Email marketing – 8 common mistakes that impact the success rate

A report published by Return Path mentions globally ‘mobile’ leads as the environment people read their emails @ 55% compared to 30% web and 20% desktop.  Mobile also scores higher than desktop in terms of ‘content fully read’ @ 64% vs. 45%.  Gmail has the highest share @ 59% (compared to 6% in 2012).  There will be differences across markets depending on the email clients being used, access to internet, the type of industry and audience.  But there are common mistakes that impact success rates, irrespective of the market or the audience.  These seem obvious but nevertheless still common

Marketo lists these as:

  1. Unclear subject lines.  We have all had instances when the subject line doesn’t in anyway relate to what the actual content is.  It’s important therefore for the subject line to include keywords that relate to the content inside
  2. Poor email list hygiene.   Periodic email list clean-up is required to ensure the delivery/open rate is healthy
  3. Failure to distinguish between emails being delivered to the ‘inbox’ vs ‘spam’.  There are tools that can analyse email deliveries at a granular level to make this distinction
  4. No engagement segmentation.  Ensure the emails are sent staggered according to the engagement (those who open/read more) score.  A higher engagement score for the first batch ensures the second batch benefits from the ‘high reputation score’ by the ISPs
  5. No re-engagement strategy.  Design an effective re-activation strategy based on behaviour data
  6. Using image-based CTA buttons.  This affects the open rate as many recipients are unable to see the image.  The solution is to used HTML button that looks and feels like an image button
  7. No mobile optimisation. With the above statistics, it’s clear how important it’s to have the emails – content and design – optimised for mobiles
  8. Bad testing decisions.  Random timing and small sample size are not effective while testing.  And test a single variable at a time (image, copy, CTA)

Getting the above right along with creative/unique email sign-up forms can drive up the success rates.  Here are some great examples of effective email sign-up forms.  

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Sourav Ganguly

About the Author Sourav Ganguly

Sourav Ganguly is the chief media officer at Centric. Leading a ten-man team of optimizers, planners, and strategist, he worked with clients to deliver significant returns on marketing investment. He can be reached on sourav.ganguly@centric.ae

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