Email marketing is still a vital way for SMEs to connect with their customers and leads. When email is used correctly, it can provide a way of keeping in touch with past customers, which can help to secure repurchases and build brand reputation. However, there are some vital mistakes made by even the largest of brands which are easily avoidable.
- No clear call to action
Emails are a great way to connect directly with your customers and can lead to an increase in web traffic and sales if done correctly. But, if there is no clear call to action, whether that be ‘visit our website’, ‘follow us on twitter’, or ‘give us a call on…’, consumers won’t know where to go next. We live in an era where information is easily assessable, and consumers expect an easy flow between all marketing platforms. By leaving out a call to action link, you will be losing out on the potential sales of customers who aren’t engaged enough to close the email and search for your website, but would have clicked through if there was a clear link.
- Irrelevant subject lines
Unfortunately some brands use mild deception to get a higher open rate by using misleading or irrelevant subject lines. And while this may cause your open rate to shoot through the roof, you need to think further ahead than these statistics. Consumers will be put off if the email isn’t what they were expecting, and that may cause them to unsubscribe, and it will almost definitely prevent them from engaging with the email and clicking through any links. Nobody likes to be misled, and deceptive subject lines will damage the relationship with your customers in the long run.
- Not acknowledging mistakes
Mistakes happen, we are only human after all, but often a bigger error is not acknowledging and trying to correct these mistakes. Maybe you offered an invalid promotion or announced the wrong date for an event; but mistakes like these can have detrimental effects on your sales or reputation. A way to help rectify this, is to send out an apology email. These are not always appropriate, but a good rule of thumb is to consider if your email has sent out false information which may interfere with customer’s ability to act on your message or if it has damaged your reputation. If either, or both, of these are true, it’s time to think about an ‘oops’ email. If the mistake is a minor typo (please proof read to ensure this never happens), then an apology email will seem overdramatic and may cause some readers to unsubscribe.
However, if it’s an important mistake, an apology email can go a long way to repair any damage, especially if it contains a discount code or voucher of sorts.
- Take ownership
Apologies followed by an excuse will often create more damage than the original email, so take ownership. Make the apology sincere, and if applicable, sign it from a senior team member, rather than from the brand.
- Use an appropriate subject line
Adding words such as ‘oops’ or ‘apologies’ to the subject line can really improve open rates. Now, this doesn’t mean you should create a fake mistake, just to send out an apology email. But, you want your apology to be read by everyone who opened your original email, so using a subject line that encourages opens will help this.
- Use an appropriate tone of voice
If your email has caused offense, a serious tone is always the most appropriate. However, if the mistake was light-hearted, and your brand is known for its humorous tone, feel free to get creative.
Ellie is a Digital Marketing Coordinator at Digity and enjoys creating brands, organising social media schedules and creating engaging content. She is also studying for her Professional Certificate in Marketing with the CIM.