To get a better idea of typical errors email marketers make, we sat down with one of our Technical Account Managers, Kevin Fitch. Kevin outlined for us some of the most common problems email marketers have, the causes of their problems and, most importantly, the solutions to said problems:
1. Blatant Carelessness
I know this may come as a shock to some of you, but sheer apathy will never render positive results. There are a fair amount of people who find it difficult to perform simple tasks because they never opted to take advantage of free (yes, FREE) tutorials or even read basic instructions. This is comparable to burning a microwave dinner or shrinking a cashmere sweater in the dryer – If the product came with simple instructions and you failed to follow them, the end result is more than likely not due to a defective product. Be sure to understand how your email platform operates before trying to send an email to 13,456 recipients. Know your tools, pay attention, and half of your problems will be solved right off the bat.
2. Lack of Testing Before Sending
This mistake goes hand-in-hand with the aforementioned problem of blatant carelessness and is a very common user-error. Although sending an email sounds like a relatively basic task, you would be surprised (or maybe not) how often mistakes could have been prevented by sending a test email before launching a campaign. Sometimes in the email creation process, a button can get hit, a typo can be made, coding can be altered and the end result looks nothing like you meant for it to look. Problem is, this error is not only obvious to you – Your 13,456 recipients will see the exact same mistake. Sending a test email to yourself and other members of your team will allow you to proof the email one last time before deploying the message to your entire list of recipients.
3. Not Managing Lists Well
Good list management practices are necessary for growing your list of subscribers and increasing delivery rates. Ensuring that email addresses are not dead and belong to actual living, breathing human beings will obviously be a major step in making sure that your emails will be read. The WhatCounts email platform has the ability to flag dead email addresses and remove them from your recipients list. However, if you continue to import the same address and tell the system to resubscribe that email address, you are going to get lower delivery rates. This is also true for recipients that have opted out of being on your email subscription list, but were re-entered manually for one reason or another. However, in this case, not only will you have reduced deliverability rates, but you’ll also wind up with a very irritated recipient who has the ability to discuss your organization via various forms of social media.
4. Resorting to Bad Practices to Increase Numbers
Understandably, you are looking to strengthen your reach and increase your number of subscribers through every means within your power. But, to quote the incomparable Spiderman (or Voltaire, if you know your history): “With great power comes great responsibility.” Sending emails to a larger number of recipients and including keywords that are typically flagged as spam will put you on the fast-track to getting blacklisted. Get to know tools that you can use to scan your emails for these hot button keywords, such as the SpamAssassin feature on the WhatCounts SaaS platform. The overuse of even common words like “free” could get your account flagged as spam by ISPs will negatively affect your deliverability rates.
Sound Like You? Fix The Problem.
Of course, this list is merely a summary of the most common mistakes made by email marketers, but many of the issues boil down to a lack of one major element: Awareness. You can prevent making careless mistakes, avoid getting blacklisted, and actively increase your deliverability rates by merely being aware of your actions (or lack thereof). Look back on your past email campaigns and pinpoint where a higher level of awareness could have negatively affected the outcome – Did you fall into these same traps? If so, note these mistakes to make improvements for future campaigns. After all, recognizing a problem is the first step toward solving it.