Email Marketing may be an old school marketing practice, but is by far still one of the most effective when it comes to making direct sales online.

Actually, if you are relying 100% on social media platforms to drive your online marketing, and are not encouraging your followers into your marketing funnel, you are doing an extreme disservice (and putting massive risk) into your business.

Effective email campaigns will turn prospects into customers, and turn one-time buyers into loyal, continuous buyers, and if done correctly – an email subscriber is basically a future customer just needing some further nurturing.

Learning the creative and technical side of running email marketing campaigns comes with careful thought and planning. To help you, below are the 7 mistakes you need to avoid to get the maximum benefits when using this channel.

1. Not following the law.

Are you using single opt-ins in countries where it is illegal to have single opt-ins? In some places, the penalty for this can be up to one million dollars! Here are some general rules to abide by (and no, I am not a lawyer so please take my advice as general information only!)

TIP 1: Know who you are emailing.

What might be legal in one country, may not be legal in another. Make sure you comply with different international laws:

– United States: CAN-SPAM Act
– Canada: CASL
– European Union: GDPR (enforcement 25 May 2018)
– Australia: Spam Act 2003

TIP 2: Always use opt-in.

US CAN-SPAM does not require you to opt-in your subscribers, but the rest of the anti-spam laws do. In order to curb getting a fine (the biggest fine paid to date was by a Canadian company totalling 1.1 million Canadian dollars) just ask permission to email someone even if you don’t “have to”. It really is the polite and right thing to do.

TIP 3: Watch out for what your contractors or staff are doing on your behalf!

Even if you are outsourcing your work to another marketing team, they will not be legally responsible for any mistakes.

All in all, be careful when it comes to legislation and do your research.

2. Being too professional.

In a world where people are being bombarded by marketing, it pays to keep things personal. Add your quirks, humor, and emotion into your emails.

This doesn’t mean to stop creating quality content, but you’ll notice that many emails that look like a promotional pamphlet (you know those ones you get in the mail that you throw straight to the bin?).. Well they end up in the online bin too.

– TIP 1: Avoid using Stock Images
– TIP 2: Limit it to 1 (maybe 2) call to action per email
– TIP 3: Check your Spelling & Grammar
– TIP 4: Write in your own style and personality (think about how you speak, puns or phrases you often say…)

Then, you’ll see how people respond.

3. Using lazy subject lines.

If you can get someone to open your email, you are halfway there. Put your detective hat on, sign up to some email lists and find out what subject lines draw your attention.

After studying numerous winery emails, this is what I suggest:

– TIP 1: Keep it clear and concise
– TIP 2: Use humour
– TIP 3: Be minimalist with single-worded phrases
– TIP 4: Stand out with emojis or symbols

BONUS TIP: If you noticed one of your emails received a significantly low open rate, resend it to the unopened audience with a new subject line! Repeat as necessary.

4. Not adding value to your audience.

Be honest with yourself, are you adding legit value to your audience’s lives? Think about what your audience cares about, how can you make their life easier or improve their life experience.

– TIP 1: Tell them a few recipes they can try this Saturday night in and how it pairs with your wine.
– TIP 2: Teach them something new about the terroir, wine processes or wine varietal.
– TIP 3: Send them an inspirational message to keep them going through tough times.

Whatever you are writing about, make sure your customer is the hero and the centre of the content… and please.. Let’s get rid of the Newsletters if they are not not part of a larger brand strategy.

5. Not using automation.

The BEST thing about email marketing is getting the systems to work for you. Leverage these powerful time-savers and treat your email software like a (super affordable) employee! Employ a welcome series, cart reminders, and nurture sequences to get your audience up to speed.

– TIP 1: Use tags to segment your audience; from customers, prospects and leads.
– TIP 2: Write extra notes about each email; do they prefer your whites, reds or a mix of both?
– TIP 3: Follow a naming convention when tagging your audience to keep things clear and streamlined behind the scenes.

6. No call to action.

What do you want your audience to be doing after they read your email? Perhaps you want to sign up for an upcoming event, encourage them to follow you on social or even make a purchase.

– TIP 1: Buy now!
– TIP 2: Sign up here!
– TIP 3: Follow along on social!

If you are not telling your audience what to do, simply put, they won’t do it!

7. The language is too complicated.

If you are using industry-specific jargon your audience will not only find it hard to understand you but most probably unsubscribe from your list. Remember to use layman terms, using fun and exciting language that is enjoyable to read and keeps your audience entertained.

Have fun!

Final Thoughts

It can be overwhelming knowing ALL the things you must be doing to get your email marketing correct, so my theory is, learn the things you really shouldn’t do, take action and learn the best techniques as you go.

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