Customer Engagement

3 Big Email Marketing Mistakes that Make Your Sales Leads Laugh at You…click, click…and Goodbye!

Do you ever wish you could be the proverbial “fly on the wall” to see how people respond to your emails?  After all, you spent a lot of time crafting the words and presenting them in a persuasive manner.  I don’t know about you, but many of the email marketing messages I get are downright laughable.  It seems the sender does not have a clue about how much the buyer attitude has changed during the last decade or so.

Here are the three most egregious mistakes that are still being made – even though they have the opposite affect than growing your business.

Making the marketing message “just” a numbers game

In the early days of email marketing there was an attitude of “throw it against the wall to see if it sticks”.  Marketers would purchase large lists of email addresses and simply broadcast an advertising message to every email address they could get their hands on.  Because the cost of sending an email is relatively low, they felt that nothing was lost by sending it.  In the newspaper days, they knew that not everyone who saw their display ad would need their product or service and approached email marketing with the same mindset.

Unfortunately it does hurt you to take that approach.

Even recipients who match your ideal customer persona will not pay attention to such a generalized appeal.  They know that the internet affords ample ways to narrow the email list to those who are likely to need a product or service.  They will chuckle lightly under their breath as they delete your message and say to themselves “I sure don’t want to purchase anything from these guys.”

Not identifying your ideal customer

If you study the clients in your CRM (Customer Relationship Manager), you will quickly start seeing a pattern of those you enjoy working with, the ones who are most profitable and purchase multiple times.  Extract the very best ones and determine what they have in common.  Try to notice their position in the company, their age bracket, their economic bracket, any geographic details, as well as details about their understanding of technology and anything else you can determine.  From those details, compose a persona.

All communication should speak to that ONE person.  The only exception to this is when you have multiple products or services that cater to a different group.  In that case, formulate a specific persona for each type of product.  Don’t be afraid of leaving anyone out.  If your best customer is someone on the CFO level, a male in his mid-40’s, who lives in the suburbs…give the man a name and target every message to David, the CFO.

Saying all the wrong things

Many companies know that they want to use marketing automation.  They have already heard about the great results other companies are having.  They hesitate for a couple of reasons.  They are afraid of looking like spam and they don’t have a clue what to say.

Email Marketing – done right – is not spam.  Done wrong, they annoy prospective customers.  The goal is to share information that is valuable to the recipient whether they purchase from you or not.  You also want to make the email very brief and use your email provider reports to know when they are opened and when the reader clicks on a link to your content piece.

The recent eBook, “The Magic 5 of Content Based Email Marketing that Drives Sales”. discusses specific steps to being your campaign.  The idea is to use your email effectively.  Here are the steps:

  • Identify pain points your customers experience without your product/service.
  • Send an email that talks about the pain and offers a content piece to reveal valuable information about how the pain can be resolved.  (Be careful to avoid any selling.)
  • When the reader opens the link to the content piece, you know they have some interest.  It is time to get a member of your sales team on the phone with them.
  • Quickly disqualify those that are not ready for an appointment and place those (still very valuable) sales leads into a nurturing email campaign.
  • Make appointments with those who qualify according to very specific questions that are downloaded into the CRM.
  • Start answering the unqualified sales lead’s questions with the Frequently Asked Questions you probably have already compiled.

You want marketing automation to instill trust and respect in your company.  Avoid these three pitfalls in email marketing and the readers will smile when they see your email instead of laughing before they click away.

Category: Customer Engagement

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About the Author: Craig Klein

Craig Klein brings his engineering training and his sales management experience together to build measurable, consistent sales processes for his clients. As CEO of online CRM and Email Marketing compa…

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  1. Dave Kinnear

    May 6, 2013 at 8:10 am

    Hi Craig,
    Thanks for a thoughtful article. My own observation is that “advertising” regardless of the medium is becoming increasingly ineffective. “Sell” is now a four letter word. Instead, our messages might best be those that add value without any overt “call to action;” no Buy Now buttons. Identify pain points is what we should do to develop products and offer valuable useful insights, but not to sell.

    Sell is about you, and if “it’s” about you, then you don’t have my best interest at heart and therefore – no trust and no business.

    What do are your thoughts?

    Dave K.

  2. David

    March 10, 2016 at 3:46 am

    Completely agree with these email marketing mistakes.

    I also feel that these are the most common mistakes which most of the email marketers make. Sending emails with boring subject is very much common mistake.

    I never open any email which don’t attract my eyes. I always ignore or delete such emails instantly.

    Email marketers should understand that nobody wants to waste their time in reading boring emails. If you really want to convert them then you must have to send emails with having eye catchy, attractive and promising subject line. Because It is the only line which readers read first.

    So taking care of it can improve your skills.

    I am glad that you have listed all the major email marketing mistakes here so that we can learn them and can avoid them. Thanks for sharing it with us. 😀

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