The bare necessities of email marketing

Mistakes will happen. Especially when we’re trying to balance email marketing with our other roles and responsibilities in our marketing teams. What can we say? We’re only human after all.

After you’ve spent a great deal of your time and effort creating attractive and engaging emails, you can sometimes become blind to the little mistakes that slip through the cracks. While the odd mistake is nothing to worry about. In fact, they can humanize you to a reader who receives hundreds of emails every week.  

But you need to be careful they aren’t happening too often. Email marketing is generally a marketer’s number one channel to connect with customers. It helps you keep your brand at the top of the shopper’s mind and keeps them coming back to your website. Too many mistakes and that could affect your customers’ opinion of your brand.  

A few simple little steps added to your routine will help prevent these little mistakes from getting through. We’ve put together a few tips on the ‘bare necessities’ to help you overcome common email challenges so you can forget all about your worries and your strife.  

Problem 1: spelling and special characters 

Typewriter check for spelling mistakes

Even the best copywriter will sometimes let hte ofd spellling error or typoo slp through. However, it’s vital to make sure there are systems in place to catch as many of these as possible before they reach the public.  

As well as previewing before you hit send, make sure another member of your team is on hand to proof your email. Send out some test emails to other members of your marketing team to get some fresh eyes on your work. 

This will also give you the chance to notice any formatting issues that can be caused by copying and pasting copy from other channels or software.  

Problem 2: personalization 

Personalization is expected in modern email marketing, but it is another area where simple mistakes can ruin an overall impression. 

For example, ‘Dear first name’ syndrome can easily raise its head if contact data isn’t comprehensive. 

Make sure you have a default value set whenever you plan to personalize your emails. As a result, readers will be greeted with a ‘Dear reader,’ instead of a ‘Dear    ,’ 

Again, previewing your content will be essential as it’ll highlight any anomalies. Whether it’s simple first name personalization or dynamic content, a quick preview or test send will help you identify any issues before you hit send.  

Finger hitting send button on a keyboard

Problem 3: mobile responsiveness 

With over 60% of emails being opened on mobile devices, making sure your emails adapt to render correctly on mobile and desktop needs to be at the top of your ‘to do’ list.  

Woman looking at email on her mobile device

Today’s email platforms tend to have mobile responsive templates ready and waiting for brands to use – Engagement Cloud certainly does. But, just because your template adapts, that doesn’t mean it’s ready for mobile.  

Getting the design right will keep fickle browsers engaged. Make sure you make use of white space, place your main CTA above the fold, and keep your copy light and digestible.  

Problem 4: out of date content 

Woman typing at an old computer

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. Data from external sources can be pulled in to ensure that content is up to date. 

For example, a retail brand can put a dynamic content feed in its campaigns to show what people might want to buy, based on their previous purchase history data which is kept in their ecommerce platform. This allows complete personalization 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 you to use innovative product recommendations; for example, personalizing 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. 

If you’ve integrated your ecommerce or CRM platform with your marketing automation, your mailing lists should be up to date. If you import your data on a regular basis, it’s important you de-duplicate your marketing lists to reduce the risk of sending an email multiple times to a single recipient.  

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 emailing people too frequently. It’s 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. It’s important to ensure your automation platform has character sets in countries such as Russia and China are supported.

Thank You Word Cloud printed on colorful paper different languages

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