People joined your mailing list because they liked something about your brand and in return they have trusted you with their personal data. Email marketing is all about showing you deserve that trust and building your relationship with them.
But there are mistakes some brands make with their emails that really annoy people and will test that loyalty. Customers won’t usually tell you this (unless it is an actual data breach), they will just delete or worse still, unsubscribe, and they’ll remember that when they next need your service.
Here are just some of the mistakes to avoid, to maintain trust with your database:
Getting their name wrong
Of course you need to get the email basics right – if your email is full of typos or broken links, you’ve already lost credibility. But if you get the personalisation wrong, whether it is their name, personal title, gender, or other personal detail, you can cross over into offending people. Personalisation is so effective, getting it wrong is WORSE than not using it at all. Make sure you and anyone who sends emails for you knows how to get this right, every time.
Using too much urgency too often
Sometimes, yes, a discount is ending, or the limited places are about to sell out and your email should reflect the urgency to get your target audience to act. But if ALL your emails are hyper-urgent and you always have a sale ending (like the classic furniture store advert), your readers will get tired of it and you. Make sure you’re building the relationship with regular, useful email content and save the urgency for when it is really needed.
Click-baiting subject lines
When email as a marketing channel is under-performing, some brands turn to more sneaky tactics just to get readers to open their emails. ‘Our phone call last week’ or ‘Your account is at risk’ might get concerned readers opening your email but when they see irrelevant or sales content, they’ll feel tricked. These are extreme and spam-like examples but remember to avoid sensationalised subject lines which lead to a high open rate but low responses and high unsubscribes.
Sending irrelevant emails
If your contact has already told you a piece of data about themselves, given an opinion in a survey, or simply made a purchase with you, USE that information to make sure they only get relevant emails. For example, if a client has said they aren’t interested in a certain product, or they have already booked onto a one-off event, don’t keep promoting it to them on email. It is not only a waste of time but leads them to think you don’t care about them as an individual. Make the most of your database by using lists, segmentation and exclusions so your sends are relevant to the readers.
Too many OR too few emails
How many times have you hit unsubscribe after you reached your limit with multiple emails from a brand? Too many emails is the number one complaint most people have about email marketing. Think really carefully before sending multiple emails per week – will it get you the response you want? On the flip side, if you are getting sign-ups to your mailing list via your website and NOT immediately sending an automated welcome email, you are missing out on a great way to build trust. That customer is giving you the clearest sign they want to hear from you, so respond immediately with something friendly (and a welcome bonus if possible) and let them know what they can expect from you email-wise. Then if you have promised monthly content, make sure you send it. Don’t wait until you want something from them to first get in touch.
When planning and sending your emails, never forget that each member of your database is a person who has invited you to be part of their world, even in a small way. Email is personal and should always aim to build loyalty, trust and goodwill in your brand. If you would like some email support, as an Email Marketing Consultant I’m here to help.
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