It’s that time of year. Sugary treats are being stockpiled, costumes are being sewn, or bought, or torn (depending on your style). All your favorite TV shows are airing special episodes. Ghosts and goblins are in the air, and if you’re in Canada you’re bracing for the first frost warning of the year.
Halloween is coming!
For retailers of all colors, whether ecommerce or bricks and mortar, it’s also crunch time to prepare for the oncoming holiday shopping rush. That means it’s time to ensure that your inventory is in order, your logistics are all running smoothly, and your suppliers are easily accessible. It’s also a perfect time to be doing an audit of your marketing.
One of the most vital marketing channels for any business is email. Whether you’re sending customer newsletters, seasonal promotions, or even using email as a channel for a customer referral program. Email is still (even with the rise of social media) the best way to communicate with customers.
That’s why it’s incredibly important to make sure you’re email marketing machine is running smoothly. So without further ado, here are….
The 5 Scariest Marketing Mistakes This Halloween
1. Boring Subject Lines
When it comes to what you’re sending to your customers inboxes, the one element that weighs the heaviest into whether or not your messages will get read is the subject line. Despite how important subject lines are to the overall success of any email marketing effort, there are a number of best practices that often get overlooked.
- Keep is short and simple. Most email marketing tools will suggest that you keep email subjects to 50 characters or less. That ensures that the entire subject will show up and be understandable in most common email clients, and also forces you as a writer to keep your subjects punchy.
- Check your spelling! The only thing worse than a typo is a typo that is front and center right in the subject line. Make sure you proofread your subjects as well. Spellcheck does a great job of catching mistakes in spelling, but often will overlook grammar errors (Their vs. They’re anyone?)
- Use power words. Research has shown that certain words will lead to higher open rates. Use them.
2. Spelling Mistakes
Poor spelling doesn’t just ruin subject lines. It can ruin and entire paragraph as well. Along with spelling mistakes, run on sentences and poor use of punctuation can also render your emails unreadable. While there are lots of tools out there built into most word processors to help with this, usually the best thing to do is just get a fresh set of human eyes. If an email is important enough to send to a customer, it should be important enough that you ask someone else to help you proof read it.
We all send and receive a lot of email. A lot. In fact, globally we collectively send over 180 BILLION email messages each day.
A lot of that is probably spam. One hallmark of spam is the frequency with which we get these messages. Don’t add to the problem. Sending the occasional email message to a customer is a great thing. Overwhelming them with too many is not. Make sure you have a thought out plan of attack when it comes to what messages you send, when you send them, and how many are sent.
4. Vanilla Spam
Your customers come from all walks of life. They also probably have all manner of purchase history and different stages of loyalty to your business. If you can you should leverage that data to your advantage. Tailored messages not only make the communication more personal, but can also increase engagement and click through rates as well.
At a minimum you want your emails to at least reflect your store and the value proposition you want to project. Fight back against blank messages that have no copy other than a coupon or call to action!
5. Doing Nothing
What’s the scariest email marketing mistake of them all? Not doing any. Sure we understand that a big list of best practices and things to watch out for can make email marketing a bit intimidating. We also understand that “not wanting to look like a spammer” can also be a huge deterrent. But email must absolutely be a critical part of how you engage your customers.
These days many tools are available on the market that make certain email campaigns much easier, far less intimidating and more personal to your customer as well. Take Referral marketing software. Gone are the days of generic blank coupon messages. Today’s referral programs can be tuned to your store value proposition and designed to look like they stepped right out of a designer’s screen. All without the effort and time consuming copywriting of old.
There you have it. Enjoy your Halloween, check your treat, brush your teeth, and make sure your email marketing isn’t leaving you scared!