Do Your Marketing Emails Have This One Fatal Flaw?

Your business’s marketing emails may be cleverly written with eye-catching designs. But do they suffer from the one fatal flaw that can doom your email campaign to failure: frustrating the recipient?

Emails that frustrate your customers won’t achieve your goals. In fact, they’re likely to backfire by making people so annoyed with your business that they unsubscribe altogether. Here are five ways your marketing emails might be frustrating your customers.

  1. They’re not mobile-friendly. The majority of emails are now viewed on a mobile device. If your emails don’t render properly on a smartphone, will the recipient save it for later and make a special point to read it on desktop—or just delete it? I know what I would do. In addition to the emails themselves, the landing pages that links in the emails go to must be mobile friendly as well. Otherwise, customers who are ready to click and buy on their smartphones or tablets will get frustrated and give up.
  2. They take forever to load. If your emails don't load within a couple of seconds, either on desktop or mobile device, customers will get impatient. They may click away to another email and forget to go back to yours—or they may just delete your email without even reading it. Make sure that all images, photos and graphics in your emails are optimized to load quickly.
  3. Your links go to the wrong place. You should check and double-check everything in your marketing emails before sending them out—especially the hyperlinks. What will happen if a customer eagerly clicks on your link and it goes to a “404 not found” page? Beyond checking that your hyperlinks go to actual web pages, make sure each link goes to a specific landing page for that email campaign. For example, suppose you own an e-commerce site that sells jewelry and you're sending out an email about Mother's Day gifts. Your link “25% off Mother’s Day Gifts” link should go to a landing page featuring Mother's Day Gifts that are 25 percent off—not to your homepage, not to men's jewelry, not to Mother’s Day gifts at full price.
  4. Your email doesn’t keep the promise in your subject line. Have you ever received an email with a subject line like “Everything 50% Off!”? If you open it and discover there’s some fine print—like everything from last season is 50% off—you’re not going to be too happy. Yes, you want to craft subject lines that convince people to open your emails. But don’t bend the truth to do so. The body of your email needs to deliver what you promised in the subject line, or you’ll lose your customers’ trust.
  5. There’s no clear call to action. We all read emails in a hurry, especially marketing emails. That's why each of your emails must focus on a specific call to action. Whether it’s "Shop the Sale," "Buy Now” or “Call for an Appointment," make your call to action clear, simple and impossible to miss.