Guess who's back. Back again.
What? No, it’s not Slim Shady.
Well, OK, he has made yet another comeback, but that has nothing to do with email marketing. Did you read the title of this post? Pay attention.
It’s email marketing. Email marketing is back.
...and it has a terrible reputation.
It’s not hard to see why. Most email marketing is awful and lazy; poorly conceived and poorly executed. It’s so effective (up to 14.6 x ROI) that everyone wants to grab their piece of the pie, but very few seem to want to spend the time and money doing it right.
If you think you might be guilty, it’s a good thing you’re here —we can help! Tako’s approach to email marketing is centered around a simple concept: we design and write emails we would be excited to receive--and our bar is...real high. Drop us a line to pull us onto your team.
If you’d prefer to go it alone, that’s fine too! Before you set off on your quest, however, there are a few pitfalls you should know about...
The 7 Deadly Sins (of Email Marketing)
Roughly 80% of marketers report an increase in sales that comes directly from email marketing, according to Hubspot.
Email is that important of a tool. You have a unique opportunity to connect with your customers, stay top of mind, and create raving fans for your brand. Email strategies are wide ranging, from simple to complex, but it all boils down to a simple concept: the right communication, to the right person, about the right thing.
1. Emailing Someone Without Prior Consent
Consent is sexy. Consent is smart.
This point should be self-explanatory, but some marketers still don’t seem to grasp the concept. This is not a numbers game anymore, people!
Email marketing can land you in a sea of trouble if you try to send the wrong message, to the wrong people, at the wrong time. At best, your overzealous efforts will land you on email providers’ blacklists (possibly getting yourself booted off the platform in the process), which means your communications will end up in all the spam folders. At worst, you’re risking trouble with the FTC and smearing your own reputation and brand perception.
Don’t be that guy.
Instead of shotgunning emails into as many inboxes as possible--buying lists and participating in other unethical business behavior--focus on growing your list organically. Make people want to join in the fun. Focus on crafting quality emails that will be happily received by the core audience.
2. Writing Emails About Yourself, for Yourself, and Then Send Them to Other People
Think of email as a brunch-time conversation.
Nobody wants to hear you talk about yourself for three straight hours. In the same way, emails should be equally focused on your company and your customers. Never forget that there are actual human beings with busy, complex lives on the other end of the screen. Respect them and their time.
Moderation and purpose are key. What are you trying to say in your email? Does it benefit the reader? If your message is clear, and there’s something in it for the recipient, fire away.
[If you’re confused about any of this, shoot us a message, and let’s build a sales-driving email strategy for your Shopify store.]
Are we still loving the Eminem motif?
3. Not Looking Professional in Your Email Copy (aka BEING LAZY)
igmadine raedig these email adn taht Tolls YOU tu By a sparkles Cat Cudlllar.
You’re probably thinking about calling the police to report an assault on personal intelligence.
Listen, typos are going to be a thing sometimes. Snafus happen to the best of us--but they CAN be prevented:
- Proofread before you send.
- Ask (an objective) someone else to proofread, since they won’t be blinded from staring at it for so long.
- Run your copy through a grammar checker like Grammarly. (We’re huge fans of Grammarly here at Tako.)
- Proofread before you send.
Beyond just the mechanics of your copy, keep an eye on your tone as well. Does it match your brand image? Is it in line with the rest of your marketing efforts?
These are little steps, but they go a long way to making sure that your emails are readable (and, thus, enjoyable).
4. Assaulting Everyone's Eyes with Crappy Formatting
Poorly formatted text blocks are the fastest way to make your reader’s eyes bleed.
This is poor writing. Don’t write like this. Never write like this. This is poor writing. Don’t write like this. Never write like this. This is poor writing. Don’t write like this. Never write like this. This is poor writing. Don’t write like this. Never write like this. This is a thousand dollars in bitcoin. Don’t write like this. Never write like this. This is poor writing. Don’t write like this. Never write like this. This is poor writing. Don’t write like this. Never write like this. This is poor writing. Don’t write like this.
We placed a thousand dollars in Bitcoin* somewhere in that mess, but you probably missed it, because why would you read that.
Paragraphs, headlines, and quotes are your friends. Use them all, and use them wisely. Add images, graphics, divider lines, and CTA buttons to visually break up the space. Even if you’re structuring your email as more of a “letter” than a newsletter or catalog, it’s important to make good use of elements other than plain paragraph text.
*sort of, but not really
5. Using Fancy but Generic Email Templates (Ugh...so 2018.)
If your email looks like marketing, smells like marketing, and reads like marketing...agh, it’s probably marketing.
Most people don't like being on the receiving end of something that feels very much like a marketing campaign. If you’re trying to connect with your customer in a meaningful way, why make it obvious that you send that message to everybody? We (humans) all want to feel special.
Fancy schmancy marketing templates might look nice, but they also may as well arrive in a recipient’s inbox with a recording that announces, “BEHOLD, I AM HERE TO SELL YOU SOMETHING.” No one feels special when they’re being sold to in this way. (Womp womp.)
“Ooookaayyy...but if I can’t use a template, then what the heck am I supposed to do?”
Avoid trying too hard. Just talk to your audience, and don’t be afraid to be unique! Particularly now, in the Era of Social Media, we guarantee the people you are trying to reach are craving authenticity--not another glitzy email template.
As for tools, our friends at Klaviyo kind of corner the market on effortless, sustainable email campaigns. Give them a holler to see how they can help--they don’t bite! (Just tell ‘em Tako sent ya.)
If you’re feeling shy (or just don’t want to deal), we’ll happily get you on the road to email marketing success. Hit us up anytime.
6. Using Lots of Fluff (Keep the random journaling to Twitter, people.)
Think outside the box for a compelling subject line that relates to the content of your email, without resorting to silly fear tactics. (This isn’t politics, after all.) You should be thinking about your subject line just as much as the rest of the copy, if not even more so. Don’t believe us?
When was the last time someone reached out to you because they fell in love with an email campaign?
The subject line and content that resonated with this recipient is backed by numbers:
(Grace is the Creative Director of Tako Agency, and knows a thing or two about no-bullshit marketing.)
If the subject line’s main purpose is to move readers to open the email, then the first sentence is what creates an opening for your case.
Each sentence has only one purpose, and that is to move the reader to the next one and then to the next, and next. Filling your emails with fluff is a surefire way to spoil your opportunity to connect with customers. K.I.S.S.
7. Missing Out On the Opportunity to Make Your Customers Feel Good
The Guinness Record salesman, Joseph Girard, sold 13,001 cars in 15 years, between 1963 and 1978 (without resorting to bulk deals).
He worked at a regular dealership and sold the same cars as everyone else, yet people wanted to buy only from Joe. The only difference between Joe and the other salesmen was his marketing--happening by actual mail, instead of email.
Each month, Joe would write a simple, “I Like You” letter to his customers. That’s it! Nothing too fancy; just a handwritten card expressing genuine appreciation.
By the end of Joe’s career, most of his sales were to returning customers that exclusively wanted to buy from him. Learn from Joe, and don’t miss an opportunity to make your customers feel good.
Your email marketing is a perfect way to connect with your customers and make them feel good.
Good marketing campaigns can skyrocket your sales on Shopify; bad ones can make you either very boring (and, consequently, forgettable and thus unsuccessful) or even get you into legal trouble--depending on just how bad they are.
If you don’t want your campaigns to end up in that Big Spam Folder in the Sky, we know a guy who can help. (It’s us...we’re the guy.)