIP:  When sending reminders, remember not to give your subject line titles like “Final Notice!” — It will make you sound like a bill collector or spammer.  (In fact, some email filters may actually send your message straight to the spam folder when they encounter that particular phrase.)

And never, ever, ever include the word “URGENT!” in your email subject lines unless:

a)  You want to notify your subscriber that her car is being towed away As You Speak

b)  You’ve discovered she’s holding the winning lottery ticket and it’s blowing out her window

c)  Her pet hamster has gotten himself trapped in a plastic bag, and is about to suffocate

In other words, it has to be about your subscriber — it has to be urgent to her.

You don’t know what’s going on in her personal life.  Your email subject may be “urgent” to you — but someone who’s scrambling to pay the mortgage and hang onto her home while looking after a dying mother is not going to appreciate being told that if she doesn’t claim your latest freebie now it will be the worst thing that ever happens to her.

She already knows what “urgent” truly means.

Mistake # 3:  Assuming your reader knows who you are and what your latest offer was

Even if she remembers who you are, you need to remember that even your biggest fan can get confused and forget who was offering what, and when that offer expires — another reason to send that reminder!

Which brings us to our next potential hazard…?

Mistake # 4:  Confusing your reader

This most often happens when you try to present more than three offers in a week, with separate email series promoting each one.  It also happens when you wear more than one “hat” and your reader isn’t sure which one you’re wearing (another reason for splitting your lists into focused-interest groups).

Not only can multiple emails for different sites or offers cause confusion, but too many emails will annoy anyone.

Creating reader confusion by having more than one list crossing over can also be caused by “autoresponder blindness” — something that occurs when you aren’t aware of the emails your subscriber is receiving.

All the more reason to contract out to that highly-organized VA!

Mistake # 5:  Over-using old strategies

One marketer I’m subscribed to regularly uses the “Oops — my mistake!” ploy. Newsflash:  Almost no one believes this particular gambit any more, so even if you have made a genuine mistake, don’t think it’s the greatest marketing opportunity since sliced bread.

Instead, repeat your previous subject line, adding something straightforward like “- Link correction”.

Mistake # 6:  Forgetting it’s not about creating the “perfect opportunity” to email.

It’s about keeping the conversation going and chatting with your subscriber the way you might with your favorite sister or best friend.

It’s about helping them.

Mistake # 7:  Not emailing consistently. 

This is the true hallmark of the amateur.  The typical pattern (if one can call it a “pattern”) is to send a flurry of emails for a week or two… then disappear off the face of the earth for six weeks.

It’s easy enough to do.  We have it all planned, then life throws a curveball at us.  Sometimes, not even a very hard curveball… but it’s enough to de-rail us on our course towards email supremacy. This where your:

  • Business Plan/Sales Funnel
  • Autoresponder
  • VA

…can help you.

The best way to make sure you never get caught out in the “feast or famine” cycle is to plan and implement.  Make sure your autoresponder is pre-programmed with short mini courses, tips and offers for your list members.

Success is NOT an Accident!




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