TROY, Mich., March 18, 2009 — Quell Interactive, a strategic digital marketing unit of The Quell Group, shares The Seven Sins of Email Marketing. This is where most email marketing efforts can fall short:
1. Not having a strategy
2. Focusing on non-relevant content
3. Being “sales-y”
4. Missing an opportunity in your top-line message
5. Using a generic graphic template
6. Using an outdated list
7. Sending at the wrong time
“Properly done, email marketing can be one of the most powerful tools available for building relationships and maintaining a dialogue with customers and clients,” said Curtis Jackson, senior vice president of Quell Interactive. “Given the proliferation of bulk-email providers, it has become easier to integrate this tactic with other marketing efforts. However, easier does not mean it will be done well. The challenge resides in developing a solid strategy and avoiding the common mistakes we frequently see. Falling victim to any of these may do more harm than good to your company’s marketing efforts, your brand, and your reputation.”
1. Not having a strategy – Before developing a campaign, there must be a strategy detailing what you want to say, who you want to target, reasons for the email, key messages that outline your unique value, and the metrics by which your company will gauge the campaign’s success.
2. Focusing on non-relevant content – The message contained in the email must be important, timely and relevant to your audience. Emails with the highest opt-in and open rates are most often thought-leadership topics or personal insights into industry and market trends.
3. Being “sales-y” – Avoid the sales pitch. If your readers sense a pitch, your message will not only get deleted, they may choose to unsubscribe from your mailings or worse—report your email as spam.
4. Missing an opportunity in your top-line message – Since many recipients will likely view your message in an email preview pane (with images turned off), or on an email system or PDA that does not support HTML content, it’s important for your top-line message to include a link to a web-based version. This is your chance to capture someone’s attention if he or she doesn’t want to scroll down for the text.
5. Using a generic graphic template – Using a cookie-cutter graphic template from a bulk-email service rather than a customized layout incorporating your specific branding cues can be perceived as lacking professionalism and substance, and can greatly diminish effectiveness.
6. Using an outdated mailing list – A permission-based list of opt-in subscribers increases open rates and reduces undeliverable emails. Sending to contacts without permission may result in your emails being reported as spam. Regularly “scrubbing” your list is key to maintaining valid information.
7. Sending at the wrong time – A message sent at the wrong time is a message unread. Recent industry data suggests optimal days for delivery are Tuesday and Wednesday. As for time, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. tends to yield higher open rates. Avoid sending on Friday or Monday because your email is likely to get lost in a cluttered inbox. Always consider the recipients’ time zone and business hours.
Quell Interactive focuses on supporting brands in digital space. It specializes in assisting clients to cost-effectively maximize digital content without compromising their brands. Services include website design and programming; search engine optimization; social and mobile media; vlogs; blogs; podcasts; pay-per-click advertising; microsites; and online newsrooms. Quell Interactive is a unit of integrated brand communications firm The Quell Group. quellinteractive.com.