What’s the biggest mistake people make in email marketing?

Email marketing mistakes

 

Email marketing can be challenging. From making a simple technical mistake that is then sent to thousands of people (we’re all human), like not testing your email or checking spelling, to not finding out what your subscribers really want to know, mistakes do happen. So we thought it would be helpful to ask the email experts. We surveyed 8 Mailchimp Pro Partners to find out what they see as the biggest mistakes that are made in email marketing. The answers are varied, which shows that so many mistakes can easily be made, so there’s a lot of great to stuff to learn here.

 

Here’s what they had to say about the biggest mistakes in email marketing:

 

“Sending the same message to the same people. It’s bonkers, but people do.”

Doug Dennison, CEO & Co-founder, MailNinja

 


 

“1. Not personalizing emails! Especially when I’m a customer and they know my name. “Dear Sir or madam” or “Dear customer”. Bleh!

2. Loooooooooong emails (without images).”

Nick Beuzekamp, CEO and Founder, Online Marketing Bonaire

 


 

“The biggest mistake most marketers make is telling subscribers what they want them to know and not what the subscriber wants to hear. You have to deliver on what you promised when the subscriber signed up. If your emails are self-serving and not valuable to the subscriber, you’ll quickly lose their attention.”

Adam Q. Holden-Bache, Director of Email Marketing, Enventys Partners

 


 

“Sending emails that are TOO long or too wordy. Simplify, simplify. Emails do not need to be long and full of TONS of content. Days of the long newsletter are over (in my opinion). Sometimes a great image, a short blurb and a button are all that you need for a great email. Try not to overthink it. 
 
Also, many people don’t think to recycle/reuse old content. Bring back an old blog post (and make it into an email). If you had an email do really well a year ago, bring it back. You don’t need to create brand new content with every email.”
 
Emily Ryan, Co-founder & Email Strategist, Westfield Creative

 


 

“Lack of segmentation: you have a huge mailing list and you send to everybody, because “it costs nothing and somebody could be interested”. As I always repeat, you can’t do nothing to raise relevancy of a message for anybody; or it is relevant, or it isn’t. What you can positively do, instead, is to diminish irrelevancy, by choosing not to send a message to people who are the least likely to be interested (e.g. send a discount reminder to people who have already made a purchase using that discount code, or invite people to events they can’t attend because of distance or other constraints).”

Alessandra Farabegoli, Digital Strategist, Co-Founder, Digital Update and Freelancecamp Italia

 


 

“The biggest mistake I see with email marketing is not doing it. The next mistake is businesses just ‘ticking the box’ with their email marketing and not seeing the value in the customers they’re sending too. That sucks to me. Email addresses are like gold. They are literally putting you in the palm of someone’s hand and they need to be treated as such.”

Glenn Edley, Director & Email Strategist, Spike

 


 

“Most businesses and organizations who do not use professional email marketers make the mistake of not sending enough email. There is an ingrained concern about over-messaging by email in most organizations that is a direct result of past attitudes and technologies that no longer play in the space. For those of us who work every day in this business, we understand that the correct strategy and planning means that you can send email every day, sometimes more than once per day, and you will not only see great results from your campaigns, you will build loyalty and engagement with your audience.”

MaryAnn Pfeiffer, Digital Marketing Strategist, 108 Degrees Digital Marketing

 


 

Not having a plan before they start. I’ve spoken to too many people who jump into Mailchimp, get quickly confused or disillusioned and then think the system doesn’t work. If you don’t start with a clear goal you’ll always struggle no matter what it is your trying to do.”

Robin Adams, Founder, Chimp Answers


 

“Not doing it or giving up on it too soon or both together. If you’re not sending regular emails and people don’t know who you are don’t expect them to jump at the chance to purchase from you on that 1 email you sent this year. Email is a dialogue. Email is a relationship. Relationships take time. Email marketing needs consistency and persistence.”

Amy Hall, Email Marketing Strategist and Certified Mailchimp Partner, amyhall.biz

 


 

Want to learn about these Mailchimp experts and Pro Partners? Check them out in the Mailchimp Directory here.

7 Things I Loved This Week (Jan 10)

7 Things I Loved This Week

I heard this yesterday on a podcast with Laura Belgray — Don’t wait to be inspired to write your next email (or to write anything). Just start writing and then you’ll be inspired in the process, much like now, when I had not a single idea for this email until I sat down and sifted through the last few weeks of links I’ve collected. If you want to send out more emails then just sit down and start. Cool?

7 Other Things I Loved Recently:

1. I wasted 13 mins of my life watching these 10 Instagram Stories hacks last week, but they’re all really good. 

2. This free cliche finder tool (for your writing)…is so cliche.

3. What if your CTAs (Call to Action) buttons were this instead of “contact us.”

4. I share this article on email subject line spam trigger words with my clients often.

5. I discovered the absolute most perfect WFH sweatshirt

6. If you haven’t seen Mailchimp’s 2020 Annual Report, it’s amazing.

7. I got together with 8 other Mailchimp Partners on this blog about what tools we couldn’t live without. For me, it’s Slack. (And remember when Slack went down last week?!)

In other news, I bought the domain name emilyryanemails.com this week, Stay tuned for some cool stuff there soon, including my new Mailchimp course, with everything you could possibly need to start sending great emails. 

Have a great week ahead and if I ever inspire you to write an email, purchase something or read one of these articles above, I’d love to know. Just hit reply and lemme know anytime. 

What tool/app/software could you not live without? 8 Mailchimp partners share their top tips.

Top online tools from Mailchimp partners

Here, 8 Mailchimp partners and email marketing experts share their top tips on what online tools they rely on each day. So much great advice here!

 

Slack. We’ve been using Slack since January 2016, but during COVID where the team is no longer in one central location, Slack is the backbone of our comms, both with the internal team and our external workforce. I can’t imagine how we’d manage without it.
Doug Dennison, CEO & Co-founder, MailNinja


 

I’m a fan of to-do-lists, so Todoist.com is my everyday tool. For every area of my life (not only work) I’ve defined separate projects, and every time I decide to do something I put it in my list, with a due date and a priority level.


I have a lot of recurring tasks: newsletters (each one with its checklist of things to do), recurring payments, various kinds of errands; this helps me to free my mind and be sure that I won’t forget anything.


At the end of the day I check what’s on my list for tomorrow, I may reschedule something if the list is too long, and I prepare for the day to come.
Alessandra Farabegoli, Digital Strategist, Co-Founder, Digital Update and Freelancecamp Italia


 

Is Adobe an answer? If I have to choose… Photoshop… no, Illustrator… Dreamweaver… 
Indesign! I cannot live without Indesign. I use it for all designs, templates and forms.
Nick Beuzekamp, CEO and Founder, Online Marketing Bonaire


 

Google Suite. Toon Blast comes a close second.
Glenn Edley, Director & Email Strategist, Spike


 

For overall productivity, Google Workspace (https://workspace.google.com/) is our most important tool for both email marketing and general campaign creation. The ability to work concurrently with other team members on live documents, as well as share information transparently with clients is absolutely essential to providing top quality work in a timely and efficient manner. Clients who are not familiar with live document use find the access, technology and process capability amazing, and we’ve converted many to utilizing online document creation tools for their own departments and companies.
MaryAnn Pfeiffer, Digital Marketing Strategist, 108 Degrees Digital Marketing


 

Timeular – Time tracking dice. https://timeular.com/ It makes tracking my work time fun. I’ve gotten more productive since I started using it. 

My bonus tool is Qbserve, an automatic time tracking tool for Macs.

I can categorize the websites and apps I use and know at a glance if my day was productive. It’s made me more mindful of my time.
Amy Hall, Email Marketing Strategist and Certified Mailchimp Partner, amyhall.biz


 

I’m a big fan of OptinMonster and use it to create dynamic forms to capture new subscribers. I’m also constantly moving data so I rely on Zapier to automate workflows. My favorite new tool is OneSignal, which provides web browser push notifications. Push notifications have been a great complement to email messaging.
Adam Q. Holden-Bache, Director of Email Marketing, Enventys Partners


 

Slack. This powerful messaging tool has been an absolute game-changer for our business. Our small team uses it to communicate all day, every day. We’d have a million more emails to sift through without it. It’s great to be able to shoot a quick question or note to someone as you’re working on a project. Couldn’t live without it.
Emily Ryan, Co-Founder and Email Strategist, Westfield Creative

 

For more on Mailchimp Partners or to contact one of these experts, see Mailchimp’s Experts Directory here

Mailchimp experts

Do you need email validation if you use Mailchimp?

We’re thrilled to share a special interview that we did with the COO of ZeroBounce, a company that specializes in email deliverability (i.e., making sure your emails actually reach the Inbox…kind of important, right?).

 

We came across their new Inbox Placement Tester tool recently and loved it so much that I had to reach out.

 

So, meet Brian Minick, the COO. I asked Brian some questions, including their integration with Mailchimp. Enjoy!

Brian Minick ZeroBounce COO of ZeroBounce, Brian Minick

So, what exactly is ZeroBounce and do I need this if I use Mailchimp? 

ZeroBounce is a go-to platform for anyone who sends emails and wants to make sure they reach the inbox. Whether you’re a freelancer, a small business owner, or a marketer working for a corporation – you want to connect with real people, and that’s what we help you with. 

What started as an email validation service has evolved into a platform with multiple features: list cleaning, A.I. email scoring, and deliverability testing. 

Do you need it if you use MailChimp? Yes! Validating your list will help achieve better deliverability and therefore should help increase your chance to inbox. Mailchimp also will block your list upload and throw an Omnivore error which we help solve.

What’s more, ZeroBounce integrates directly with MailChimp, so it’s easier to import your list, clean it, and export it back onto MailChimp.

Do you have to have a big “list” to use this? 

No, it’s a percentages game. Whether your list is big or small, the percentage of bounces is the game that is played. We have customers that email only a hundred or so contacts and are finding value in our services. Alternatively, our large enterprise clients – who send millions of emails – include us into their workflows right before they send.

Why is email deliverability so important? 

It’s difficult to tell people that a lesser quantity, but a higher quality list is better. They often think that if you have a million contacts, you have a better chance of getting conversions sending to all of them. This is simply untrue. 

If we take your list and remove 30% of the bad contacts, it leaves with you 700k. Sending to those 700k but increasing your chance to get it into the inbox means this: 700k in inbox, vs 1m in spam. See the difference? Which has a better chance of converting?

Tell me more about your company. Are your employees remote? 

Right now, everyone is remote. In normal circumstances, we have three offices and most of our team reports to them. We have a few off-site employees as well. 

Where are you based? 

Our headquarters is in Boca Raton FL. We also have a satellite office in Santa Barbara, and an office in Bucharest, Romania to handle our around-the-clock service. 

How many people work at ZeroBounce?

About 30 in total.

How did you start your company? 

It started out of a need. We were looking for email validators to help with our own marketing campaigns at our sister company. Finding a company that guaranteed accurate results and took data privacy seriously proved impossible. Our CEO saw an opportunity and decided to build the service. 

Six years later, here we are, and very strong! We were built on the foundation above: security, privacy, and quality. Our customer feedback shows that we’re hitting the mark on all three.

What started as an email validation service has evolved into a platform with multiple features: list cleaning, A.I. email scoring, and deliverability testing.

What advice would you give to someone who is new to email marketing? 

1) Start with a clean list, use double opt-in to confirm people who are on your list actually wanted to be there. 

2) Don’t be shy to use free services to help get you started. Many companies offer them (including us) for little companies and start-ups. You have to start somewhere. We want you to be successful. 

3) Measure performance, which comes in the form of inbox/spam. Try out our free inbox placement tester, which will give insight in how your campaign might perform out in the marketplace. Remember, emails that go to spam are simply a waste of your energy and resources. You need to be in people’s inboxes. 

4) You will do something wrong, it’s natural. Keep track of what’s working and not, and stay flexible so you can adjust your moves.

***

Thank you so much, Brian!

More here:

ZeroBounce’s Email Server Tester

9 Tips for Awesome Cyber Monday Emails

Mailchimp Email Marketing Cyber Monday DID YOU KNOW that Cyber Monday was the biggest online sales day of the year in 2018? In case ya didn’t know, this is probably the busiest week of the year for us email marketers, so I thought I’d give you a few important Cyber Monday email tips here. And also – I just love this photo.

1. Send your Cyber Monday email when others AREN’T. Don’t follow the crowd. Send the day before or even the day after. Or send it today! I’m sure you’ve already seen quite a few Black Friday emails. You should also use Mailchimp’s “send time optimization” tool to determine the best send time for your particular Audience. ⁣

2. Urgency. Make sure you explain when the deal will end so people feel a sense of urgency to buy that day. ⁣

3. Don’t hesitate to send it late at night. One study I read shows 11pm had a high click rate (I know I shop online late at night…🤔)⁣

4. Keep it short and sweet. Your email should include your deal, a big image of your product, coupon code and a button to buy it. Remove any extra fluff. ⁣

5. Use GIFs or moving images in your email to keep it fun and interesting. ⁣Check out this gorgeous email from Kidly.

6. Keep subject lines short (under 30 characters) and use emojis. Think fun and light. ⁣

7. Make sure you have an Abandoned Cart email setup and ready. ⁣This is a huge opportunity to increase your sales.

8. Use all channels. Consider creating a Facebook Ad or a landing page for your Cyber Monday deal. Promote on social. This will make you way more competitive. ⁣

9. Send your email a second time! Consider sending an “EXTENDED” email after Cyber Monday saying the sale has been extended. ⁣

Happy Online Shopping Season! I’ll be over here getting our client’s emails ready and tested.

(Photo via @fashionsfromhistory on Instagram)

8 Reasons Why Working For A NYC Startup Was My Best Career Move

After deciding I could no longer spend my life auditioning for Broadway shows and waiting tables (let’s face it — I was burned out from singing 16 bars), I then spent many years working 9-6pm “assistant” jobs in NYC. I worked for a hedge fund, I worked as a nanny (another fave job), I worked as a personal assistant, an executive assistant, admin assistant in financial services and I’m sure a few other assistant jobs in there. But what prepared me MOST for owning my own virtual “assistant” business was the one job where I was NOT an assistant. It was my final NYC job as Program Coordinator for a busy, NYC startup non-profit where I worked for nearly 4 years.

I realized recently that working for a startup was the best training ground for creating the business of my dreams. The startup environment is so unique and also hard/exhausting, but so rewarding.

If you’re looking to learn a ton and you’re just starting out– look for a GREAT startup to work for. You’ll learn a lot.

And here’s why:

  1. I wore 15 hats. No really – 15. Ok, maybe 6 (but it felt like 15 some days). I spent my mornings working in logistics/international shipping and then afternoons doing an email campaign/tweeting, entering invoices into QuickBooks, booking international travel, helping to design a new office space, assisting our accountant with our annual audit, booking hotels in remote parts of Africa and more. Endless. When you work for a startup, you get the chance to take on many things. This was such an incredible training ground for a future small business owner.
  2. Freedom. I was given the freedom to try things in my work. I think this should maybe be #1 here. For many years as an assistant working in financial offices, it was the opposite. No freedom. No say. A very “Mad Men”-ish, secretarial existence (which killed me softly inside for years). In a startup, many times, you’re given a lot of freedom in your work to try things. No one ever breathed down my back to make sure I was completing a task. Therefore, I worked harder. I was happier. I wanted to be there making an impact every day. A sense of “freedom” in the workplace makes the difference between a job and a great job.
  3. Small teams. At this startup, I worked on a small, amazing team. Working closely with just a few people (who also each wore 15 hats) taught me so much about working closely with a colleague. Most of my work now is one-on-one with a client or solo-entrepreneur. It’s so important to learn how to communicate well (and fast) with your colleagues and working in a startup was great prep.
  4. Fast-paced. In a startup (or a great startup at least), you’ll learn quickly the meaning of “fast-paced.” I’ve always worked pretty fast, but when you have 4 people running an entire company with many things happening, you learn to work as fast (and diligent) as possible. Learning to work in a fast-paced environment is so, so important if you want to run your own business. It’s a must. I’m still trying to get on “Tahoe Time” here…
  5. Great People. I had incredible managers who asked me on a monthly basis – “what do you want to do, Emily?” — “what do you want to focus on?” — “How can we help you develop this?” A great startup usually has a rigorous hiring process because they want the brightest people on their small team to grow their business from the ground — up. I was very lucky to have worked with smart, smart people who taught me to so much and cared enough about me to help develop my natural work talents.
  6. Risk-taking was OK. I worked for a CEO and manager who took risks (see my “testimonials” page). Calculated, smart risks…but risks. We tried things a lot — some worked and some didn’t. Most did — not gonna lie. But — this sense of “the worst thing you could do is NOT try” really stuck with me. In this past year, I have said yes to some potential clients who I did not think I could take on (or was scared to) and it’s turned out wonderful.
    facebook office
    Funny enough- this image was taken on a visit to the NYC Facebook office for an event on women in business, which I was encouraged to go to from my manager.
  7. Flexibility in the workplace. What literally led me here was that I was given flexibility with my job. We had a generous maternity leave policy and the option to “ease” back into work after maternity leave (working from home on Fridays for a few months before coming back 5 days a week), which was SO incredibly helpful for me. These things really make a massive difference and most big corporations don’t have such flexible policies. I was also given the flexibility in the office to work wherever – rarely at my desk. At the office kitchen counter. In the small phone rooms. On the couch. The startup environment is awesome in this way — allowing employees to get up and move freely, which in turn makes them more productive and never bored. I am a firm believer that you could and should work where you’re most comfortable. For me, it’s at home by myself. For some, it’s in a bustling office. But it should be wherever you work the best.
  8. Modern business systems/ideas. Most startups are just that – starting up. And to do this, the business owner/CEO/Founder wants to make their employees happy. Many startups have a lot of fun perks and benefits (we didn’t have a ping pong table, but we did have a sweet espresso machine and some awesome views). They also use a lot of modern systems to run their business. Because of this, I learned so much about working “in the cloud” and running a paperless/electronic business. I think so much of my work now involves systems for entrepreneurs (and systems that I learned there), so learning these programs was huge.

Lately, I think a lot about — how did I get here after just starting this business a year ago? I think a lot of it is because I worked for a fast-paced, NYC startup that gave me the freedom to thrive and focus on what I loved working on. Instead of being pushed down in a cubicle, I was built-up daily and given the reigns to try things and take risks (something I had never had before). I owe so much to the time I spent there. I would not have been able to move here to Tahoe, to work from home and to live out this little business dream of mine.

So yes…working at a startup…a great idea.

Why You Must Backup your Mailchimp Lists – Now.

Emily Ryan

Quick tip for you if you use any online service provider.

As you probably noticed this week, Instagram and Facebook both went down for nearly a full 24 hours. With this comes a very important reminder…

You MUST back up all of your Mailchimp contact lists (or whatever email platform you use).

I want you to make sure you have downloaded a .csv file of your EVERY list you have in Mailchimp. If your email program were to ever go down, you just don’t want to risk losing that data. These are YOUR subscribers.

In Mailchimp, you simply go to your List and then Export (and download). Just keep these .csv files somewhere safe. More instructions here.

This also goes for other services. Anywhere you can, you want to be exporting any important data. This means taking a monthly backup of your WordPress website, downloading your accounting files from your invoice program, etc. Everything should periodically be backed up.

Set a calendar reminder each month to BACK IT UP. In fact, our favorite WordPress back up plugin is called WPBackItUp. Highly recommend.

That’s it. Back it up. We now have witnessed that online apps can go down!

Contact us if you ever need quick help doing this.