Email is a fabulous way to connect with clients and spread the word about new services, products, and promotions in your business. But small businesses (and even some of the big guys) are notorious for committing email marketing mistakes, and these seven blunders might be familiar to you.
1) Too many emails
The email inbox is the dragon everyone is struggling to slay these days. Between work, family, friends, and emails from their other favorite brands, your emails have to pass the test of being helpful without being annoying. It's a great idea to limit the number of emails you send to just a small handful each month (one per week or less is a great benchmark). Even more important, it is key to make sure you're sending emails with different content. Too many businesses fall into the trap of sending the same emails over and over. While it's okay to send a reminder about an event or service, going overboard is only going to get annoying on the receiving end. Plan each email so that you're able to give value in each one, whether it's an announcement, tip, discount, or anything else that will get readers excited to open your messages.
2) No pictures
You're in a visual line of work, so showcase it! Emails are a great medium to show off your best work. Even if you don't have a great new shot of a happy client to include, consider other ways to work in pictures, like showing a new display of your Paul Mitchell Original Hair Repair Treatment or a behind-the-scenes look at the salon. But more than anything, readers like to see pictures to help break up content.
3) No segmentation of lists
Email marketing provides an opportunity to reach out to the clients you want and get them the best offers. While it's great to have a general list for everyone, it's smart to create lists that help you target particular offers to those who are most likely to take advantage of them. Several email marketing platforms offer list segmentation so you can effectively do this. Consider what types of lists might be beneficial, likes ones for different types of services (color, cuts, etc.).
4) Not giving exclusive offers
People like to feel special, and giving them that feeling through email is a great way to pull in some business. People often sign up for email lists with the impression they'll get access to special deals, and few deliver. Make sure you're creating promotions just for your email clients that aren't shared elsewhere (Facebook, in salon, etc.) every once in a while, another way to entice subscribers to open.
5) Not establishing a call to action
Calls to action are a cornerstone of marketing, but it's easy to let it slip through the cracks. Make sure to consider lingo that tells readers exactly what you want them to do--book an appointment now, view the gallery now--and make it easy for them to do so, like linking to an online appointment system.
6) Little subject line prep
The subject line is short and sweet yet one of the most important parts of sending an email campaign. It's what gets readers to click and, typically, gives them an idea of what they're going to read inside. When working on your next campaign, spend 5 minutes brainstorming a list of different ways to title the email. Think variety: questions, a few words, a sentence. Pick your favorite and see how it does. Watch trends and open rates to see if some styles and structures for subject lines do better than others. Eventually you'll be able to better define what entices subscribers to open.
7) Sending emails without permission
Did you know it's technically illegal to send emails to people who didn't give their permission to be on your email list? Too often, small business owners take an email address off a business card and enter it into their system thinking the person won't mind. Some might not, but those who do will likely report you for spam. Too many spam reports are detrimental to your account. Collecting emails through an official opt-in on your site or social media pages are a safe bet, and if you collect emails in person, always ask or make it clear that's why you're collecting the email address.
If you've nodded your head in recognition you're committing one or more of these email marketing mistakes, don't worry! There's still time to change your ways. The best way to avoid most of these problems is to take the time to plan ahead. It's easier to make mistakes when emails are written in haste, so take your time and get something out that's effective instead of sending emails just to check it off your list. Not sure where to start? Here's a guide to launching an effective email newsletter.