Before we can even begin to cover the 13 Deadliest Email Marketing Sins we have to start at the beginning. You must have a database of email addresses and they should be segmented.
Segmentation of your database allows you to deliver compelling messages that are relevant to that group. Email messages are no longer a “one size fits all” strategy or generalized content.
Although there are many sophisticated and varied ways to segment your database, at the simplest level you can begin by dividing your email addresses into three groups, or funnels.
GEOGRAPHIC segmentation applies to you if your nonprofit serves patrons regionally, nationally, or internationally. This segmentation gives you the opportunity to bring a local or regional look and message to your audience.
The most common way to segment your database is BEHAVIORALLY. Think prospects that you want to turn into donors or volunteers. Volunteers that you want to convert to donors and one-time donors that could be making regular, recurring donations.
Segmentation of INFLUENCERS would be your best donors and ambassadors. This group deserves special messages, acknowledgments, and actions, so segment them into their own funnel.
Bonus: You can ask more from this group of loyal followers.
Here Now Are The 13 Deadliest Sins:
- You don’t treat your database like your social feed. Your segmented lists are like a social feed that you own. This means you need to be engaging people by with a content calendar plan that includes educations tidbits, stories, contests, photos, video, links, and by asking questions.
- You forgot that the reader must LIKE you. Eight out of 10 buying, or in this case donation, decisions are based on emotion. This means that only 20% of decisions are based on logical facts. Research tells us that the number one emotion you need to evoke from prospects is likeability.
- Your SUBJECT LINE is boring. Take more time with your subject line than you do with your email content. The subject line should be high-impact and leave the reader wanting to know more. Examples: “What is your biggest question for me?” “2 things today” “This saved a life” “You coming?” “hey ª”
- That catchy subject line and relevant content won’t do a thing if it never reaches your audience so don’t forget to test the deliverability of your message by making sure that your email looks good on all devices. This means tablets, laptops, and mobile phones. Also don’t forget to run your email through a SPAM analyzer and then fix the issues before you schedule it to deliver. A free SPAM analyzer that we like is www.litmus.com.
- You write like a stiff, corporate robot. Readers like writing that’s relaxed and conversational. Don’t be stiff or formal and for the love… don’t send an email with grammatical mistakes. Grammatical errors imply that, at best, you’re careless — and they’ll put off your potential partners.
- You don’t give your readers more opportunities to learn more about your organization. Always include links to select website or landing pages. This tactic also allows you to track and measure the effectiveness of your message.
- You fall into the trap of telling the reader everything-awesome-thing that’s going on in your wonderful world of you and your organization. Keep to one primary message or idea in your email. Period.
- Your message doesn’t come from a real person within your organization. Please write your content in first person.
- You are not using an automated service. Simplify your life right now. We recommend Get Response, Active Campaign, or Constant Contact.
- You don’t pay attention to the look of your email message. Wait! You mean there’s a look? Each email should have a branded, professional layout and style that can include photos and videos.
- You send the email out whenever it’s convenient for you. Open rates are highest on Tuesdays between the hours or 11:00 am and 3:00 pm.
- No one is tasked with responding to email reply messages. Make sure you’ve got a real human being monitoring any replies to your email marketing, and that that person is giving thoughtful, personal replies to each message they get.
- You don’t know the biggest secret of all to a better email. Don’t forget the “ask.” This is your call to action. Tell your reader exactly what to do, how to do it, and that you want them to do it right now.