The Bare Necessities Of Email Marketing

In response to top 6 email mistakes – and how to avoid making them


Alchemy Worx recently posted a blog piece about common email marketing mistakes. We all see a lot of common errors out there, so we thought we’d publish a few tips on the ‘bare necessities’ to help you forget about your worries and your strife!

Problem 1: Spelling and special characters

Even the best copywriter will sometimes let hte ofd spellling error or typoo slp thourgh. However, it’s vital to make sure there are systems in place to catch such things before they reach the public. dotMailer’s ‘inbox preview’ tool will flag any spelling errors before you send to ensure mistakes don’t tarnish your reputation.

When it comes to special characters, remember that copying and pasting from Microsoft Word cause issues. Always be sure to strip out Word’s formatting before you publish.

Naturally, you may want to supplement this with a little internal proof-reading. Send out some test emails to a group to make sure nothing slips through the net.

Don’t forget that we have a spell-checker built into the dotMailer editor.

Problem 2: Personalisation

Personalisation is often something that recipients expect in modern email marketing, but it is another area where simple mistakes can ruin an overall impression.

For example, ‘Dear comma’ syndrome can easily raise its head if contact information isn’t comprehensive.

To combat this, clever technology should also include a default value like Sir/ Madam which can be intelligently inserted where there are gaps. On this occasion, previews are again a vital tool in combating simple mistakes and even more powerful alongside a small trial distribution to iron out errors.

Problem 3: Email rendering

Not a day goes by when we don’t hear the question “why isn’t my email rendering properly?” But a little care and attention up front (with the right tools) can make all the difference in guaranteeing the render process goes without a hitch in the maximum range of email clients. The key here is to know how your template will appear in all clients before you send it. Good email marketing software will test every email against a wide range of clients from Lotus Notes, Outlook 2003/2007/2010 through to Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo before it gets anywhere near your audience.

In this case, avoiding this simple mistake is a matter of planning ahead and finding email marketing tools to make this as convenient as possible. For ultimate peace of mind, you can entrust the task to a professional team – one immediately springs to mind!

Problem 4: Out of date content

Including out of date links and content is one of the easiest mistakes to make when an email has been work-in-progress for a while. This is even truer in retail where products may go out of stock or offers may rapidly expire and be replaced. The trick here is to work with external dynamic content wherever possible.

Dynamic content is really easy to add. By inserting a marker into the email template, data from external sources can be pulled in to ensure that content is up to date.

For example, one of our clients put a dynamic content feed in their campaigns to show what people might want to buy, based on their previous purchase history. This allows complete personalisation of a section of the email, ensuring that the content in the email is perfectly up to date and in sync with the latest information. It also allows innovative design options; for example, personalising emails based on the product each customer last viewed and offering alternatives if it’s out of stock.

Problem 5: Receiving the same message multiple times

Even the most welcome email can wear thin if the user receives it multiple times. And yet, with sprawling databases, it’s an easy error to make and often hard to record.

When making a data import we will assist in de-duplicating your list to reduce the risk of sending an email multiple times, but you can also take advantage of other dotMailer features to help monitor the last mailed date of individuals.

This is particularly useful if you are using automated triggers and want to ensure you do not bombard an individual’s inbox. Segmentation queries allow us to build address books based on dates stored in the system and can ensure you aren’t mailing people too frequently. It is also then possible of course to segment further to target people that meet certain criteria, like gender or age.

Problem 6: Special characters not displaying

Special Characters (for example letters and symbols that occur in other foreign languages) can be a problem when emailing and we understand that you might want to mail out to people across the globe. We have enabled different character encoding in dotMailer to ensure character sets in countries such as Russia and China are supported.

To allow this, you just have to ensure that the correct template encoding is selected during campaign set up.

We will happy add any encoding a client may require to the system, so if you have any other suggestions or requirements, just let us know!

So there you have it, the easy mistakes often have easy solutions, as long as you’ve got the right tools which let you eliminate them.