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Top 5 email marketing mistakes you can correct right now

Email marketing is a common tool for professionals, but often include these five most common mistakes that can be corrected right away.

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Email marketing can be a highly effective tool in nurturing leads, staying in touch with clients, and promoting your business. But it’s only effective if it’s done properly. In this article, we’ll discuss the top five “email marketing felonies” and what you can do to improve your email campaigns.

Me, me, me!

Don’t make your emails all about you and your business. Make sure that you’re not writing and sending out all of your emails simply to “sell.”  A great acronym to keep in mind when writing your marketing emails is WIFM, which stands for “what’s in it for me?”  Think about your emails in terms of the people receiving them and ask “What do my recipients have to gain by reading this email? What’s in it for them?”

Zzzzzzzzz

[ba-pullquote align=”right”]”You need to earn the attention of your recipients. This is done by providing them with emails that will help them in some way or that they’ll enjoy.”[/ba-pullquote]Don’t put your recipients to sleep. You don’t want them to read the first line of your email and hit the delete button, or worse, flag it as junk. Your email content should be interesting, useful, and compelling. You need to earn the attention of your recipients.

This is done by providing them with emails that will help them in some way or that they’ll enjoy. When you focus on providing compelling and useful email content, you’re staying top of mind with people and positioning yourself as an authority in your field. Don’t view yourself as a salesperson, but rather as an industry expert.

Unknown sender

Only email people you’ve had some sort of contact with and who have provided you with their email address. If you buy a list and email people who have no idea who you are, they’ll likely be taken back, probably see your email as junk, and delete it as soon as possible. When your recipients flag your emails as junk, your overall email deliverability rate can gradually decline because email providers like Gmail and Yahoo can quickly flag all emails sent from you. Essentially, you’re branding yourself as a “junk mail sender.” Tip: if you haven’t made contact with people for a long time, it’s a good idea to personally reach out to them before you put them on your email list so it’s not a shock when they all of a sudden receive an email from you.

Cold and impersonal

[ba-pullquote align=”right”]”You want recipients to think your email was written just for them and not potentially blasted to hundreds of people.”[/ba-pullquote]You should personalize emails as much as possible. This includes addressing your contacts by their name rather than taking the “dear valued client” approach. A good CRM will let you personalize your marketing emails in this way. You want recipients to think your email was written just for them and not potentially blasted to hundreds of people. You should also make sure the “From” field in your emails has your name and not the name of a company.

Spam words

Avoid using words that are commonly flagged by email providers as junk. Common words that trigger spam filters are “buy,” “cheap,” and “bargain.” For other common spam trigger words, take a look at HubSpot’s, The Ultimate List of Email SPAM Trigger Words. It doesn’t hurt to run your emails through a “spam checker” to minimize the chances of your emails being sent to spam.

Now that you know these common email mistakes, it’s up to you to take the tips you’ve learned in this article and put them to good use. Start now!

Matthew Collis is part of the Sales and Marketing Team at IXACT Contact Solutions Inc., a leading North American real estate CRM firm. In addition to overseeing many of IXACT Contact’s key sales and marketing programs, Matthew works with REALTORS® to help them achieve their real estate goals through effective contact management and relationship marketing. IXACT Contact is a web-based real estate contact management and marketing system that helps REALTORS® better manage and grow their business. The system includes powerful email marketing capabilities and a professionally designed and written monthly e-Newsletter.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. CouponLikerB2B

    May 30, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Excellent article! We really agree with number 5- while we love deals, and things that are cheap, using these words trigger spam filters, both automated, and in people’s knee jerk reactions! How many times have you deleted an email screaming “CHEAP STUFF! GREAT DEALS!”? If your deals are that good, customers will recognize this after receiving a few emails from you- and will want to continue receiving them for more! 
     

  2. cybermatics

    June 1, 2012 at 5:05 am

    schedule your email marketing. send email to the future for your marketing campaign. all email will be send automatically, and you can spend your time to do other marketing event on the actual day. try the free service, http://www.mytimejourney.com

  3. cybermatics

    June 1, 2012 at 5:05 am

    schedule your email marketing. send email to the future for your marketing campaign. all email will be send automatically, and you can spend your time to do other marketing event on the actual day. try the free service, http://www.mytimejourney.com

  4. mytimejourney

    June 1, 2012 at 5:12 am

    schedule your email marketing. send email to the future for your marketing campaign. all email will be send automatically, and you can spend your time to do other marketing event on the actual day. try the free service, http://www.mytimejourney.com

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Business Marketing

Unpopular opinion: Coworkers are not your ‘family’

(MARKETING) “I just want you to think of us as family,” they say. If this were true, I could fire my uncle for always bringing up “that” topic on Thanksgiving…

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family coworkers

The season 10 opener of “Undercover Boss” featured Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar. Brandon Landry, owner, went to the Lafayette location where he worked undercover with Jessica Comeaux, an assistant manager. Comeaux came across as a dedicated employee of the company, and she was given a well-deserved reward for her work. But I rolled my eyes as the show described the team as a “family.” I take offense at combining business and family, unless you’re really family. Why shouldn’t this work dynamic be used?

Employers don’t have loyalty to employees.

One of the biggest reasons work isn’t family is that loyalty doesn’t go both ways. Employers who act as though employees are family wouldn’t hesitate to fire someone if it came down to it. In most families, you support each other during tough times, but that wouldn’t be the case in a business. If you’ve ever thought that you can’t ask for a raise or vacation, you’ve probably bought into the theory that “work is a family.” No, work is a contract.

Would the roles be okay if the genders were reversed?

At Walks-Ons, Comeaux is referred to as “Mama Jess,” by “some of the girls. I have to wonder how that would come across if Comeaux were a man being called “Daddy Jess” by younger team members? See any problem with that? What happens when the boss is a 30-year-old and the employee is senior? Using family terminology to describe work relationships is just wrong.

Families’ roles are complex.

You’ll spend over 2,000 hours with your co-workers every year. It’s human nature to want to belong. But when you think of your job like a family, you may bring dysfunction into the workplace.

What if you never had a mom, or if your dad was abusive? Professional relationships don’t need the added complexity of “family” norms. Seeing your boss as “mom” or “dad” completely skews the roles of boss/employee. When your mom asks you to do more, it’s hard to say no. If your “work mom or dad” wants you to stay late, it’s going to be hard to set boundaries when you buy into the bogus theory that work is family. Stop thinking of work this way.

Check your business culture to make sure that your team has healthy boundaries and teamwork. Having a great work culture doesn’t have to mean you think of your team as family. It means that you appreciate your team, let them have good work-life balance and understand professionalism.

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Business Marketing

UI/UX design trends in 2020 for maximum user friendliness

(BUSINESS NEWS) 2020 brings back classic UI and UX themes centered on beautiful visuals, rich written content, and authentic presentation. These are the trends to know.

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UI/UX design trends for 2020

User interface (UI) and user experience (UX) protocol have shifted so much in the last few years that it can be daunting to try to keep up with what’s hip and what’s…well, not. Fortunately, Shakuro has compiled a list of trends to guide you through 2020. Here are our thoughts on design trends you can expect to see (and use) this year.

Content
When creating content this year, make sure it emphasizes the meaning behind your work rather than simply focusing on SEO. Too often, the meaning behind our words becomes more about selling a product or service and less about the product itself.

Other areas to focus on vis-à-vis content development include dynamic presentations for variable audiences, visual representations of data (charts, tables, and infographics easily check this box), and mobile-friendly UX and UI—something which should be at the forefront of your mind at all times.
Finally, Shakuro suggests taking 2020 to establish your own organic, opinionated content. Reposts and testimonials are fine in moderation, but the core of your page should belong to you.

Visuals
Desirable website visual trends are somewhat contradictory, but as long as you stick to the core premise—keeping your website organic and appropriate to your brand—you should be fine.

2020 sees the return of asymmetrical design trends; for example, you might have a logo on your landing page that takes up a third of the left side of the page. However, another trend anticipated by Shakuro is the use of negative space to emphasize an image—or, if you aren’t confused enough, an image that takes up the full screen with a focal point in the middle. A/B testing with different designs will be your friend this year.

Animation, high-definition renders of images, and a profound focus on aesthetically pleasing images (especially illustration) is something else you’ll want to incorporate into your design. One tip that holds true for all is that the integration of design and development from the bottom up; doing this will help streamline your process going forward.

Colors
Unlike in prior years, color schemes are largely unchanged; you’ll want to ensure that any changes you make evoke a subtle, soft quality, and some services (e.g., Shakuro) suggest incorporating natural colors as opposed to bright or bold ones. Aside from these two minor updates, keep doing what you’re doing—as long as your selected palette isn’t so dissonant that it causes stress, you’re probably safe. Just so you know Pantones color of the year for 2020 is classic blue.

Text
More than anything, your text should be written to be read by humans—not search engines. This is a common trend this year; you’ll notice that many of the items on this list are more geared toward making the human experience pleasant and noteworthy rather than simply “good enough.” This philosophy also carries over to your text design, which should communicate your brand via visual. In short, don’t use Comic Sans if you want to convey professionalism.

Another couple of minor text changes to make involve moving text overlays and combining text with visuals (e.g., videos or high-definition photos). These themes aren’t new to UX and UI by any means, but they were overplayed for a few years; luckily, it looks like they’re coming back into favor.

Experience
Perhaps the most difficult—and important—aspect of your website is the user experience. This is a good time to remind yourself to check on your mobile experience as well; often, a user’s mobile experience will determine whether or not they return to your page.

An easy way to stand out to your audience is by customizing your navigation options to fit your visual theme rather than using a default navigation setup. This can be tricky, however: you don’t want to create a site that’s unique to the point of being gimmicky—and, thus, difficult to navigate.

And, if you’re looking for an easy way to lower your audience’s blood pressure, designing a UX that requires fewer refreshes, page clicks, and redirects is a sure way to do so.

2020 may not be the flashiest year in terms of web development, but what these trends lack in star power they make up for in subtlety and depth of meaning. Don’t miss out on what could be the most content-rich year for your website!

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Business Marketing

Hiring Managers keep you on your toes, so you should step up

(BUSINESS MARKETING) If you want to stand out from other job applicants, weird outfits, stunts, and baked goods will only get you so far – and in fact, may backfire.

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hiring managers interview

In an increasingly competitive job market, how do you make sure that your application doesn’t get buried in a pile of paper? How do you stand out from the pack?

According to research by employment search website Simply Hired, hiring managers get an average of 34 applications per job listing, but they spend time genuinely considering an average of only 12.6 percent of them – that’s less than one third. Some applicants may feel the need to go above and beyond the average application and do something unusual or unexpected to grab the hiring manager’s attention.

Simply Hired conducted a survey to find out whether or not “nontraditional” strategies to stand out are worth the risk, or whether it makes sense to stick to a traditional resume and cover letter. They surveyed over 500 hiring managers and over 500 job applicants to find out what sort of outside-of-the-box approaches applicants are willing to take, and which ones do and don’t pay off.

Most notably, the survey found that a over 63 percent of hiring managers find attention-grabbing gimmicks totally unacceptable, with only 20.2 percent saying they were acceptable. Hiring managers were also given a list of unusual strategies to rank from most to least acceptable. Unsurprisingly, the least acceptable strategy was offering to sleep with the hiring manager – which should really go without saying.

Interestingly, hiring managers also really disliked when applicants persistently emailed their resume over and over until they got a response. One or two follow up emails after your initial application isn’t such a bad idea – but if you don’t get a response after that, continuing to pester the hiring manager isn’t going to help.

While sending baked goods to the office was considered a somewhat acceptable strategy, sending those same cookies to the manager’s home address was a big no-no. Desserts might sweeten your application, but not if you cross a professional boundary by brining them to someone’s home – that’s just creepy.

Another tactic that hiring managers received fairly positively was “enduring extreme weather to hand-deliver a resume” – but waiting around for inclement weather to apply for a job doesn’t seem very efficient. However, hiring managers did respond well to applicants who went out of their way to demonstrate a skill, for example, by creating a mock product or presentation or completing their interview in a second language. A librarian who was surveyed said she landed her job by making her resume into a book and creating QR codes with links to her portfolio, while a woman applying to work at the hotel hopped behind the counter and started checking customers in.

It’s worth noting that while most hiring managers aren’t into your gimmicks and games, of the 12.9 percent of applicants who said they are risked an unusual strategy, 67.7 percent of those actually landed the job.

Still, it’s probably a safer bet to stick to the protocol and not try any theatrics. So then, what can you actually do to improve your chances of landing the job?

Applicants surveyed tended to focus most of their time on their resume, but according to hiring managers, the interview and cover letter are “the top ways to stand out among the rest.” Sure, brush up your resume, but make sure to give equal time to writing a strong cover letter and practicing potential interview questions.

In the survey, applicants also tended to overestimate the importance of knowing people within the company and having a “unique” cover letter and interview question answers; meanwhile, they underestimated the importance of asking smart questions at the interview and personality. In fact, hiring managers reported that personality was the most impactful factor in their hiring decisions.
It appears that the best way to stand out in a job interview is to wow them with your personality and nail the interview. Weird outfits, stunts, and baked goods will only get you so far – and in fact, may backfire.

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