Email was a novelty when it began, and morphed into an effective means of marketing for awhile after that, and slowly became flooded with junk, leading to many valuable emails getting sent straight to the trash bin, much like paper junk mail. But that doesn’t mean that it still isn’t an excellent and inexpensive tool for getting your word out there. You just have to know how to make your email stand out, and make people actually want to read it.

There are many deadly sins of email marketing, but luckily, if you’re able to identify the offender, you’ll be able to correct it easily and have those emails go from straight to the trash to being read, clicked, and increased traffic to your site. If you think you may have several issues, start one at a time to correct them to see what your problem is. Once you’ve done that, your emails will be the ones that don’t end up lost in the depths of an email.

There’s a Good Chance You’re Sending Too Many Emails
One of the number one offenders, flooding your mail list with several emails a day is a good way to have all of them sent straight to the trash unread. In this instance, sending more emails really isn’t going to help increase your odds of them even being opened. Your “special” sale or “limited time offer” isn’t going to impress anyone if they know that they can just wait a couple hours for another one. They’ll wait until they need something to even read them, rather than deciding they need someone because they read it. Let people subscribe to certain feeds, but consider consolidating several into one, catered towards each readers interests, so as to not clog their inbox.

Your Emails Might Be Unpleasant Visually
Just because you’re given 82 different colors you can use for your text and backgrounds, doesn’t mean you should use them all. Try to stick to something that is easy to read, and keep it visually interesting by changing only the color of headers and subtitles. On the same note, don’t go crazy with different fonts. Come up with a layout or few that works for you, and have a few rotating elements to keep it fresh and to differentiate between emails. Make emails that are appealing on mobile and desktop. Stay true to your brand, and don’t go wild in your emails, or they may just disappear into the depths of the internet, unread and unopened.

The Timing is All Wrong
Timing is important in emails. Sure there are plenty of studies that show the best time to send emails, and chances are if you use them, you’ll have good luck. But that doesn’t mean those are the only effective times, and knowing your demographic will help you to determine the best time. Emails in the morning may be opened, but are they read while people are getting ready for work? They may mean to go back to read them, but as their inboxes are flooded throughout the day they forget to go back. Limited time sales during the workday exclude many people from being able to participate, and late night emails may hit inboxes when people are too tired to read them.

You’re Not Providing Enough Valuable or Intriguing Content… or Maybe Too Much
Make reading an email worthwhile. People don’t want to read an email only to realize it was just click bait for irrelevant news or untimely information. If people know your emails as lame, they aren’t going to click on future emails that may actually be important. On the other hand, you may be providing way too much information which makes reading an email in full something that requires dedicated time. Don’t reveal everything in an email, let interested parties continue reading online at their leisure. A balance of good content without going overboard will make the perfect email.

The Subject Line is Misleading, Repetitive, or Boring
If you send a newsletter every week, and the title is always “Newsletter, Week 2” and such, you’re not providing any intrigue for people to click in it. Interest people into reading and clicking on your email by using a catchy, simple and intriguing subject line. While you’re at it, make sure the subject line is accurate, because if it isn’t, people are going to unsubscribe from your emails and view you as a non-reputable resource. And because many email providers show a preview of the first few lines of the email, or a secondary subject line, use this to your advantage by expanding on the subject while intriguing people to read further.

The Links Don’t Work, or It’s Difficult to Navigate
Make sure that all the links in your email work, and lead people where they want to go. Make your email easy to navigate, so people can read what interests them without being cut off or having to be redirected somewhere they don’t want to visit. Make it user friendly. If you want people to enter in a contest, don’t hide it in text, provide a large call to action that allows them to easily register so they don’t get frustrated and give up. Make it easy for people to read your email, and they’ll want to read it.

You’re Not Using Your Stats as a Valuable Resource
You can learn a lot about your demographic based on the stats provided by your email service. If most of your clientele open emails in the evening, send your emails in the evening. Learn about the devices they use, the emails that are most interesting to them, and what types of articles and promotions they click on when they’re reading your email. If you can cater your emails towards your target demographic, you’ll find that your emails will more often be opened and clicked on. Knowing who you are targeting makes it much easier to create an email that is appealing to them.

Powered by Marion Fernandez & The Galiano Group Writing Team.