Often simple errors within the content can make your email ugly or reduce its effectiveness. Read on to avoid the most common mistakes.

Unrecognisable from and reply to address

It is vitally important recipients recognise your email as soon as it lands in their inbox. Therefore your from name and address should be friendly and recognisable. a739nu02p3ufnwd@widget-makers.com is not friendly or recognisable, info@mail-away.co.uk is. You also need to ensure the address is consistent over time to ensure continued delivery.

Uninspiring subject lines

Subject lines should indicate the benefits of opening the email, be intriguing, ask a question or contain an offer. Inspire readers to open quickly by adding a stressed time fuse and always link to the actual content.

Poorly planned content

It’s often tempting to either a) shove out an email in the last minute without thinking about the content or b) want to tell recipients everything you could possibly want to tell them about your entire business in one massive long paragraph, without even including a click through.

Paragraphs should be thought through to offer a snippet of value to recipients, intriguing them to click on a link to the full article. Think about your customers, not just want you want to say, or have time to say but what will be of value to them, which brings us on to the next point;

Sell, sell, SELL

Emails need to be a mix of sell-inform-entertain. The mix depends on the business sector you operate in (service industries may have a larger information section, where as online shops may have a more prominent sales structure). The blunders revolve around trying to sell too hard, resulting in getting caught in spam filters. Excessive punctuation!!!!!! Too many selling words (free, buy now, click here) and too many images of your sexy products can all increase your chances of being ‘Junked’.

Using personalisation poorly

Personalisation is known to improve interactivity with recipients but it has to be done carefully. All too often a simple salutation is poorly formatted due to errors in data collection. Stringent data collection is vital for effective personalisation.  Remember it’s also not just about adding a salutation, personalisation has become far more advanced than that.

Click-through links

A Call to Action (CTA) is a well established marketing concept and is simply the term given to a request or direction to ‘do something’ or a response you want recipients to complete. Every email should have CTAs, and this should be more than just a ‘click here’.  Link as much text and as many images as is practical and use a structured CTA. Include action words and a time limit where possible. This encourages recipients to take action now instead of putting it off.

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