Email campaign mistakes
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    Outline:

    Mistake 1: Corporate style
    Mistake 2: Long copies
    Mistake 3: Multiple CTAs
    Mistake 4: Distracting the readers
    Mistake 5: Multiple goals
    Mistake 6: Not giving enough time
    Mistake 7: Multiple different subject lines
    Mistake 8: Not taking the tech side seriously
    Mistake 9: Not analyzing campaign results
    Mistake 10: Not optimizing
    Mistake 11: Not giving the right to unsubscribe

    Welcome to our fifth, and final part of the Drip Campaigns Guide series. This series is meant to give you everything you need to build, launch, and analyze your own campaign. If you missed any chapters, you can find them here:

    A Complete Guide To Drip Campaigns: 
    Part 1What’s A Drip Campaign
    Part 2Email Etiquette
    Part 3Drip Campaign Tools
    Part 4Email Sequences
    Part 5Mistakes To Avoid (You’re here!)

    This week, we’ve decided to focus on what people tend to overlook – the small mistakes we all make. They can happen at any stage of your drip campaign, and we will provide you with advice on how to identify and avoid them.

    Mistake 1: Corporate style

    Drip campaigns were invented to make the emails look natural, personalized and friendly while taking the burden of sending off you. When faced with an email that looks more like a lecture transcript, sounds dry and corporate, or even worse – salesy, most people will close it. Leave corporate style emails for C-level executives at enterprise-level companies and government institutions.

    Email drip campaigns

    For drip campaigns, keep the emails friendly and polite. Use the same language you’d use with your partners, colleagues, or even relatives – simple, respectful, and human-like. Yes, drip campaigns are automated, but the email shouldn’t show it. Don’t give the recipients a single reason to think this is just another automated email campaign for you.

    Don’t be afraid to experiment. Use emojis in email subject line and body and try custom fonts (if your company uses any).

    Mistake 2: Long copies

    Long copy is a problem that usually plagues those who use corporate style. Way too many marketers and sales reps think that including as much information into an email as possible is the way to go. Having a long intro describing your company, yourself, and what you offer used to be the norm, but is it now? Not really.

    Email drip campaigns

    You have a whole flow of emails to present this information bit by bit. Speaking of the initial/welcome email, always keep it short and incentivize the recipient to reply or click a link.

    By using long copies you will only ruin the mood, make the email look automated and salesy. Put yourself in the recipient’s shoes – which copy are you more likely to read and reply to?

    Email 1:
    Email drip campaigns

    Email 2:
    Email drip campaigns

    The difference is clear. Provide only the essential information needed to make a decision on the CTA. Want to learn how to write better cold emails? Download our 10 Failproof Cold Email Formulas pdf, complete with examples and explanations.

    Mistake 3: Multiple CTAs

    Using multiple CTAs is not only ineffective, it’s also distracting. It’s a “grasp all, lose all” situation. To make every piece of the email sequence as effective as possible, make sure you only have one CTA per email.

    Email drip campaigns

    It’s also a good practice to have one single CTA for all emails within a drip campaign. The campaign has one main goal, so make sure all the CTA leads to it.

    Mistake 4: Distracting the readers

    Multiple CTAs are not the only distraction that can ruin the effectiveness of the drip campaign. There are many other distracting factors: additional links, links to social networks, downloadables, invitations to events and additional questions, all within a single email.

    Email drip campaigns

    Don’t bombard the recipients with more distractions, they are already distracted – they have things to do and very limited time to check their email. You’re in luck to have your email opened in the first place, so don’t waste their time. Make sure you don’t distract the recipient from the CTA with anything else. If the CTA is a question and your goal is to get a reply as an answer to your question, make sure you don’t have any other links, buttons, etc. If you’re inviting the recipient to a webinar or an event, make sure the invitation is the only thing the person can focus on.

    Mistake 5: Multiple goals

    Don’t expect one drip campaign to help you reach all goals. Instead, go one step at a time, one drip campaign after another. It’s best to stick to one goal per drip campaign.

    Email drip campaigns

    Let’s say you want to start a conversation with a cold contact, invite them to a webinar, and then offer them something they can’t resist after the webinar. In this case, create 3 separate drip campaigns: first, work on getting a reply and starting a dialogue, then launch a drip campaign that invites them to the webinar, and then push the offer after the webinar with a third drip campaign. 3 goals = 3 campaigns.

    Mistake 6: Not giving enough time

    People tend to rush in everything they do – live fast, work fast, drive fast. But this attitude has to stop somewhere. We understand you may have an urge to deliver as many email letters in a sequence as you can. But such impatience can ruin your campaign.

    Email drip campaigns

    There are ways to create a sense of urgency without emailing the recipients twice a day. Even one email per day is too much. Give recipients some time – this will make the campaign look more natural, similar to how you naturally send the follow-ups: a few days later, then again in two more days, and another one in a week.

    However, if we’re talking about timing that is based on triggers, make sure to send your message just in time. For example, if you want to congratulate a user on a milestone reached in the user flow, do it instantly (within minutes, maximum two hours) after the user reaches it, don’t wait until they forget about it.

    Mistake 7: Multiple different subject lines

    This is not a mistake per se, but you may see better results if you fix it. What we are talking about here is different subject lines within a single drip campaign.

    When you use different subject lines in an email sequence, every message is delivered as a separate new email. But when you use the same subject line, the email will appear in the recipient’s inbox as a natural follow-up (with a Re: in the subject line).

    Email drip campaigns

    This way the messages look like a part of a conversation as if you are replying to the initial letter and actually know who the contact is. This adds a layer of importance to the messages and makes them stand out in the recipient’s inbox.

    Mistake 8: Not taking the tech side seriously

    Tech is no joke – every mechanism, machine, and automation system is based on certain algorithms. Drip campaigns are subject to the same rules and limitations as ordinary emails.

    Email drip campaigns

    What this means for you is that even in drip campaigns, email messages shouldn’t have too many links, multiple scripts, spam trigger words (we have created the biggest downloadable list of spam trigger words, btw, no biggie), or be sent to unverified emails. All of this can trigger spam filters and the message will eventually end up in the Spam folder, leaving you no chance for conversion, no matter how good the drip campaign is.

    To avoid this, run some tests: run the first email copy through a spam wording checker, make sure you don’t use more than 1-2 links in the email, don’t use any additional scripts (like the ones used for collecting retargeting audience), and make sure all the email contacts in your list are verified, valid and working to reduce bounce rate.

    Related: Best Email Verification Services Of 2018-2019 Compared: Price, Methods, Extensions & Features

    Mistake 9: Not analyzing campaign results

    The statistics module is where you can actually see and analyze the results of the campaign. If you don’t check the stats daily, you might lose a chance to fix any possible issues, and, therefore, lose conversions.

    Email drip campaigns

    Don’t just check the general stats of how many recipients reached the goal (though it should remain the top priority), but also analyze all the steps in-between, like delivery rate, open rate, click-through rate, and reply rate. For each email.

    These metrics will let you analyze the performance of every email in the drip sequence. By improving one link at a time you will be able to create the best-converting version of your drip campaign.

    Remember, no drip campaign will perform perfectly on the first try, especially if this is one of your first campaigns in general. Learning more about the target persona and how the messages perform will let you improve the campaigns and start getting better results faster.

    Mistake 10: Not optimizing

    Even if you watch the statistics all day long, staring at them won’t help you unless you analyze, make decisions, and act on them to make actual improvements.

    Email drip campaigns

    To optimize, A/B test or change only one parameter at a time. It could be the subject line, the copy, the CTA, personalization, or any other element. You should only experiment with one aspect of the email message at a time because that’s the only way to know for sure that this is the element that affects the results. If you try and test both personalization and the CTA at the same time, you won’t be able to differentiate exactly what made the copy perform better.

    There is a way around this, of course: A/B test and optimize things that influence different metrics; for example, subject line influences open rate only, while copy, personalization, and the CTA influence reply and click-through rates. Therefore, you can optimize the subject line and the CTA at the same time, but never CTA and the copy.

    If you’re having problems with deliverability, try sending from different addresses – email drip campaign tools like Snov.io allow sending from your own Gmail or SMTP.

    Mistake 11: Not giving the right to unsubscribe

    Respect brings respect. Whatever the case, you need to show your recipients respect by always giving them the freedom of choice, meaning they should be able to have a choice to opt-out of your emails. 

    unsubscribe, delete, erase, unfollow

    Besides, don’t forget another thing: if you don’t include an unsubscribe link into your email, people won’t hesitate to send your email to Spam and ruin your sender reputation. And we didn’t even get to the international email laws. 

    So, let people unsubscribe. Insert an unsubscribe link at the end of your email or directly into your email signature. After all, you are a true professional and care about your reputation. 

    There’s always a way to improve

    Most drip campaign mistakes can be described as minor, but like with all intricate things, sometimes the smallest mistakes do the most harm. Putting yourself in the shoes of your campaign recipients will show you exactly what has to be changed, be it the style of the copy, its length, CTAs or the timing of the sequence.

    Some mistakes have more to do with technicalities (mistake prevention), some with analysis (mistake correction). Being meticulous in building the drip campaign will pay off, but don’t be upset if the campaign doesn’t perform perfectly on the first run. It’s through mistakes that we can get better and see the bigger picture.

    Good luck and happy sending!

    Try launching an email drip campaign yourself, it’s completely free for up to 30 recipients.

    This article has been updated in April 2019

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    Paul is a digital marketer and growth hacker with 10 years of experience. Currently a CMO at PromoRepublic and the founder of StartupRadius.com, Paul Shuteyev also consults digital businesses on various digital marketing aspects, such as lead generation, PPC, inbound strategies, conversion optimization and more.

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