After running an online business for 10+ years, you would think I’d have “Email Broadcasting” figured out.

Normally I do.  In fact, I take great pride in my open and click through rates.

But recently I switched email providers (now using Aweber – aff link) and after sending my first email, I had a rude awakening.

I made a bunch of basic mistakes resulting in me looking like a complete idiot.

So in an effort to turn lemons into lemonade, here’s a list of email marketing mistakes to avoid (so you don’t have to make the same mistakes I did!).

MISTAKE #1:  A Generic “From” Name

Many people think the subject line of an email is the most important but it’s not… it’s the “From” name.  For example, if your wife/husband or mother/father sent you an email, you’d open it.

Why?

Because it’s from your loved one (aka… the “From” name is the reason you’re opening the email).

Therefore make sure you aren’t using generic “from” names like these:

2012-07-11_email03a

 

member only

I mean honestly, who is “Support” and “Member Only” anyway?

Exactly.

That’s why these emails don’t get read.

Use your real name Gado or your company name – not something generic.

MISTAKE #2 – A Weak Subject Line

Subject lines are important because in a full inbox, after the “From” name, the subject line is what will often determine whether your emails get opened.

And if your emails don’t get opened, they have zero chance of getting read (hence their importance).  So make them compelling, intriguing and exciting so that people want to open your emails.

How do you craft compelling, intriguing and exciting subject lines?

Here’s an easy exercise…

Look at your own inbox and ignore the “From” field.  Just look solely at the subject lines.  What ones do you want to open?

Make a note of those subject lines and ask yourself “How could I adapt this for my email?”

Often the best ideas are right in front of us 🙂

After a quick scan of my inbox today, here are a few that grabbed my attention:

Subject:  Huge confession…
Subject:  Here’s your pre-ordered bonus I promised
Subject:  You good for tomorrow night?
Subject:  I should have told you this before
Subject:  My Latest Test Results
Subject:  The 800lb Gorilla
Subject:  Beta Invite
Subject:  I’ve been trying a new supplement and here are the results…
Subject:  Please reply
Subject:  i’m a little jealous
Subject:  Top 100 tools and cool plugins

Now ask yourself… “how can I tweak these for my market?”

MISTAKE #3 – Crappy Opening Sentence

Some email clients (like Gmail) display some of the opening sentence right within the “email list”.

Here’s an example (sorry it’s so small):

2012-07-11_email01

Notice how the first line says “Having trouble viewing this email?  Click here..”

Not very appealing is it?

If your audience is scanning through their email, even if the subject line grabs their attention, this could turn them off.

So make the opening sentence good.

Make it lead into the next sentence.

(and keep it short and concise so that it fits in the preview).

The more you pay attention to the little things, the more likely your email will get read!

MISTAKE #4 – Screwed Up Merge Codes

Be careful with these.  If you DON’T have the merge code info for everyone you’re emailing to, don’t include the merge code.  Simple.

On the same token, make sure you have the merge code entered properly.  Admittedly, this is one of the mistakes I recently made myself (which is uber embarrassing because then people see something like this:

%$firstname$%

Normally I use cheap jerseys a template so it’s been years since I made this mistake.  But because I switched genova email providers, the merge codes are different and I forgot to cheap jerseys change them in the template… DOHT!

Yes, I looked like an idiot and received several emails from people telling me so (blush).  Don’t make the same mistake.

MISTAKE #5 – Links Don’t Work

When you have links in your emails, you should check that they are working.

Duh I hear you say 🙂

But trust me, the moment that you don’t check is the moment that you realize the links you included have a spelling error or something else is The causing an error.

[Hand raised]… this just recently happened to me as well (sigh).

This time I was sending an HTML email and highlighted some text that I wanted to link.  I added the URL and figured everything was good to go.

I didn’t check my links until after the emails had gone out and then I started receiving email replies telling me that the links weren’t working.  When I looked, they were right.

Not sure what happened between the copy/paste process but some funky character got added kiboshing the links.

Lesson learned:  Always check your links (even if you’re positive they are working!).

MISTAKE #6 – Links Aren’t Tracked

How can you improve the performance of your emails if you don’t know how many are getting opened or how many times people are clicking on the links from within your emails?

Unfortunately, many people blindly send out emails with “naked” links (links that aren’t tracked) so they have no clue how their emails are performing.

Bottom line, track your links.

Many of the email broadcast services have this built into their service but if not, you can always use a service like Linktrackr (aff link) to help you as well.

The key when tracking your links is to add some unique identifier so you know exactly where the traffic is coming from otherwise if you use the same tracking link elsewhere (social media, blog, etc.), you again won’t know exactly how well your email performed because all the “tracking” gets added together.

(and don’t Intervista forget to adjust the “identifier” for each email you send!)

MISTAKE #7 – Email Goes On and On and On and On

This one is up for debate but in my opinion, the purpose of an email is to continue the conversation elsewhere on the web where the cheap nfl jerseys environment is more dynamic (website with pictures, video, etc.).

So my recommendation is to keep the emails short (3 – 4 short paragraphs) with a link to where they can find more.

“Shorter” also means shorter sentences.

Don’t ramble.

Get to the point and you’ll improve your click throughs.

MISTAKE #8 – No Line Wrapping

It’s important to keep the width of your lines between 40-60 characters wide.

My personal preference is 45.

Why?

It makes it much easier to read and consume – which is what you want right?

When I’m writing my emails I use a program called Text Wrangler (Mac) and before I save the email, I always wrap the lines.

Here’s a screenshot of that option:

2012-07-11_email02_v2

Just remember, the easier it is to read, the more likely it will get read.

MISTAKE #9 – Not Previewing The Email

Preview the email before you send it.

Click all the links to make sure they work.

If Year you can, send a test to yourself… and then check it.

If you do this, you’ll likely find one or two things you’ll want to change.

(and it’s better to find these things before sending the entire blast!)

MISTAKE #10 – No Email “Footer”

At the bottom of every email you send, you should have links to your other products or websites.

Every time we send an email we make additional sales from these links.  If you don’t have something like this, you’re losing sales.

People won’t know what you have unless you tell them.

Here is what our email footer looks like for WishList Products:

*********************************************
Products Provided By WishList Products
*********************************************

>> WishList Member

Now you can easily create a membership site
by using WordPress and this powerful new
membership software.  The best part is, you
don't have to be "technical" to get going!

http://www.WishListMember.com

-----

>> WishList Insider

Get instant access to premium training,
resources and support for membership site
owners or people looking to create their own
online community.

http://www.WishListInsider.com

Conclusion

So there you have it, the Top 10 Email Mistakes.

MISTAKE #1:  A Generic “From” Name
MISTAKE #2 – A Weak Subject Line
MISTAKE #3 – Crappy Opening Sentence
MISTAKE #4 – Screwed Up Merge Codes
MISTAKE #5 – Links Don’t Work
MISTAKE #6 – Links Aren’t Tracked
MISTAKE #7 – Email Goes On and On and On and On
MISTAKE #8 – No Line Wrapping
MISTAKE #9 – Not Previewing The Email
MISTAKE #10 – No Email “Footer”

What other mistakes have you seen that aren’t on this list?

Let me know in the comments below.

All the best.

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