Email Marketing is a go-to tool for growth marketers, but what a disaster when it goes wrong! For nurturing leads, guiding a prospect through the sales process, or onboarding, your emails will make or break your results. Let's look at some tools & tips to help stop your email marketing from going wrong.
Before you send a marketing email, check for broken links, the spam score, or deliverability errors.
My personal favorite feature is checking for broken links in the email. Avoid the dreaded correction email: "Oops! I sent the wrong link."
Even with a perfect 10 score, there is no guarantee that your email won't end up in a spam filter. For example, if a user has tagged your email as spam in their own mailbox, your emails will go to that user's spam.
Clean your data in Excel before sending out an email with personalization to avoid embarrassing, response-killing mistakes.
1. Decide on your personalization.
For this example, the personalized email will use two fields: <FirstName>, <DaysLeftInTrial>.
You have <DaysLeftInTrial> days left. Why wait? Let's upgrade you now.
2. Create an Excel spreadsheet.
Import the data fields you are going to use for your email personalization into your Excel spreadsheet.
3. Fix capitalization.
To fix any capitalization errors in the FirstName field, use the Excel formula =PROPER(). This formula will capitalize the first letter of each word and make the remaining letters lowercase.
=PROPER('michele') = Michele
=PROPER('JESS') = Jess
=PROPER('MARy jOE') = Mary Joe
4. Use a fallback value for blank data.
Substitute "Subscriber" when the FirstName is blank so the email greeting is "Dear Subscriber".
To fix blank FirstName fields, use the =IF() formula. The =IF() formula allows you to conditionally populate a cell.
=IF(Something is True, then Do This, Else Do That).
Assume FirstName is in cell A2 of your spreadsheet. Here's how to replace a blank FirstName with "Subscriber", otherwise use the value of FirstName.
5. Clean up any negative numbers.
Since it doesn't make sense to have a negative number for DaysLeftInTrial, you can substitute the value "no more" using an =IF statement. Assume DaysLeftInTrial is in cell B2:
=IF(B2 <= 0, "no more", B2)
6. Create new columns for your cleaned data.
You can combine and nest the Excel formulas to create your final spreadsheet.
Here's a view of the formulas for one row of the sample data:
Here are the final results:
One very common oversight in email personalization is "plurals". In this example, the email is written "You have <DaysLeftInTrial> days left". Notice that if DaysLeftInTrial = 1, the email would read "You have 1 days left."
To fix this, you could use the FixedDaysLeftInTrial field to append either "day" or "days" depending on the value. The formula would be:
=IF(B2<=0,"no more",B2)&IF(B2=1," day", " days")
Recently Loom went viral for their email marketing, but not for a good reason. Like so many other email marketers, they used a "no-reply" address to send their email. And it cost them.
"No-reply" addresses are used by email marketers to send out email blasts without a way to directly respond to that email. It may seem like a great way to avoid clogging up an inbox with bounces and out-of-office replies, but it is a big no-no. Email programs are so sophisticated now that you can set up rules and workflows to handle routing the incoming emails. There is no excuse to use a "no-reply" address.
Here's why to use a real email address that accepts incoming replies:
If you receive an email from a real person from a personal email address, it feels authentic. Receiving an email from an impersonal address such as noreply@ has a very chilling effect on authenticity.
Even if you have a huge bright button in your email that says "Contact Me" or "Buy Now", there are people who are going to want to reply directly to the email. Why would you take away a channel to make a sale?
If someone has negative feedback, would you rather have them respond to you privately or would you rather have them tweet about it to the world? When you have the opportunity to hear negative feedback, you have to chance to correct it. Many times, when unhappy customers feel listened to, they turn into your biggest advocate.
Direct access to someone's inbox is a privilege. They have invited you to communicate with them, and that is very powerful.
Email marketing has a return on investment of $42 for every $1 spent. Email can create a positive brand image, boost credibility, and create a community.
Email can also be abused. This was the reason behind the CAN-SPAM Act. Here's a quick summary:
We all know about email spam, which is unsolicited unwanted messages.
We all know about SPAM, the canned cooked pork introduced by Hormel Foods in 1937.
But do you know how unsolicited emails got to be named after a pork product?
We can thank Monty Python. Monty Python had a sketch about a restaurant that has SPAM in every dish to the dismay of the patrons who don't like SPAM. In very Monty Pythonesque style, a group of Vikings sing a song "Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam... Lovely Spam! Wonderful Spam!" The song is truly a masterpiece.
In the 1980s, the term Spam was adopted to describe certain abusive users on early web communities who would repeatedly type "spam" and Monty Python quotes in order to scroll other users' text off the screen.
It's interesting to see how certain names for things stick and become part of the global vocabulary.
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