Email marketing is one of the essential tools in any marketer’s tool belt, but it’s also one of the most challenging. When you send out an email campaign that goes wrong, it can be pretty frustrating. You’ll spend all that time creating the perfect campaign, only to have it backfire in your face. Here are some examples of campaigns that went wrong and how you can avoid making the same mistakes.
Email Blast Backfires
This is the most basic form of email marketing in which you simply send out a mass email to a group of people. The problem with this type of email is that it’s usually pitched to the lowest common denominator resulting in a lot of people falling by the wayside. While it’s a quick and easy way to get the job done, the ROI can be questionable. When you send out an email blast without tailoring it to your specific audience, you’re basically guaranteed to lose some of your subscribers. Take the time to set up automated campaigns where you can, but be smart about your choice. It’s one thing to send out a promotional email to your database, but it’s another to lose your subscribers’ trust by hitting them with ad blitzes to gain a quick buck. You can’t fake interest or understanding. People are much more likely to unsubscribe if they feel like you’re just trying to sell them something.
The Dark Patterns Trick
A couple of years back, Neutrino – a digital marketing agency – conducted a survey which found that 43% of respondents had experienced some kind of online fraud. Eighty-eight percent of those respondents said they would likely fall for such a trick. These numbers are pretty frightening, but they also indicate how widespread online fraud is. In an effort to reduce the number of unsubscribes and inbound marketing responses, online scammers and spammers have adopted a trick employed by financial institutions: the dark pattern. The dark pattern trick works to get you to give up personal information even when you don’t want to. When you’re on a site that you don’t feel confident is legitimate, you’ll see warning signs that it’s probably a trap. Here are some of the red flags that indicate you might be dealing with a trickster:
- The site is asking for a lot of personal information, such as your date of birth, social security number, and financial information.
- The site gives you the impression that you’re completing some kind of transaction.
- The site offers fake insurance policies or deals that you can’t actually negotiate.
- The site offers to let you subscribe to a newsletter or sign up for some kind of notification service that you can’t stop.
- The site asks you to verify your age or identity via email or phone calls.
- A/B Testing: This is the process of running multiple versions of a product or campaign against each other and identifying which one performs the best. You can use A/B testing to compare two different email marketing campaigns and discover the best ways to approach your audience. Let’s say, for example, that you’re using MailChimp to run your email marketing campaign and you want to know which of your creative emails performs the best. You can compare your work-in-progress emails to a baseline version to see which one is doing the best. In the case of creative emails, you might want to try out a few different layouts and subject lines before deciding which one is the best. You can set up A/B testing with most email marketing platforms, including MailChimp.
- Click-Through Rates: The click-through rate is simply the number of clicks on a particular link or button as a proportion of all the visitors to that web page or blog post. Incoming links and social media share buttons are generally considered to be the most effective ways of encouraging people to click on your content, so you’ll want to place these items at the top of your web page.
- Lead Generation: If you’re looking to gain new subscribers for your email list, you can use lead generation to get the ball rolling. Lead generation is the act of getting potential customers to “opt-in” to your mailing list or database. This could be as simple as asking your subscribers for their email addresses or you could use a tool like Optin Forms to build a complex form that requires people to input their email addresses to receive special deals and discounts. The key thing to keep in mind here is that you want to gain as many leads as possible, so try to avoid using any sort of automated tool that could potentially unsubscribe people. For instance, if you’re using Optin Forms, make sure that you send out a welcome email to new subscribers to make them feel acknowledged and appreciated for signing up. This simple email could include a link to your blog or website to provide them with more information about the products and services you offer.
- Sales: Finally, you’ll want to track the performance of your sales teams to figure out if your overall marketing strategy is paying off. This is a bit more complex because you’ll have to look at a variety of data points, such as the number of calls made, emails sent, and orders taken. If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to get this information, you could use a tool like MarketingCharts to track the performance of your email campaigns and sales. MarketingCharts offers a single, custom report that sums up all of the important data from your email marketing and sales platforms, so you’ll have all of the information you need in one place.
You should never, ever give out personal information to a stranger or take part in an online transaction that you’re not comfortable with. Never! The dark pattern trick is one of the biggest causes of online fraud. The same survey revealed that 43% of respondents were likely to be tricked because they felt a connection to the website or brand. Be careful out there.
Why Some Brands Succeed While Others Fail
Take a look around your office or home and you’ll probably see a lot of empty cardboard boxes. It’s quite possible that you’re about to make a major move and are frantically trying to figure out what to do with all of the extra space. If you’re like most people, you’re probably wondering if there’s an easy way to get some storage space. This is where the term “white-labeled boxes” comes from. When you buy a storage solution and register the product with a major courier company, you can expect to receive a large number of these white-labeled boxes. These are the storage containers that you’ll find at the back of almost every major store. You’ll see them when you’re in the warehouse club aisle trying to decide what kind of food to get for the weeknight meal. Your options will be limited to either boring rice or pasta or cold cuts, all of which can be found in the frozen food section. What if there was a way to bring some excitement to the monotony that is your weekly shopping trip? What if there was a way to make your trip to the mall more interesting?
What if there was a way to make it worth your while to spend a little more time at the mall, to make it a pleasurable experience? Take a look at this blog post from the Shopbop Fashion website. It breaks down the top email marketing mistakes that brands make, and how you can avoid them.
Evaluating the Performance of Your Email Marketing Campaign
One of the most frustrating things about email marketing is trying to figure out if your efforts are actually paying off and how you can measure its effectiveness. The good news is that there are a number of tools available that can help you track the performance of your email marketing campaign and identify the key factors leading to its success or failure. Two of the most popular tools are:
You should take a little bit of time to see how these tools work and how you can leverage them to make your email marketing campaign a success. By identifying specific problems and searching for solutions, you’ll develop a much deeper understanding of what works and what doesn’t. This knowledge will prove invaluable as you continue to grow and evolve your business.