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With so many businesses incorporating email marketing into their marketing strategies, competition in subscribers’ inboxes has become intense. To create successful e-blasts, it is now necessary to go beyond just blasting email lists with generic content and put extensive thought into email marketing aspects including personalization, segmentation, analytics, and much more. To help your e-blasts stand out from the masses and become effective communication tools, here are some of the top email marketing mistakes and how to avoid them.

Don’t: Blast your content

Do: Focus on segmentation

With more competition in email marketing and personalization becoming key for consumers, businesses now need to work harder to send out emails that are relevant to their subscribers. A beginner’s step is to segment your email lists based on age and gender and then go more in depth and focus on variables like purchasing habits, engagement levels, values, and more. Segmenting your email lists this way can put your email marketing strategy ahead of the game. For example, when consumers abandon their online shopping carts, sending an e-blast with a reminder to not forget about pending purchases is an effective way to segment your subscribers with personalized content.

Don’t: Go in blind

Do: Write content calendars and create goals

Each email you send to subscribers should be backed with a purpose to achieve certain goals that you set prior to sending the email. One step in planning out your email marketing strategy is to create content calendars with information that you know you will want to push during certain months. These calendars will not only keep you on track when you want to send out emails but will also allow you enough time to write thoughtful content. Before you send an email, you should also set goals for what you want each specific email to achieve, including what you want your subscribers to learn or what you want them to do next.

Don’t: Get lazy with subject lines

Do: Get creative

A subject line is your email’s first impression to a subscriber and is often what compels a subscriber to actually open the email. Because of this strong role that subject lines play, it is crucial to come up with creative subject lines that will capture the attention of your subscribers. Incorporating emojis, first names of subscribers, and catchy lingo into your subject lines can make your emails stand out. It is also important to continually test your subject lines and see what is resonating with your subscribers, whether that be plain, conversational text or text filled with eye-catching emojis.

Don’t: Forget a call to action

Do: Give your subscribers another step to take

Having an unclear or nonexistent call-to-action in your email drastically decreases its effectiveness. When a subscriber is interested in the content of your email, you need to capture them right then and there, so including obvious call-to-action buttons will let them know what steps they need to take next (ie. Watch Now, Shop Now, Learn More). When you sit down to write your email content, also be sure that your copy and headings expand on these call-to-action buttons. This will ensure that your call to action is clear so that you do not confuse subscribers on what exactly you want from them.

Don’t: Ignore email marketing analytics

Do: Analyze open rates, click-through rates, etc.

Sending out enticing emails on a regular basis is only one part of a successful email marketing strategy. In order to ensure that your strategy is performing at its best, you need to constantly analyze data in your email analytics and use what you find while crafting your next email. Comparing open rates from previous e-blasts can show you what subject lines and preview text led to more views, what time of the day sending out an e-blast generated more opens, and more. You can also compare click-through rates from previous emails to see what calls to action led more people to engage with your email by clicking images or links.

Don’t: Send out emails spontaneously

Do: Be consistent

One of the biggest goals of any email marketing strategy is to build lasting relationships with your consumers. To do so, it is important to send e-blasts on a consistent basis that is relative to your consumers, whether that means once a month or once every few months. Consistent emails keep the conversations between your business and your consumers open and steady, which, in turn, can keep you top-of-mind. However, businesses should also be weary to not send too many emails to their subscribers, which can result in subscribers unsubscribing to your email list. Finding a happy medium between too many and not enough e-blasts will make your emails more valuable to subscribers. With a steady email marketing plan, your subscribers may also find your company a more reliable and trustworthy source of information, versus if you spontaneously send out emails.