It is time to put to bed all those Email Marketing Myths that are attempting to ruin the reputation of email. Email marketing is not dead, in fact, it is not only alive and kicking, it is a major player in achieving eCommerce success.
Once upon a time, way back in the dark ages when email was first invented there was a glimmer of hope in the eyes of marketers that they had found gold.
Email was seen as a quick, easy-to-use tool that could get a promotional message out to mass audiences around the globe. Whilst this was the beginning of email marketing, those first steps into direct mass marketing caused stigmas that have affected the effectiveness and reputation of email. Technological advances and changing in marketing methodology have been dramatically modified since those early days, but sadly, many of the myths, have remained.
There are over 294 billion emails being sent on a daily basis, leading to an average of 2-3 promotional emails hitting our email inboxes daily. The reason that so little promotional emails are arriving into our inboxes is down to the advancement of technology that has helped rid of the issues that were once so prominent.
Whilst I begin the task of unmasking email marketing myths, I want to highlight that email is used for various audience types and what may work for one business may not work for another. Do you want to continue listening to the myths and risk losing thousands of dollars in revenue or do you want to unmask the myths and give email marketing the credit it deserves?
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Myth 1 – Email is Spam
Email marketing methodology works on permission-based marketing meaning that your lists should comprise only of those that have actively sought to subscribe to your business. The content of such emails can be fully personalized using actual user behavior to ensure that messages relate directly to each subscriber’s personal needs.
Myth 2 – Keep subscribers on your lists at all costs
Huge mistake, didn’t you know that it’s not the size that counts? It is a fact that the average email list decreases in size by up to 25% annually due to various reasons, email address no longer in use or your products no longer suit their needs and so forth. If your emails are not being read and you have a low open rate and high bounce rate you will be risking ruining your email reputation. Get rid of those poor email addresses from your lists now.
Myth 3 – Email blacklists are for spammers
Continuing on the theme of email reputation we can already see that you could accidentally face being branded a spammer if your subscribers are not opening your messages. Email blacklists are based on your email reputation as a sender. Make sure your lists remain clean by removing subscribers from your email lists and ensuring that you provide a clear way subscribers can unsubscribe.
Myth 4 – Subject lines should show an incentive discount
If you want to shout out to your subscribers that this email is a sales email then go ahead and add incentives directly into your subject line. But beware. Email subscribers do not always want to feel forced into a sale so you could be at risk of increasing your un-open rate. Not everyone wants to be bombarded with ‘sales incentives’. Email subject lines should be value-added but not “salesy.”
Myth 5 – Weekends are a no-no for emails
We aren’t going to tell you what day works best as this differs for every business, but what we do know is that the weekend is a very popular time for emails to be opened on mobile devices. It is an important to remember that our World is becoming increasingly more mobile. Make sure your emails are mobile responsive so that you do not lose subscribers to poor quality emails.
Myth 6 – Personalization means using first name
Personalization is far more than just including a first name tag. Technology has taken personalization to the next level and allows you to personalize emails down to the very last activity that the subscriber has taken on your website. Use tags and list segmentation to ensure that you are creating targeted messages.
Myth 7 – Links, links and more links
We have seen emails that hyperlink almost every second word in the hope the subscriber will click. Stop. Emails should have one very clear call-to-action on the page so not to confuse the subscriber.
Myth 8 – Mass email delivers one message to all subscribers
Email marketing has gone a long way since the days when a blanket email blast would be the same for each and every subscriber. Email marketing platforms have technology that allows you to segment your audience so you can create content that is relevant to each individual group. In addition to your segmented lists, you can include tags within each email template that derive data directly from an individual’s on-site behavior creating highly targeted personalized messages.
Myth 9 – Send a test email to yourself to check it works
Whilst this is a good idea it is not enough to ensure that your email will work on every type of device. Your email is the face of your business and you want to ensure that it looks presentable in every situation. Test your emails with a program such as Litmus to ensure that your emails are responsive to all-device types.
Myth 10 – Increase your list size by buying lists
When you are just starting out it may be very tempting to purchase an email list. It may quickly grow your lists and even pull in a number of sales but in reality, all you are doing is generating a mass of unsolicited subscribers. As we have mentioned before, unsolicited subscribers will ruin your email reputation and risk you being blacklisted.