You’ve decided to start your email newsletter. That’s great. You are taking action that could lead to more sales and more money in your pocket.
However, if you aren’t careful, you could also be making some critical errors that could make the newsletter ineffective. Even worse, your mistakes could destroy your online reputation, or even your entire business.
Here are some critical errors that email marketers make and what you can do to fix it.
Building the email list using poor tactics
This is one of the top mistakes that I see. One of the worst things that you can do is download your entire LinkedIn contact list and dump them into your newsletter list. Don’t do it! This will only tick people off!
There is an easy alternative that you can do instead. Yes, it takes a little more work, but it will make your list a higher quality one that will get you better results.
This tactic is simple: invite your potential subscriber directly via LinkedIn’s messaging system. Give them a reason to visit your website and let your potential subscriber opt in via the opt in form that you SHOULD be using on your site.
The easiest way to entice people to opt in to your email list is via a giveaway report of some sort. For example, if you are in the real estate business, your report could be about the “5 Critical Errors That People Make Before Shopping For a Home”. Make an email address required to download the report and just like that, they are on your newsletter list!
Another way to turn your LinkedIn contacts into email subscribers is via Facebook ads. Did you know that Facebook allows you to upload a list of email addresses and create ads based on that list? You can even upload a list and then do targeting within the list.
As an example, I could upload my list of LinkedIn contacts to my Facebook ads account and only target women between 20 and 35 who are connected to me on LinkedIn and live within 10 miles of West Carrollton, Ohio. Yes, it’s super targeted and super effective. In the ad, I can direct people to my website that contains my opt in form.
Under no circumstances should you be adding emails purchased from list brokers or scraping them from websites. This includes lists from websites in which you are both a common member, such as adding all your fellow members of a Chamber of Commerce.
Using these lists are a clear violation of the Can-Spam Act and should not be used!
Violations of the Can-Spam Act will get your account on Constant Contact(or any other legitimate email service provider) shut down in a hurry.
Using Images Without Text
Another critical error that I see in email newsletters is the overuse of images. Studies have shown that 43% of Gmail users are reading their email with the images turned off.
If you are using just an image without accompanying text, then those 43% of your subscribers will see a blank screen and will either ignore you or worse yet, file you away in the spam file. This will certainly not help your reputation!
By the way, image only emails are also a favorite technique of spammers, because the ISP has no way to read the email and filter out the common spam words. Because of this, many ISP’s are simply putting all of the image only emails in the spam file. Therefore, if you are sending an email with just text, it’s much more likely to end up in your subscriber’s spam folder before they even have a chance to read it.
Not Providing Value
Another problem I’ve seen with many marketers is not providing value. For example, if you are just selling, selling, selling without providing anything useful up front, you will get nowhere with your newsletter. Even worse, some people that liked your business before will suddenly DISLIKE you and will leave you WORSE off then before you even started the newsletter to begin with.
How can you get around this problem? By providing useful content. For example, if you are in the mortgage business, instead of just blasting out rate sheets, you could give free tips on how to rebuild credit or partner up with a real estate agent or insurance agent to have them guest post for your newsletter.
As you can see, it’s critically important that you plan out your newsletter and have a strategy for success.
This article originally appeared on the Mr. Leads blog.