It’s would become part of my blogging schedule [Watch out for it every Wednesday] to spotlight local businesses either rocking it or doing it wrong with new media channels, platforms and strategies. Please note that this isn’t to spite anyone but to embrace the culture of best practices when it comes to online sales strategy and digital marketing.
Apologies first because am going to name call in these series of blog posts any company that’s given me a first-hand experience when it comes to utilizing online channels and platforms for business.
Quite a number of businesses are waking up to the possibilities of promoting their brand using online marketing. Part of doing that successfully is to understand the best practices so you don’t rub elbows against anyone or go against the set practices of global Internet safety.
This ideal of running your online marketing backed with best practices stands you out from the spammer, scammers, and fraudsters out there who don’t give a hoot.
You are building a business, a brand and for longevity sake you got to do what’s right. I hope with this post I guide local businesses and of course you my readers further on that path.
In the case of email marketing I keep seeing these mistakes hit my inbox and it gets them nothing but a quick unsubscribe and if that were possible with an email or phone call from me, pointing it out.
My goal with this is not to vent but to provide insight to email marketing best practices as earlier said.
So what is the six bad email marketing examples Nigerian businesses make.
1. Don’t get permission
Example one and two ties into one… Where companies don’t get permissions from their subscribers, these are emails of people they amassed over time or bought, or harvested with scraping software.
Nigeria is still in the very beginnings of understanding how Internet marketing really works and what best practices they should adopt.
Having said that though, you shouldn’t email people who have not expressly given you permission to.
How do you get permission?
Simple: through an optin page. Here is a screenshot of how that works on my blog and website.
Whoever is subscribing to your email list should have an understanding of how they will receive emails from you and what you do with their email.
Majority of companies fall into this category but I hope that with this info you would change how you pull people into your email list.
“Sobolation”; a gossip blog did this as well.
Please desist from using email harvesting tools or whatever form of email list that someone may have sold to you.
2. Unresponsive to their contact message, but then forces the subscriber into their mailing list
Although, this ties into not getting permission, it’s worse.
Can you imagine emailing a company with some inquiries I had.
After a lot of time had passed, and I mean days leading to weeks they provided no response to that inquiry but then included my email address began to send email updates, newsletter about their company. That’s so gross.
Computer Warehouse did that and here is a screen shot of my response email to them.
Don't do this, your goal with email marketing is to communicate with those who want to learn more about you.
Yes email is a powerful tool but you can just become a nuisance in peoples’ inbox if not properly done.
3. Use a service like Gmail and bcc others.
When running email marketing as a marketing tool. The golden rule is to have a third party site manage the process for you.
If you're sending bulk emails to supposed customers via your Gmail or Yahoo mail address and bcc everyone else, then you're doing this wrong.
Companies that I've found doing this include Hexavia...
I've had a phone conversation with their the Lead strategist hopefully they understand the need to change this.
So, why is using Gmail or yahoo mail to send bulk email massages not a good idea?
For one it’s just unprofessional more so, next point shows why.
4. Difficult to unsubscribe.
Being on your email list is not a life sentence. A healthy email marketing campaign is not to force people against their will to be pulled into it as earlier pointed out and also is not to have them bound to you against their will to remain part of it.
Make it easy to have whoever doesn't want to receive emails from you anymore unsubscribe. Within every email you send you should point this out.
The unsubscribe link should be visible and lead to a page they can easily sign out of receiving further correspondence with you.
This is not really a bad thing. Rather it ensures that those who choose to get your mails do so by choice. It makes your email list filled with enthusiastic, willing people who care enough to listen to what you have to say. No doubt you get better result this way.
Long lengthy epistles with too many pictures that infringe on copyright.
The email you send to customers is not a sermon paper, not an epistle and not also a lecture. Most responsive emails are short, straight to the point and gets the individual to the next step.
So do away with those lengthy lecture notes....
At first sight seeing a lengthy email just puts people off, they go "ah! This is going to take time" so they click away but a rather short, straight to the point mail can be easily read, skimmed and your audience knows exactly what you want them to do next.
Ensure also that you use pictures you got the rights to.
No Internet downloading please... There are free software’s that can help you create your own stunning photos. Or sites that also offer license photos for free or on a dime.
Hexavia does this a lot as seen in the picture above. But I don't want to rub it in. :)
5. Attempt to share news going around in local media.
Please, again I say please.... You're not a local news station. So don't try to be one.
What the heck! If you think to remain top of mind to your subscribers is to give them a rundown of local news; the happenings in politics as already covered by the local newspaper and media houses you're wasting your time. You've missed the true meaning of email marketing powered by valuable content marketing.
Boss offices did this and my God, did I let them know.
You shouldn't do this except you're a media house sending email updates to your subscribers but if your business isn't related to news information please kindly steer clear.
The reason is, you can never be the prime source of news.
People know where they get their news first hand. Television, radio Stations, print Newspapers, Facebook or Twitter... Are channels people get their news from, they would never expect to wait till your newsletter hit their inbox to get relevant info about what's happening around them. The negative impact of this is that you will drastically reduce your open rates. (More and more people won't open your emails) because they don't want to read a repeat of what they read in Punch days ago.
6. Not mobile optimized
I can't say enough of this. Every platform you host online should be mobile optimized. Why is this so?
Do you have a smart phone? Or at least do you have a phone that browses the web. Do you go check your mail, Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn on your mobile device?
That's your answer.
People are on different screens these days. Am writing this post with my iPad, checking my mails on my Android phone and monitoring my website on my laptop. This is not exclusive to me, a lot of people do it.
Different devices, different screens, that's the world we live in today.
So the idea is to make sure your email is readable no matter what device the person is on.
Using a third party email service and one column template helps you achieve this.
I hope with this post on the six bad email marketing examples Nigerian businesses make, I have been able to move the needle for someone to do it right, in a more excellent way.
Do you feel overwhelmed with all of these? You wonder how you can implement it all for your business? No need for worries.
Have a 20 minutes chat with me to understand how you can utilize this and other online platforms the right way and get results.
Go here to schedule the consultation call with me now. calendly.com/ifeomailloh/omsc