Start now, improve later
“No one should expect to immediately be an email expert,” Dennison says. “People do procrastinate a bit, and we see clients who delay putting together a campaign out of the fear that they’re going to do it wrong. But I advise them to just start getting it done. You can’t improve until you start.”
Still, there are a few common mistakes that Dennison sees from client to client, some more egregious than others.
“There are still people who don’t have mobile responsive email templates, and nowadays that’s unacceptable,” Dennison says. “You have to look good on a mobile device. No exceptions.”
Another common problem that Dennison sees are marketing departments that are unfamiliar with the particulars of email marketing. “Generally, these clients have people who have been tasked with sending email, but they’ve gotten in the habit of sending it at the same time and same day each week without looking at the results,” Dennison says. “So they might be sending an email out each week at 10 a.m. on a Wednesday because that’s what they’ve always done, and they aren’t thinking strategically about it.”
Paying close attention to analytics, Dennison says, is critical to effective email marketing.
“Looking at the results is crucial to refining a campaign, as is experimentation. Five years ago, it was very popular to circulate articles about email marketing best practices, and there would be advice on the best time to send email, or which color buttons worked the best,” Dennison says. “The truth, though, is that your customers are unique. Your brand is unique. The only way to find what works is to get in there and change it up. That’s when you’ll learn the things that will help you refine what you’re doing into a more successful email marketing strategy.”