5 Email Marketing Mistakes That Make You Look Dumb


Let me guess…

You haven’t started email marketing yet.

You’re pressed for time, and social media marketing seems to soak up what little marketing time you have like a sponge.

You’ve probably read that marketing with email is stunningly effective, but there are just so many demands on your time.

And you’re not quite sure how to start.

You’re afraid of making stupid mistakes.

Let’s take a look at the most damaging, but easy to avoid, mistakes you can make.

10 minutes is all it’s going to take to learn exactly what you need to avoid.

And put the power of email marketing in your business toolbox.

Let’s take a look at what you need to avoid like the bubonic plague:

1. Sign up for our newsletter

This is a common, and fatal, mistake.

Asking people to sgin up for your newspaper means that your list will never grow-you simply won’t get people to sign up.

People don’t want newsletters, because they have no interest in hearing that your company has a new premises, or secretary, or Twitter handle, or Facebook page.


They want to know what’s in it for them, if they sign up, and how quickly they will get it.

Download your free report immediately and discover how to save 7,000 euros in your business in the next 6 weeks”;

or “Discover the 7 costly mistakes that 84% of Irish business owners make”;

or “Learn how to double your Twitter followers in 3 weeks”;

or “Discover how to grow your business making cheap videos with your mobile phone-download your free report now”.

All of these offerings offer a reason for the would be subscriber to sign up.

Quite frankly, “sign up for our newsletter” is simply not good enough.

People are too busy, too distracted, and too concerned with their privacy to give you their email address for a newsletter telling them that you have secured a new car parking space for your business.

2. Failing to prepare your email messages

To get your relationship with your new subscribers off to a good start, you should have at least 5 valuable emails loaded up in your autoresponder.

These will be delivered automatically at intervals of your choosing-perhaps 3 or 5 days-once each new subscriber signs up.

I cannot emphasise too much that these emails better be really useful to your subscribers. Put your best foot forward, and give them genuinely helpful tips which are not just statements of the obvious.

Over time, you can decide to send broadcast messages as and when you desire, but I recommend a solid base of automatic messages in the early weeks to build your relationship, and get the relationship off to a great start.

Your messages could contain useful tips or answers to frequently asked questions in your industry; but they cannot be overly promotional or “salesy”.

If they are, you will have a high rate of unsubscribes, and fail to build a relationship of trust and authority with your subscribers: the reason for email marketing in the first place.

3. Your emails are overly promotional

People don’t sign up to receive a series of sales messages. Your goal is to demonstrate that you know your stuff, regardless of your industry, that you can be trusted, and that they can be comfortable doing business with you.

Or even recommending you to their family, friends, colleagues.

You don’t achieve this by hammering your subscribers’ inboxes in a frenzy of pitches.

You must earn the right to pitch, to make an offer.

That’s what email marketing is about.

As a guide, consider 1 promotional email for every 5-7 emails sent.

And deliver value, real value, in all your emails.

4. Failing to provide a valuable incentive to drive sign ups

Tip number 1 above tells you that offering a “newsletter” simply doesn’t cut the mustard.

So, you need to spend some effort and time creating a valuable, useful incentive to persuade him to sign up and part with his email address to join your list.

This could be a free report, a short series of videos or mp4s, a free CD or DVD-the options are limitless. But, the bottom line is it must be sufficiently valuable to encourage people to subscribe to your list.

And, never forget: your email list is the most valuable asset you can build online.

5. Failing to recognise the potential of email marketing

If you spend a little time studying, and learning, and experimenting, you will discover one thing: anyone who knows his stuff about online marketing will tell you that the single biggest asset you can build online is a big, engaged, email list.

I have to say I have seen few, or any, Irish businesses using email marketing well. So, the potential is enormous, because anyone doing it professionally, and smartly, will have a huge opportunity and early adopter advantage.


The art of email marketing

Firstly, to get started with email marketing for your business, take a look at how to get started with email marketing.

Then, give some thought to your “ethical bribe”, your incentive, to get people to sign up. This might be a report, a white paper, a short series of videos, etc.

Make sure that it’s a good one, one which will be hard to resist. And promote it aggressively.

Don’t think that, because you are giving something away for free, you don’t need to promote it. You most certainly do. So, make sure your “opt in” form is prominently placed on your website or blog.

And then, deliver value. Build a relationship with your subscribers. Position yourself as the “go to” source in your industry. Create an immensely valuable asset for your business.

Look around at your competitors, and your industry. You will probably find that you are the only one using email marketing to build a relationship with your potential customers.

And, if you avoid the mistakes above, you will almost certainly be the only one doing it well.