My emails aren't performing well. What am I doing wrong?

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Everybody's in a hurry these days—in person and online. When you're rushing to get a mailing out, it's important to remember that if you take the time to add your own finesse and flavor to your email campaign, it'll go a long way with your audience. And, above all, please avoid these often-overlooked mistakes:
  • Frenetic formatting. If your company is a high-end boutique, a restaurant, nonprofit or university, my hunch is you'd like to convey confidence, authority and an absence of chaos. Even an exciting and important message does not necessitate random bold and italic words, huge font sizes or new font colors for every paragraph. Your communication should speak for itself through its message and offerings without making your readers go cross-eyed.
  • Careless spelling and grammatical errors. One of the most common reasons I unsubscribe from a newsletter is slapdash writing. It completely distracts from the message. And if a company takes little pride in its marketing, what am I to expect from its product or service? Read your newsletter slowly and out loud before sending it to your audience. Then, send a test. You'll likely catch an error or two that you can address before sending to your entire list.
  • A disengaging, dull voice. The topic of email, while pretty exciting to most of us who work here at Emma, isn't the most compelling thing in the world. Yet, we still like to talk about it in a style that's conversational and unstuffy. Even Emma is fun to land on. How dull would it be if we said things like e-blasts (ick), leveraging subscriber relationships (yawn) and offering top-of-the-line, data-rich solutions (eyeroll)? Take a look at your copy and ask yourself: Who are we? What sets us apart? If you'd like extra tips along the way, check out our post on turning off the bot talk.
  • An over-caffeinated, salesy voice. Sending an email is one of the best ways to have a one-on-one conversation with a customer, prospect or fan who you probably haven't met in person. But, let's say you are meeting them in person. Would you walk right up and say, "Hey, I'm from Company Z. I've got a bargain for you! It's without any gimmicks! And your first shipment is freeeee!" No, you wouldn't. So why are you sending emails that are all about the sale? Get to know your audience first. They're real people, and they're more than their wallets.
Consider these email faux pas when you're creating your next email campaign, and your readers will likely spend more time reading what you have to say. Katie Lewis is a customer support specialist at Emma Inc., an email marketing and online communications company.
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