Missed out on the first five? No worries, mate (Hi,
Down Under!) … take your time and check out 12
Common Mistakes of Email Marketing. Then come on back.
6. Creating individual emails instead of campaigns.
Remember the hammer analogy from last time? Good.
Now add this: No single ad constitutes a campaign,
Rome wasn't built in a day, and friendship isn't a
first-sight phenomenon. You have more to say and more
to accomplish than can be said and accomplished in a
A very important thing to do as you develop your
campaign is build upon your previous (successful)
efforts. Your individual emails have to be
interconnected, with a logical flow and a united
presentation - after all, they are all pieces of that
big “puzzle” that is your company. In a way, it's
like the old Burma Shave signpost campaign … you
want to keep your customers eager and on the lookout
for more of what you have to offer.
7. Obedience to unwritten rules.
Do you really want to be like everyone else? Do you
want to communicate the same message as your
competitors? No, of course not. You want to be unique,
you want to stand out from the crowd. So don't follow
it! Dare to be different in a believable way. That's
how you get noticed. I'm not suggesting you go
overboard (commercial relationship-building requires
tact and tends toward the conservative end of the
spectrum), but if your emails sound, act and look like
everybody else's emails, what's the value in doing
business with you rather than them?
8. Ignoring timing.
It should come as no surprise that you've got to
think about timing your message. Who is your audience
and when are they most likely to read your email?
Rebecca Leib presents some very useful information on
timing in her article Does Anybody Know What Time It
Is? Does Anybody Care?
Your goal is to give your customers the right
message and send it when they are apt to take the time
to read it. This isn't the same as suggesting you
should time your message to exactly when you think
your customer is going to act on it. Seasonal
situations aside, an important tenet of advertising is
this: "Tell the customer WHY and wait for WHEN.
Quit trying to predict the moment of need."i
Be careful to avoid over-segmenting your data base
in your efforts to reach your target audience. It's a
myth that you only need to get your message to the
decision-makers. Truth is, decisions are seldom made
in a vacuum. Don't neglect the influencers!
10. Event-driven marketing
It's best to steer clear of designing an email
campaign around a single event (unless it's a major,
well-branded event that strengthens your Unique
Selling Proposition). When an event is over, folks
will immediately forget the marketing pitch behind it,
and besides, 99.5% of the people you've spent the
effort to reach won't be coming to The Do anyway.
Where does your message go when this happens? Up in
tendrils of smoke.
11. Great production without great copy
"Slick, clever, funny, creative and different
are very poor substitutes for informative, believable,
memorable and persuasive." The name of the
ecommerce game is persuasion; getting people to take
the action you want them to take. Don't even dream of
neglecting those magical words that are going to help
you craft your brilliant, perfect message.
12. Confusing "response" with
"Slick, clever, funny, creative and different
ads are most likely to generate comment, or
response." Buzz doesn't feed the bulldog and excitement alone won't bring in the cash. See the
I recently heard a great saying: Intelligent folks
learn from their own mistakes; wise folks learn from the
mistakes of others. Now you've got all 12 of the most
frequently made mistakes in email marketing, and you're
in a great position to learn from them. So go,
Grasshopper, and be wise!
i All quotes from "12 Common Mistakes
Advertisers Make." A Power Point presentation by
Roy H. Williams
Beyond Search Engine Positioning
You might be asking, “Why’s my
favorite Conversion Rate Guru talking about Search
Engine Optimizing and Positioning (SEOP)?” Well, it’s
tough to convert traffic if you don’t have any, know
what I mean? You probably know search engines remain the
most popular way people find websites and account for over
80% of the traffic to some sites.
a website that’s a killer conversion machine is a big
part of improving your results. So is insuring a high
ranking in search engine positioning. But beyond
positioning, you want to make sure what the search
retrieves is persuasive and drives action. I’m not
an SEOP guru, but my friend Anthony Muller of Zenhits,
author of “The
Buyers Guide to Search Engine Positioning and Optimization
Services" is. So I asked him to share some of his
cautions it's a misconception that high rankings on major
search engines are enough to determine whether your e-biz
will succeed. “Search engine positioning is a
must," he says, "but there is a lot more to it.”
A high ranking by itself does not mean more traffic,
and even more traffic does not mean more sales if your
website can't maximize conversion.
good's a high ranking that's so badly worded, nobody
clicks on it? Or an okay-worded ranking that brings in
only a fraction of the traffic you'd get if your copy
captured browsers' attention and moved them to action? Not
good … in fact, maybe even doubly bad! You look
undependable if your listing is so short it seems like you
can’t be bothered with the details. Worse, suppose you
sit at the top of the list with a vague, misleading blurb.
Imagine how annoyed folks are going to be when they click
through and don’t find what they expected. And guess
what happens when you lure folks to a site that doesn't
engage them in the conversion process? (Hint: we've been
in Anthony's words, "is about getting the prescribed
response." For search engines, the action you want
to motivate is a click. Here’s what you need to know so
you get the clicks you want.
sells designer clothes for pet sharks. He goes to an SEOP
company to generate traffic for his niche market. The
company says it will do several things: identify valuable
keywords, get him high rankings on top search engines,
optimize his home page and create an information page (an
added webpage that is keyword rich). Phil checks the
company out and gives their proposal a thumb's up.
get busy and locate some keywords and synonyms, then
proceed to optimize Phil’s home page, targeting the
phrase “Shark Clothes.” Since the SEOP expert's goal
is a high ranking, she puts “Shark Clothes” in
the title tag of the home page (part of the HTML code the
search engine looks for). She succeeds! Phil gets a top
ranking on Google that looks like this:
... for sharks who are fashion-conscious
and shark owners who are embarrassed by their naked
most SEOP companies, this one is good at getting high
rankings, but it doesn't understand conversion. What we
have here is a top ranking that doesn't drive action.
No persuasion. No calls to action. No real appeal to
benefits. The conversion rate of this ranking will be a
fraction of what's possible.
that listing with this one:
Top Designer Shark Clothes Now and Get FREE Shipping
Are you a hip shark looking to stand out from
the school? A shark owner who wants to strut your pet
in finery on his morning walk? Phil has what you need.
different? The imperative "Buy" gets attention
and creates momentum toward taking action. "Now"
reinforces the urgency. FREE shipping provides a clear
benefit. Then a “richer” descriptive sentence appeals
to emotion and creates strong mental imagery. This
listing is likely to get 20-50% more clicks than the first
one! And all we did was add a few very important words
in a very specific way to create a link that doesn’t
just sit there, but actively converts traffic.
gets Phil the click, but it isn't the end of the story. Anthony
reminds us, “You have to remember the mentality of the generic SEOP / SEO expert is to “Bring you the horse”
not “help him to drink.” If you neglect the
conversion capability of your site, then all the extra
traffic from your conversion-sensitive high ranking will
do your job well, Anthony emphasizes, "You need a
significant and steady level of traffic. This makes the
conversion tweaking process much more efficient."
Think of your visitors as really cool lab rats (I mean
this in the most flattering way) and they are going to
help you map out that conversion maze. In the end,
"once the conversion is done, more traffic at higher
conversion just makes more bang for the buck."
play Math? Let’s say you get 3000 unique visitors a
month and have a conversion rate of 3% (which is higher
than average). That's about 90 sales per month. If your
improved search engine rankings get you 5000 visitors a
month, then at the same conversion rate (3%) you'll have
approximately 150 sales a month. Goody … more money in
your pocket. But my loyal readers know you can do even
better. Let’s assume you increase the conversion rate of
your website to 5%. 5000 visitors at a conversion rate of
5%? That's 250 sales per month. Don't you love the mileage
of a few extra words and an efficient conversion process?
gonna wrap this up better than Anthony, so I leave you
with this closing thought (eat your heart out Jerry
Springer): "Traffic is of prime importance,
conversion is of prime importance, one's existence without
the other is a horrible waste of potential and