October 02, 2015

Posted By: Scotty Spielman

[caption id="attachment_3571" align="aligncenter" width="507"]Don't let your business email end up in the spam folder. Don't let your business email end up in the spam folder.[/caption]

Today, personalized marketing is more important than ever. There are so many ways businesses are trying to attract the attention of customers—and so many different ways to do it—that the personal touch will go a long way toward elevating your shop above the rest.

Email is a tried and true way for business owners to connect with their customers and potential customers. There are newer methods, but few are able to deliver your message to your customers as reliably as an email.

Most customers expect an engaging email to be personalized in some way, but getting specific can also lead to potential pratfalls. Delivering inaccurate information or sending mistake-ridden emails could cost you. Here are four mistakes to avoid:

Incorrect personalization
Personalization is the ability to reach your customers based on who they are or what they do. It helps you send the right message, at the right time, to the right person. Nearly 50 percent of consumers expect that kind of personalization, and nearly 50 percent indicated that they’re more likely to buy from a company that employs it.

You can personalize emails through the subject line, the greeting, body of the email, location of the addressee and language. The reason to avoid these mistakes is pretty self-explanatory—you don’t want to address somebody by a wrong name or in a language they can’t read—and remember, getting these basic things wrong also show a lack of organization. That could doom your business, right there.

Sending irrelevant information
If you’re dividing your customer base into different segments based on traits like age and gender, it’s possible to get your signals crossed and send marketing materials to the wrong place. It might be flattering for a senior citizen to get email filled with back to school specials, but a student may not feel the same generosity toward a Valentine’s Special where he gets a free rose.

As innocent as these and other potential gaffs are, you run the risk of turning off your customers or potential customers. About 75 percent of online consumers said they’d be frustrated with email marketing content that has little or nothing to do with their interests.

Failure to proofread
“If they don’t trust you with the little things, they won’t trust you with the big things,” is one of the axioms of the newspaper industry. It’s unlikely that you’ll convince someone to come in for an engine overhaul if you can’t spell engine. This goes beyond simple typos, too. Check your links: your email should drive traffic back to your web site or other social media feeds. Having working links throughout is crucial.

There’s a fine line between marketing and spam—no matter whose name is on the greeting. Don’t overwhelm your customers with too many emails and don’t send them so infrequently that their email client will automatically recognize them as spam and divert them into the corresponding folder. Let your customers know how often your email will arrive, and stick to that schedule. One a month is a good time frame; it allows you to plan ahead and still gives you time between emails to respond to any national trends. That way, a special offer will actually seem like a special offer, and not just something you forgot to send out last week.

Can you think of any other email mistakes? Let us know in the comments.