Email marketing is the digital equivalent of mail marketing; it has been around so long that many myths have become established about it, often by those claiming that their newer marketing method will make it obsolete. But these misconceptions often steer business owners away from it, and from the many benefits it offers.
In this article, we’re going to expose 5 misconceptions people have about email marketing. We’ll also discuss the reality about email marketing, dispelling some myths and clarifying the truths that are the basis of some of these myths.
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Too Many Messages Is Bad
One misconception about email marketing is that sending too many messages is bad. The reality is that sending messages that aren’t value added to the customer are bad. If you’re sending emails that the customer sees as having value, it can actually be a good thing.
For example, sending an email to confirm the order with instructions on how to alter it if they don’t like it followed by a message that the order has shipped is value-added. That you include recommendations for related items to buy is not a problem. Sending someone a survey with a coupon code after they receive the item looks like you’re asking them their opinion, not soliciting them to engage with the brand and buy yet again.
If you see them buying the same items regularly, suggesting a subscription service that comes with a lower per-item price is a useful service. Sending them newsletters that are related to their interests is a value-added service, no matter how many you send.
There is one variation of this myth, however, that is true. People are not subscribing to your email list to constantly get sold, they are connecting because they are seeking something of value to themselves. They already have to deal with enough solicitation on and offline, so if you start using your newsletter solely for promotion, they will start seeing it as a nuisance. So, don’t send generic fluff to them because you think you need to send something, anything to them today. For example, most will unsubscribe if the emails they expected to contain deals contain trivia about the company instead.
Email Marketing Is Separate from Other Digital Marketing Methods
There are companies that have email marketing and nearly nothing else. And they may have email marketing handled by one group while social media is maintained by someone else. However, email marketing should not be separated from your other digital marketing methods. Email marketing should be tightly integrated with your other digital marketing methods.
For example, your email marketing can include excerpts from your articles posted on social media while providing links people can follow to read the whole article. Now email marketing results in traffic to your online content marketing or social media profiles. You should be including social media sharing buttons so that people can choose to follow you on social media after reading the articles in your email marketing messages.
You should use your online presence to start your own email marketing list. You could start a WordPress blog that asks people for their email address to receive a more valuable email marketing newsletter or receive discounts on your product or service. OptinMonster‘s high-converting email capture forms simplify the process of setting this email capture up.
You can consider integrating social media sharing buttons in your marketing emails if you don’t mind the content ending up on the general internet.
Never Send the Same Email Twice
This misconception has a germ of truth. You should not send the same email to someone who opened the original email; at that point, it becomes spam. You can and should “re-mail” the same email several days later to someone who hasn’t opened the original email. In this case, they haven’t seen the message, so it isn’t repetitive. You should integrate A/B testing by changing the headline when you send the second message, allowing you to potentially get past the ISP spam filters or learn what type of headline works with that particular customer.
Another variation of this concept is the expectation that all content should be fresh. This isn’t necessarily true. You can send updated versions of older copies as long as it is still relevant. You should share maintenance tips for products and advice customers find useful even if you sent it a year or two ago. And you should consider retooling six-month- old marketing emails to update them per your latest A/B testing data before resending them out.
The Bigger the List, the Better
One common misconception about email marketing is that the bigger the list, the better. This is like thinking that a massive number of hits on your site are the measure of its success. In reality, the conversion rate and profits from those visits are the most important. This is why a targeted email list that contains your ideal customer segment is better than a larger, more diluted list. You should also integrate customer relationship management with your email marketing so that you send targeted emails to repeat customers, narrow customer niches and those who haven’t bought from you for a while.
The More Graphics, the Better
Many website administrators know not to put too many graphics into their web pages because this slows down the experience for mobile users. Yet many people email marketing stuff like the newsletters with graphics, ignoring the fact that many check their email on their smartphones, too. Even those checking an email on a personal computer may be annoyed at the sheer volume of graphics relative to content. And never waste people’s time and bandwidth by putting unrelated images in the email because you think there must be a picture of some type on every page.
An even greater mistake is trying to embed video in the email, often causing it to bounce due to file size. Instead, put a link to marketing videos in the emails that someone can choose to play. If you embed a link to your YouTube video, you’ll end up increasing the metrics for YouTube and thus your brand’s ranking with Google. When you want to share a slideshow, have thumbnails of the images and share a link they can follow if they want to see the images in their full glory.
Another thing that makes graphic heavy email messages inefficient is that they are usually not the most mobile friendly. Mobile friendliness is just as important for message as it is for web design, and a message that runs poorly on a mobile has more chances of getting ignored.
We hope we could dispel some of the common myths you may have had about email marketing. When used correctly, it can be one of the most powerful marketing methods out there. Just remember to focus on quality over quantity and provide high value content to your subscribers. Never send the same email twice to the same person if they’ve already read it, though updated content and marketing messages can be sent to the same person months later. When it comes to email marketing, quality of customers matters more than quantity of prospects, so make sure that you give your customers special attention and personalized offers as well.