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Diana Nadim
28 May 2019
Reading time: 6 min

9 Content Attributes That Damage Your Email Marketing

Whether you create your own marketing emails as an eCommerce website owner or work to better your clients’ businesses through email marketing, creating the perfect content for your target demographic can be difficult.

According to 99 Firms, 39% of marketers never personalize emails, with 21% admitting to never use segmentation in their email marketing efforts. Add to the fact that 48% of email traffic is considered spam and that 80% of receivers delete the email if it is not optimized or formatted and you can see the problem quite clearly.

However, this lack of understanding and content curation can be amended through careful email marketing creation and delivery methods. With that in mind, let’s take a look at several crucial content attributes that actively damage your email marketing campaigns and their overall effectiveness at converting would-be consumers.

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Benefits of Proper Email Marketing

Before talking about how different content attributes affect your final sales performance, it’s worth noting why the process of email marketing is worth refining. While email remains one of the most popular communication channels on the planet, it’s also quite light-weight and prone to numerous customization and marketing capabilities. As such, email marketing can bring several benefits to your brand’s advertisement push, including but not limited to:

  • Established Industry Authority: since many if not all B2B companies use email correspondence to send and receive business proposals to their networks, email marketing can help you establish your brand on the market. You can create a strong industry authority in terms of establishing a professional, trustworthy image for your brand among B2B stakeholders.
  • High Conversion Rates: in terms of B2C engagement, well-written and formatted email marketing materials will indeed help your conversion rates significantly. As we’ve previously mentioned, consumers are more likely to engage and convert to brands which utilize curated, well thought-out marketing materials instead of relying on spam, shock value and all-cap subject lines.
  • Positive ROI: lastly, putting effort and resources into email marketing will always net positive a return on your investment. The more care and energy you put into your marketing materials, email included, the more positive reactions you will garner. Don’t look at email marketing content creation as an unnecessary expense, rather as a future investment.
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Content Attributes to Keep an Eye Out For

1. No Proper Subject Line

Many would argue that the most important content attribute of email marketing is the subject line. After all, potential consumers will always read the subject line of a received email before deciding whether or not to open it. As such, your subject line should always be written in a professional, respectful manner, without relying on cheap click-bait tactics.

Formatting choices which involve numerous special characters (exclamation points for example), capitalized statements and similar tricks which rely on momentary emotional engagement won’t help your email marketing efforts. If anything, these types of subject lines will hurt your brand’s reputation and place you on the proverbial black list of spam email accounts which will bury your chances at brand reputation growth.Lack of “Why” Behind your Email

2. Lack of “Why” Behind your Email

Depending on how you obtained your consumers’ email addresses, you should state the intent behind your email marketing as soon as possible. The opening lines of your email content should contain a concise introduction of who you are as an individual, your title, as well as the name of the comany you represent.

Afterward, you should explain how you came about the email address of the recipient and offer your opening sales pitch shorty afterward. Don’t spend too much time on introducing your company or product portfolio to a cold email recipient. Do your best to earn their trust in your brand and that you are indeed a legitimate business and not a spammer. Once the “why” of your email is clearly justified, you will have much better chances at converting your email marketing recipients.

3. Lack of Audience Targeting

You cannot generalize email marketing content, especially if you offer products or services in multiple fields as a conglomerate brand. Audience segmentation is an important aspect of building high quality email marketing campaigns which bring concrete results to the table.

For example, millennials might react well to a sales pitch containing tech jargon, smart devices, digital services and a casual tone of voice. Elderly or people with extensive educational background might prefer a more formal approach to writing in the emails they receive, with an accent on different types of products. Make sure that you are clear on whom you write your email marketing content for in order for it to actually work in terms of attracting sales and recurring revenue.

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4. Long-Form Sales Pitch

Overly long emails with no rhyme or takeaway will likely end up in the Junk folder quite quickly. Similar to social media content, people are simply not used to reading complex, long-form emails which take entire paragraphs to get to the point.

In order to avoid this, you should focus on creating short-form sales pitches following your subject line and introduction. You can use platforms such as Trust My Paper and Hemingway to optimize the legibility and formatting of your email marketing sales pitches. Offer the base minimum information on what you are selling, its features and benefits, as well as a hyperlink for more information. Any consumer interested in your product or service will be able to follow the link back to your website for additional info and purchase options.

5. Lacking Social Proof

Sales pitches without social proof tend to fall on deaf ears. Cold email marketing should always be accompanied by statistical proof of your product’s or service’s success on the market. Numeric data such as number of satisfied customers or the average score you enjoy on a certain aggregate website work wonders for the sale.

It’s also a good idea to include reviews, testimonials and satisfied users’ comments in regards to certain products which are the highlight of your email marketing at the moment. Infographics, charts and visualized data work wonders in terms of generating sales due to their intuitive and understandable nature. Failing to add “proof” of your quality to would-be consumers will likely result in bad engagement rates, not to mention the wasted time and resources in terms of content creation.

6. Unnecessary Multimedia Elements

Embedding multimedia content into your email marketing won’t do you any favors. Many email users still use low bandwidth connections or access their correspondence through mobile devices. Images, videos and animation take a lot of bandwidth, time and device’s memory to display correctly.

In order to avoid unnecessary difficulties with accessing your email marketing content, make sure to use third-party hosting services for your multimedia. Platforms such as Image Shack and YouTube offer a plethora of possibilities in terms of hosting your non-text content for use in email marketing. Embedding their links into the body of your email will result in much cleaner and visually appealing marketing pitches for potential consumers to read through.

7. Poor Spelling & Formatting

The worst offender in terms of content attributes in email marketing is undoubtedly the lack of proper spelling, proofreading and formatting. Emails without a semblance of curation and editing will always end up in the Junk folder regardless of how good your offer might be. People are very skeptical of receiving emails with poor grammar which are also centered on sales and eCommerce.

In order to keep your writing in check, you can refer to tools such as Grammarly and Evernote before implementing the written text into your email marketing materials. Don’t rush your campaigns out the door without double-checking all the information, writing and general formatting of your sales pitches.

8. No Clear Follow-Up

Using email marketing without follow-up opportunities present in the body of your content is a waste of resources. After presenting your potential consumers with a sales pitch, you should offer one or more follow-up options for them to consider.

The follow-up you opt for can be anything from a hyperlink to your eCommerce product or landing page, to your customer support or sales representatives’ live chat rooms. Make sure to always offer the “next steps” to your email’s receivers in order to help them get in touch with you for the final purchase to take place.

9. Lacking the Opt-Out Button

Lastly, you should always offer an opt-out or “Unsubscribe” button to your email’s receivers. Don’t force your emails to anyone who isn’t interested in your brand or products. You won’t be able to change these peoples’ decision and you will only affect your brand’s reputation in a negative way.

Instead, use the opt-out option in your email to find out why an individual decided not to receive your emails anymore. This information can be critical to your future email marketing activities since there might be an aspect to your advertisement content which you overlooked initially.

In Summation

Once you define your email marketing creation pipeline, it will be easy to avoid content attributes which might negatively affect your advertisement’s effectiveness. Make sure to diligently respond to any queries, follow-ups and feedback you receive as a result of the email marketing efforts you implement. Change things up in your marketing pipeline depending on the current campaign’s goals and KPIs and you will undoubtedly keep things fresh and interesting for your content creators and stakeholders.

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Diana Nadim

Diana Nadim is a writer and editor who has a Master degree in Marketing. She combines her passion for writing with her interest in research and creates thought-provoking content in various fields. What inspires her the most in her writing is traveling and meeting new people. Follow her on Twitter.

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