Don’t forget the DONT’s while Designing an Email Campaign

By OctaneGo, September 7, 2011 | Tips & Resources

Most Email campaigns are subjected to self-destruction, especially the ones that are not well thought out. What makes the ones that succeed different from the ones that fail is not investment in terms of money, but rather investment in terms of thought. An email campaign’s self-destruction process does not take longer than a countdown of 3…2…1. All you have to do is-

3…. hit the send button without bothering about content
2… wait for your painstakingly built list of users to read the email- “Spray and Pray”
1… click unsubscribe.

Although we previously covered DO’s of a successful email campaign, we shall use this post to inform you about the DON’T’s while designing an email campaign.

Step 1. Make users hunt for your signup link

Wow, so you’ve managed to get users to your webpage. That is an achievement. Now converting a one time visitor into a regular visitor to your website can be done by placing the signup link at an appropriate location where it is easily visible. The last thing you want is to a prospective user to hit the close button on his browser just because the link wasn’t well placed on your site. Don’t take visits to your website for granted. Each and every visit is a prospective lead and an expensive custom relationship management software will teach you to cash in on each of such leads that are generated. We suggest your signup link is well fitted in the header but not very highlighted, don’t let the visitor feel that you are imposing the subscription on them.

Step 2. Continue playing Hide & Seek

Continue playing Hide & Seek, this time with the unsubscribe link. Some companies do the same with the unsubscribe as they do with the subscribe link or button. They make it obscure, very very obscure. So in the end, you get a user who is extremely dissatisfied with your email, has no interest in the product that you are offering to him, marks your email as spam and to top that-carries a negative brand image of your company because some marketing guy thought it would be a good idea if you would never let your subscribers make the choice of leaving or staying for themselves. Some companies go to the extent of lightening the color to make the link almost invisible, others go in for a 3-step opt out process. Make your opt out process as simple and effortless as possible.

Step 3. Don’t track thy subscriber

You might have a list with millions of contacts. Great job! What is the percentage of your subscribers that actually open and read your email, forget purchase from your company? If you don’t know that magic number or have never tried finding it out till now, it’s time you did. Just having multiple addresses on your list makes no sense if most of the users aren’t even opening your email. It makes no sense to keep them on the list. Get after them and ask them if there is a particular reason why they aren’t responding like they once did? Don’t give into pressure from your boss by showing him the amazingly large list you’ve built by putting in all that hard work. Instead, show him an amazing conversion rate and you might even get a raise: p

Step 4. Annoy thy subscriber

Ok so you read Step 3, realized you were doing it all wrong and sent out a gazillion emails. You have subscriber interest back, NOT. Your boss may say, send more mails, make more money. It’s all about the short-term gain, forget the long-term effects. Punch your subscribers as hard as possible and hard sell your message as many times as possible. If this is the philosophy you’ve been following all this while, its time for self-destruction. Find the optimum frequency that your users are willing to tolerate and not a single email more or less.

Step 5. Buy a list if you don’t have one

So you read step 4 and realized your subscriber numbers were heading south all this while. What better way to increase the base than to BUY your subscribers??? Never acquire email addresses from any random source. Take the pain of building your opt-in list, only then shall you have a high conversion rate. You may have a high conversion rate to begin with even with a paid list, but eventually its going to impact your organization’s reputation and it wouldn’t be very nice to see many opt-outs at once.

Step 6. Kill your email program totally

In this era of social media, some people may ask, “who gives a sh*t about email anyways? You are better of hiring twice as many people to take care of your social media. Everyone knows that having 10,000 likes on Facebook is better than having 10,000 email addresses because social media with its virality is the way to go.” You get carried away and begin sending out 140 character emails. STOP. Social media although has its advantages, has its drawbacks as well. As we have stated and proved multiple times, it can’t replace email in terms of basic functionality. Had that not been the case, Facebook wouldn’t have bothered about integrating email into its main product.

That’s long enough for a post. Go out and implement whatever we said, or rather NOT implement the above points and see your email campaign succeed.

Long Live Email Marketing! :)

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