Common Email Mistakes

1: Not knowing what you’re trying to accomplish.

The primary reason you fail to get good results from your email broadcasts is that you may not know what you want the email needs to accomplish in the first place. From the outset, you need to figure out what the purpose of the proposed email is. Is it lead generation? Sales? Click-throughs? Downloads? Branding and awareness? Once you’ve figured out what you want to achieve through this email, put that objective in writing on your white board or somewhere else where you and your team can keep it foremost in mind. That will help keep you on track.

2: You haven’t defined who you’re trying to influence.

In all but the rarest instances, only two parties are necessary for a transaction to take place: the person or company doing the offering and the offer recipient. It’s not complicated. Or, in a word, profile them. Just because the police aren’t allowed to do it doesn’t mean you and I can’t.

So go ahead and profile who you want to receive your email. Figure out who they are, what makes them tick, what their pain points are, what problems they need solved, what they’ve tried but hasn’t worked, what they value, how they spend, what will motivate the desired action. You get the idea. Get inside their heads. If you know who you’re aiming an email at and what will motivate them to take action, you’ve won. If you truly listen to them, they’ll listen to you.

3: Mixed messages.

The third reason your emails fail is that your message is scattered and lacks focus. Chances are you’re trying to say too much in your emails. By saying too much, it’s as if you say nothing at all. Your point gets lost and nobody clicks. Figure out the single most important thing you want to convey to your audience, then focus on that message. One main point. One featured item. One call to action. If you adopt this corrective strategy, every word and element in your email will directly drive your point home and help drive clicks, conversions, commerce, or whatever it is you determined this email is to accomplish. There are few things in life to be dogmatic about. Not deviating from your message is one.

4: The style is putting people off.

Once you know why you’re sending the email, who you want to address, and what the message you will be, there’s a fourth hurdle you’re going to have to clear. The hurdle of talking to your prospects in a way they want to be talked to and in a way that invites their response. However difficult it may be to strike the right tone, it’s definitely possible. The main secret is learning to turn yourself off. Step outside yourself, your personal preferences, your corporate biases, your habits of thinking like a company representative. Don’t even think about how you want to pitch them. Whenever you write, have in your mind’s eye the face of a specific person who represents your audience, even if it’s an imaginary person. Write every word, every phrase, for that person. If you can influence that person, you can influence a million more like him.

5: Your emails don’t lead people where they need to go.

Not directing recipients to the place where they can do what they want to do is another fatal email flaw. In most cases, the click through point should be a landing page which facilitates people who click through to take the next desired action, whether it’s to sign up for something, place an order, view a video, share a resource, download, or what have you.

6: You’re sending your emails at all the wrong times.

As with all communication, the timing of emails is incredibly important. Based upon what you know about your audience, their schedules, the time of day they’re most likely to read the email, what the season is, what you’re offering, etc. send your email on a day and time that, by and large, will make it more likely that your audience will see and respond to it.