Mistakes in Email Marketing

Although email marketing is an incredibly trusted and effective way to keep your clients up to date, it’s important to note that sometimes mistakes happen. Since you’re sending the emails to your recipients’ inboxes, there’s no way to edit them in real-time. Once the email is sent, it’s out of your hands.

Some common mistakes are:

  • An email with a broken link
  • An email to the wrong segmented list
  • An outdated or incorrect email
  • Emails with personalization mistakes
  • Emails with typos or mistakes in the email copy

You can take preventative measures to identify mistakes and fix them before you send emails. Let’s go over these mistakes.

A broken link.

First, send a broken link. A broken link is a hyperlink that no longer leads to the correct website for whatever reason. If you’re sending a marketing email that hyperlinks to external websites, PDF documents, or something else, and the reader gets an error message, your link may be broken.

The best way to ensure this never happens is to double check every hyperlink before you send the email out. It always helps to have another set of eyes on your email as well. So enlist the help of a colleague to ensure everything looks okay.

Sometimes, there might be a typo in the URL, but the link is correct. In this case, you can either to correct it or let it go, and triple check next time. Even the most experienced email marketers make mistakes.

The wrong segmented list.

Another mistake made in email marketing is when an email is sent to the wrong segmented list. Recall that your lists are most likely going to be segmented based on demographics, behavioral data, psychographic characteristics and geography. Let’s say you want to send an email targeting 18 to 25 years old, but you accidentally send it to your 40 to 55 age group.

First, to prevent this from happening in the future, you’ll want to create some kind of quality control or QC process for your marketing emails. Quality control is a process through which a business seeks to ensure that product quality is maintained or improved. This might include creating a checklist that ensures you’re using the right format, content, personalization tags and anything else you may want to be extra careful about.

Wrong or outdated email.

If you make the common mistake of sending the wrong or outdated email to your subscribers, don’t panic. There are some steps you can take to fix it. You need to be incredibly fluent in your automated systems tools and software to avoid the mistake in the first place. Regardless of what tool you’re using, you should aim to be an expert user. This will decrease the likelihood of sending an incorrect email.

However, should it happen that sometimes all it takes to make things right is a thoughtful follow-up email? You may want to have some apology templates already created in your marketing automation tool so that they can go out as swiftly as possible. You’ll need to make it relevant to your specific situation of course.

For example, you sent an email that said there was a sale on a particular product, but the product is already sold out and the sale ended a week ago. This mistake has threatened your credibility, and you need to apologize to your customer base. In your apology email, you’ll need to admit your mistake, apologize to your subscribers and offer them something to make it right. I believe that you might have received an apology email from the retailer before like the one below.

Example of email correction
Example of email correction

Your subscribers will probably forgive you for the mistake and they’ll appreciate the discount.

Personalization mistakes

Your automated emails can sometimes end up in spam folders rather than inboxes. This could be because you’re not adhering to your country’s spam related laws or because your email seems like it might be spam. Emails may be flagged as spam when they include too many images or images that are too large. Make sure to send yourself a test email first and review that you don’t have too many images.

An email with typos

Perhaps the most common mistake is sending out an email with typos. Like the other common mistakes, these typos leave you at risk of losing credibility with your subscribers, and they can be especially damaging when they occur in personalization tags.

Sending here’s a gift for you Malcolm, is obviously much more effective than sending an email where you misspell your tag and it ends up reading, here’s a gift for you bracket first, main bracket. To ensure you don’t have typos, grammatical mistakes, or personalization errors in your email, conduct automated spellcheck using an online spellchecker or some kind of plug-in on your internet browser like Grammarly.

Proofread several times and make sure to send a test email to yourself to double check all personalization tags are spelled right.

How to fix email marketing mistakes

Mistakes are unavoidable, and we all make mistakes. But it’s how you react to your mistakes to regain the trust of your users that matters.

At some point, as a digital marketer, you’ll probably send emails out to a large number of people. This means that if there is a mistake in your email, several people may see it. That’s ok, as long as you take the following steps to correct and address the mistake. Then, when you land your first role as a digital marketer, feel free to keep this and use it as a checklist for yourself.

Contingency plan:

  • Leverage the experts at your company.
    • Have any team members made this same mistake? If so, what did they do? They may offer sage advice to help you resolve the issue.
  • Consider whether you should send a corrected version of the email.
    • A minor misspelling or typo in the email may not warrant a follow-up or an explanation, but a more pressing error might, such as an incorrect product launch date or sale date.
    • If you do send a follow-up email, be clear about the change in the follow-up email by bolding it or using color.
  • If the mistake was really bad, offer an incentive.
    • An example of an incentive may be free shipping, extending a sale, a discount code, or something else.
  • If the mistake is a broken link, redirect the bad link to the correct one as soon as possible.
    • This may not be beneficial for those who have already clicked the link, but it will benefit anyone who hasn’t clicked on the link yet.
  • If there’s a possibility someone was upset or offended at the message you sent, you may need to apologize on social media or through a public statement.
    • Whether this is necessary or not may depend on the size of the business, the severity of the mistake, and the company protocol that may already be in place. Consider: is your company so big that it has a plan for this situation? Or is it smaller, and therefore you’re tasked with how to handle the situation? Once you determine that, you can take the necessary steps.

If you send an email with a mistake in it, you’ll have to decide how to go about fixing your mistake. The action you take will vary based on the situation. The way you react to a typo in your email versus the way you react to the broken link will be different. So when sending emails out, make sure you have a thorough contingency plan in place ahead of time.

Happy learning and good luck!

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