How not to do email marketing

avoid email marketing being seen as spamTrying to catch people’s attention is not easy when their email inbox is flooded with emails they feel they have not asked for and have no time to read.

So, any business planning an email marketing campaign that wants to attract readers’ attention, whether it is passive to stay ‘top of mind’, or active and get them to sign up to offers, make further inquiries or buy an item, needs its communications to be engaging, relevant to the recipient and succinct.

Of course, an accurate profile of the ideal recipient, whether influencer or customer should have been researched and the goal of the piece of marketing clearly defined. So, writing the e-mail’s content should be relatively straightforward, shouldn’t it?

Indeed, irrespective of how great the content is, getting recipients to open emails to read great content is a challenge.

There are plenty of pitfalls to avoid if you don’t want your communication to be marked as spam or be listed as ‘unsubscribe’.

What to avoid when writing content for an email marketing campaign

A business’ credibility can be easily wrecked by an email containing spelling errors, typographical errors or broken links. The advice is to proof read thoroughly and preferably using someone who has not been involved in the writing.

Do not use deceptive subject lines that imply the sender and recipient have been in an ongoing conversation when they clearly have not been. Equally, do not send emails with no-reply to sender addresses. It is a disincentive to those who might be willing to engage further.

Whatever the purpose of the email, make sure it offers something of value in a way that interests the reader – hence the importance of a detailed customer profile.

This should be the first message before explaining how the sender business can satisfy that requirement, and even then, keep any information about the company as short as possible.

The subject header is key to getting the recipient to open the email. Once opened the recipient shouldn’t feel they have been duped into opening it, instead they should feel pleased they did.

Too many calls to action can feel like bullying or badgering and can be off-putting.

If the email is to contain images they should not take too long to load onscreen.  At the same time, do not rely solely on an image for the email.  Image-only emails are often seen as spam.

And finally, you have just eight seconds at most to get the reader engaged and interested so KISS (Keep it Simple and Short) is the way to go.

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