Much like connecting with your customers via text messages, email marketing isn’t only for the brands with a Fortune 500 marketing budget. With the right approach, this practice is not only budget friendly, it’s also effective with your target audience. However, there’s still a few roadblocks along the way that can trip you up. To help keep your organization in the clear and connecting with the shoppers that matter most, here are five email marketing mistakes that small businesses simply can’t afford to make.
Disregarding Anti-Spam Legislation
The first mistake on the list also offers up the biggest legal ramifications – failing to comply with Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL.) As David Harris of the Boston Business Journal explains, even small businesses in the United States must refrain from spamming Canadian inboxes with unwanted messages and promotions. Otherwise, your small business, regardless of where you call home, could face penalties that scale up to $10 million per violation.
To protect your organization from these potentially crippling fines, make sure that every person on your list has opted in and consented to receiving marketed messages from your brand. By doing this, you’ll not only refine your contact list by trimming off the individuals who weren’t likely to convert anyways, but also keep your bottom line from dipping too deeply into the red via stiff government penalties.
Failing to Target the Right Customers
Speaking of the people that are most likely to convert, Sara Angeles of Business News Daily points out that plenty of small businesses fail to truly harness the power of email marketing thanks to shoddy or substandard targeting practices. In some cases, these brands simply don’t implement targeting at all in the campaign process.
To keep your business on track with targeting, you’ll need to learn to build a profile around your ideal customer. By answering questions around optimal delivery times, preferred email content, and location, you can segment your audience and cater to the people who show the most interest in your brand. While it does take some work to get to this point, the results you’ll garner are well worth the time and effort you put into targeting.
Skipping Over Responsive Design
It’s no secret that mobile optimization matters in today’s marketplace. However, there’s still plenty of brands that don’t probably value responsive email design that adjusts to the devices used by your readers. As Cara Olson of Marketing Land reports, more than 50 percent of email opens occur on mobile devices and 70 percent of consumers immediately delete messages that don’t render properly. Basically, you’re letting a massive chunk of your audience slip through the cracks by making this mistake. Thankfully, the fix on this one is pretty easy. Implementing a responsive design template that optimizes your emails for mobile viewing ensures that you never lose a customer due to technical difficulties.
Letting Your Contact List Succumb to Address Bloat
When it comes to spreading the word about your products and services, especially as a small business, if some is good, more is better, right? Not always. Andy Shore of Huffington Post illuminates this point by noting that plenty of brands don’t take the time to keep up with “contact list hygiene.” Under this practice, you’ll routinely clear out unresponsive and inactive consumer email addresses.
While it might seem counterintuitive to drop these contact list members – after all, they might return someday – Shore points out that continuing to message these members is not only a waste of resources, it’s potentially harmful to your deliverability. It’s a little hard to swallow at first, but as you continue along the path to the email marketing success, you’ll soon learn that there’s an ebb and flow to the size of your contact list that requires a little upkeep now and then.
Sending Irrelevant Content
Personalization and geographic relevancy in your messages is a great thing, especially if your small business relies on regional customers to keep things rolling. However, utilizing these tools opens you up to one of the biggest marketing mistakes out there, according to Kim Lachance Shandrow. Content irrelevancy, such as using the wrong name or location, is one of the fastest ways to turn off your audience members. Whether it’s mixing up contact list names or referencing the wrong city, personalization can backfire quickly.
To protect your small business from this embarrassing mistake, Shandrow suggests that you spend some time guaranteeing that your sign-up and opt-in sheets are as clear and easy to complete as possible. By doing this, in addition to everything else you’ve learned about avoiding mistakes that have sunk other small businesses, you can ensure that you always put your best foot forward with the shoppers that matter most to your brand.