By Fiona Ness on Tue 17 December 2013 in Email Marketing
I get an average of 60 emails a day, and that’s just to one inbox. Most of them go unread or get deleted. So in aid of this post I made a conscious effort to look at my emails and work out exactly what it was that made me pass them by or worse hit delete.
Before I get going I’d like to apologise to anyone mentioned in this post. It’s just my opinion. You’ll notice from the size of some of the companies that my one deleted email isn’t causing them too many problems and it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re bad at email marketing.
1. Just images
My colleague received an email recently from Disney, you can see it here, you’ll see it is full of images and not much else.
It’s from a big brand so, debatably, they can get away with it, but SMEs usually don’t have this luxury. Keep the cool pictures for your website and engage the reader with good content in the email
It is worth noting that last week Google threw a spanner in the works here. They’re now automatically downloading images. There’s a bit of information here on the impact it might have on email marketing, but at the moment, especially in B2B I don’t think it will have a huge effect.
2. Generic subject
This was the subject line of an email I received the other day:
‘Are you ready for 2014?’
No, I’m not ready, I’m not even ready for Christmas! But this isn’t the only problem with this subject line. It doesn’t tell me anything about what the email is going to offer me, what problems they are going to fix, or how they’re going to fix them…
3. All the information is below the fold
Now I love this company and luckily their subject lines usually intrigue me but whenever I receive an email from HubSpot I just see their message telling me they’ve written a new blog. Take a look at what I can see in my preview pane.
My preview pane doesn’t give me any new information and apart from the subject line I have no idea what they want to tell me. Unless you’re the market leader or are a ‘big name’ like HubSpot this is unlikely to be effective. Make sure your preview pane has all the best bits and ideally a call to action.
4. Impersonal sender
There are some instances when I’m more than happy to receive an email from a company as a whole for example an order confirmation, or a product update, but on the whole personalities have a much better success rate than companies. This is especially true in the case of SMEs. Wherever possible I would send your campaign from someone the recipient knows whether it’s their Account Manager or a well-known name in your business.
5. Subject is the same as sender
This is just lazy. I don’t really have a lot else to say, except subject and sender are two of the main things people notice when they receive your email. Don’t waste them.
6. Incorrect personalisation
This isn’t one I’ve seen in a little while so fingers crossed it’s a thing of the past, but I thought I’d mention it just in case. There is nothing worse than getting an email that they’ve tried to personalise and either it’s just wrong or your name is spelt incorrectly. As a general rule, unless I know that my data is accurate and complete I don’t use personalisation. Interestingly enough, geographical personalisation has proven to be more effective, plus it’s easier to do. Why not try it instead?
7. Boring subject line
I wrote a blog last week about what your recipient first notices when they receive your email, subject line was number 1. If the subject line is interesting enough I’ll work harder to get the content (like in the case of HubSpot) and forgive other annoyances.
8. Irrelevant information
Recently I bought a new car. It was very exciting, but it wasn’t a quick purchase. I shopped around a bit and consequently ended up giving my email address out to a lot of garages. I’m now receiving countless numbers of emails about cars I might be interested in, even though they know that I decided to buy elsewhere. To make it even worse, I have no interest in cars, so I don’t even enjoy having a browse.
9. You send them all the time!
This one can be difficult to get right. No one wants to send too much, but not sending enough can be just as bad. Even if I’ve signed up to your emails, I don’t want to receive 4 or 5 a day (I’m looking at you Groupon). I don’t even register these emails anymore, not even enough to delete them.
So that’s it 9 reasons why I’ve deleted emails. What I noticed when looking back at my list, and you have probably be thinking is… I’m really fussy. I would agree!
The thing is, I might be fussy, but there are a lot of people far busier and fussier than me. Try comparing your next campaign to this list and see how far your email would get.
It’s the 9th day of ProspectSoft Christmas and we’re offering you 4 hours of eMail Marketing consultancy for the price of 2. If your campaigns aren’t as successful as you think they could be, you’re not sure if your emails follow best practice guides or you just want some inspiration for your campaigns in the New Year get in touch with us.