The rise of social media have caused many to declare the age of email marketing is over. Actually many recent studies show that email marketing is not dead – but instead thriving and evolving.
It is not 1990 anymore, and marketers can no longer rely on the email marketing techniques that worked in previous decades. No matter what you are selling or who your target market is, it is important to avoid obsolete marketing techniques. These out-of-date techniques no longer work – and they could cause big problems for your company down the line.
If you are currently using any of these examples of obsolete email marketing techniques, you need to reevaluate your program and make changes at once:
1. Sending emails without consent. This is perhaps the biggest – and most dangerous – technique of all. Spam is a serious concern these days, and nothing is worse than being labeled as a spammer. If you are still buying email lists on eBay, or using automated software to harvest addresses – now would be the time to stop.
2. Using spam words like As seen on, Free Money, Congratulations especially in the subject lines. Many spam filters look for this content – and that could mean your recipients are not getting your emails. Even worse, it could get you labeled as a spammer and blacklisted from many domains.
3. Not including an opt-out link in your messages. It is vital that every email you send has an opt-out or unsubscribe link included.
4. Sending the same message to everyone on your list. List segmentation is a must in the modern world. Segmenting your list allows you to micro-target customers and increase response rates. Tailoring the message to the needs of every subscriber is the key to success.
5. Using free SMTP services to send out your mailings. Spam filters have caught on to these services, and using them could imperil your business. It is much better to use professional SMTP servers to send your marketing messages.
6. Tricking your visitors into signing up. If you are doing things like pre-checking subscription boxes or automatically subscribing visitors, you need to stop. These techniques no longer work – and they could be considered spam. A small list of willing subscribers will be much more valuable than a long list of people who were duped into signing up.
7. Overloading your emails with images (without the ALT attribute). Using too many images in your emails can be distracting and counterproductive. A few targeted images near the end of the message can be helpful, but resist the urge to overwhelm the audience with pretty pictures.
8. Not designing email messages that are fully compatible with all major email clients. Browsers have changed, and these days people access the Internet in all kinds of ways. Marketers need to make sure that the messages they send look just as good on a smart phone or tablet PC as they do on a laptop or desktop. Customers who get an unusable email or dead link are unlikely to trust you in the future.
Using any of these obsolete email marketing techniques could have a serious negative impact on your business. If you have been following these techniques and wondering why your response rate is decreasing – wonder no more.
The 1990’s are over, and it is time to move your email marketing strategy into the 21st century!
Image credits: Flickr