You Ask, I Answer: Biggest Email Marketing Mistakes?

Lisa asks, “What are the biggest mistakes you’re seeing in email marketing?”

The top mistakes fit nicely into Bob Stone’s direct response framework from 1968: list, offer, creative.

  • List: Do you have the right list? How much effort do you put into getting the right people on your list?
  • Offer: When you do sell, are you selling what people on your list want to buy?
  • Creative: What are you putting in front of your list in terms of content? Is it what they want?

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Machine-Generated Transcript

What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.

In today’s episode Elisa asks, What are the biggest mistakes you’re seeing in email marketing, email marketing, I have such a fondness for email marketing, it is one of my favorite channels to use. Because it is so effective decades after all these other channels have come and gone and social media has changed so much email marketing is still a delightful constant. And if it’s not part of your marketing mix, I would suggest that you make it part of your marketing mix as soon as possible. Because email marketing is the only channel of outbound communication that you have control over Yes, there are algorithms that block spam and things like that. But once you do the basics for fixing that sort of thing, then email gets two people, you put something on Facebook, no guarantee that more than a handful people are going to see it. The other channel that is reasonably guaranteed is advertising. And even that I was in a group the other day and someone was saying, hey, Facebook is taking money from our budget, but we’re not seeing our ads in the not showing up in impressions that great, so Facebook’s just money. So email marketing is is the beloved constant of marketers who who are in it for the long haul. The big mistakes, that I see an email marketing, that marketers doing wrong, all fit in the 1968 framework from Bob stone, I was a direct marketer at the time, one of the best in that era. And his framework was called LLC lyst. Offer creative. The three ingredients you need to make any kind of outbound communication work well for you. Now, email marketing can be split into sort of three different categories, there is direct selling, right just set offers to people. There is nurture, email marketing, where you’re doing drip marketing to somebody to try and get them to buy. And then there is the email newsletter, which is a form of communication. It depending on what kind of email marketing you’re doing will depend on on how you apply Bob stone strategy. But the concepts are still the same. On lyst, do you have the right list how much effort you put into getting the right people on your list, you can’t buy lists anymore? Technically, you can. But it is illegal. And a lot of places it is illegal under GDPR. Now, so you can’t buy a list. For the most part, you probably shouldn’t. And are the right people on your list. There are dozens and dozens and dozens of ways to build your email list. And in fact, I wrote a book years ago called 52 ways to grow your email list. Maybe it has been out of print for a really long time and it’s very out of date. Maybe I’ll refresh that. If you’d be interested in that come on over to the analytics for marketers slack and leave a comment. Go to trust insights.ai slash analytics for marketers. And let me know if you you’d want to see an updated version of that book. So Lyft super important, the right people audit the offer when you do sell. And so with those three types of email marketing, the direct response, just grab them by the tie and choke them till they buy the nurture and then the email newsletter. When you do sell, are you selling what people on your list want to buy? Is the offer congruent with who your audiences? And this requires you do real research on your email list? who aren’t the people on your list? What are the industries? What are their demographics? What are their psycho graphics? What are their firma graphics, all of these things are part of understanding your list. There are some great services that will help you for x exceptionally large amounts of money, do analysis based on the email addresses on your list. But the easiest way, the understand who’s on your list of what they want to buy, is to run a survey to email people on your list and ask them hey, what are the things that you care about? What are the things that are prominent problems in your world, and so on and so forth. I try and do this like once a quarter what people care about and then you match your offers to what people say they want, right? It’s it’s pretty straightforward stuff if you want to be successful with email marketing, give people what they want. The third is the creative and this is what is the content, what content are you putting in front of your list? It is it again? Is it what they want? And again, if the easiest way to determine that is to ask people, what do you want, and you can ask them a couple different ways. Number one, when someone signs up on the list is that in the autoresponder as a great opportunity to ask them, you know, while they’re still fresh, hey, what do you want to hear about.

The other thing that people don’t do with email marketing is they don’t treat it as a one to one social network. And it shows up in two different ways. Number one, don’t ever send from do not reply it whatever your domain is, right? Send it from a person. Ideally, you if you’re the marketer, be proud to put your name on your email communications. And if you’re not, that’s a good sign that your emails not very good, and you need to improve it. When I send my newsletter. When I send the trust insights newsletter, I put my name and my email address on the reply. And I read and reply to them. Because that’s how you build a functional list that says, build a community by being there for them. And, and talking to the people who respond to you. Number two, the second way that shows up is in the way you communicate with somebody in the same way that we do it here with video with audio and things like that. Generally speaking, people do not read email and an audience right? Generally speaking, it is a one to one communication. So write your email as though you are writing to one other person. So for example, I don’t start my videos and they don’t start my angel. Hey guys, or Hey, folks, or Hey, everybody, right? It’s just you and me. Almost like somebody else’s sitting right next to you watching this video with you. chances are it’s probably just you and me watching it communicating with each other. Right? And so the same thing is true with email. And Hadley says this all the time in in her email marketing tips, which is right, specifically to one person, Warren Buffett, the example She cites is that Warren Buffett writes his annual report to his sister, Doris, because she’s an investor. And he communicates as though he was writing a letter to his sister, do the same thing with your email communications change from Hey, everybody, to Hey, Bob, hey, Doris, hey, Katie, this is an email for you, to you. And I want it to give you value. Right? So that’s, that is probably the most important thing when it comes to the creative. Would you send that email to a loved one, right? If you wouldn’t send it to a loved one, don’t send it to your list. Right. So if you’d like to send this, this is a hard sell pitch. By now time time limited. If time really is limited, cool, then, you know, be honest and do that. But it is the creative now here’s the thing that another mistake in this meta framework of lyst offer creative. The investment of time and resources should be proportional to the importance of each category. list is the most important 50% of your time, should be on building the right list 50% of your budget etc. Maybe 25% of your time is on offer. And then 25% is on Creative but build the if you don’t have the right people on the list. Nothing else will matter in terms of the impact of your email marketing, make sure that you invest your time and resources into building that list. Well with the right people. If you’re going to spend money spend money there. You’ve seen if I hope you’re subscribed to my email newsletter, if you’re not they’ll be a link at the end of the video. The design is nothing to write home about. It’s just a plain text email for the most part with a few header graphics. That’s it. Because I would rather spend my time and my few dollars I have to invest on getting the right list rather than making a fancy creative that if it’s the wrong list, no one’s going to read it. So those are the top mistakes and we could go on for a real long time about all the different ways you can do email marketing. I did it for years professionally. But great question Lisa important question. Make sure you get lyst offer creative right and invest the resources proportionately. As always, please subscribe to the YouTube channel and the newsletter and I’ll talk to you soon take care want help solving your company’s data analytics and digital marketing problems. This is trust insights.ai today and let us know how we can help you


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