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Email Marketing Mistakes that Could Cost You Big in 2014

While we are knee-deep in the holidays, 2014 is right around the corner. And if you’re like the majority of small businesses, email marketing will play an important role in your promotional efforts throughout the New Year. Don’t let the following small but common mistakes keep you from achieving your marketing goals!

Making it difficult for people to recognize you

For 68 percent of consumers, familiarity with the person sending the email is the top reason why they decide to open. Take the time to double check the “From Name” and “From Email Address” you’re using to send your emails.

Your “From Name” should be the name people identify with when they think of your business. For most businesses, this will be a choice between your personal name (Patty Smith) or brand name (Patty Smith’s Bakery).

If possible, your “From Email Address” should be a branded address

(, not a personal address (

Overselling in the subject line

If you want your emails to stand out from the noise this, you need to put some thought into the subject lines you decide to use. Simply bombarding your customers with salesy messages won’t be enough. Here are a few examples you may want to consider:

News: Announcing our annual [insert name of event/sale/promotion].

The question: Looking for the perfect gift for [insert audience relevant to your business]?

The teaser: A special offer from [insert your business name].

Ignoring mobile readers

More than 40 percent of all emails are opened on a mobile device. For some comparison, mobile opens were at just 10 percent in 2011 — that’s an incredible 330 percent change. While you may not have paid much attention to mobile in the past, this year you need to design emails that work on all devices.

The easiest way to find out if your emails are mobile friendly is to send a test, and read your email on your own mobile device.

Can you read your content without pinching to zoom in?

Are your images displaying effectively?

Can you easily click the links inside your emails?

If you answered no to any of these questions, you may want to rethink your email design and content. Focus on making your email content clear, concise, and to the point, and making your design easy to read on any device.

Forgetting to include a clear call to action

Don’t hit send on your email campaigns without offering a “next step” for your customers. Do you want them to redeem an offer? Register for an event? Connect on social media. Are you hoping to drive people into your store or shop online?

It’s important to make sure that your main call to action is clear to your readers. Be careful not to bury your call to action at the bottom of a lengthy email. Instead, place it front and center, and clearly identify why they should take that next step.


Gina Watkins is a leading expert on e-marketing for small business – and has a real passion for helping businesses to succeed. Her ongoing series of dynamic lectures are filled with real-world examples, humor and results-driven wisdom garnered from more than two decades of sales, business development and marketing experience. In addition to owning her own business, she is an award-winning direct marketer, has been featured on WUSA Channel 9’s Mind Over Money show, Dr. Gayle Carson’s Women In Business radio show, Morgan State’s Briefcase Radio program, and in numerous other media. In her role as Constant Contact Regional Development Director, she’s presented to more than ten thousand seminar attendees about the keys to success with easy, affordable, highly effective technology tools that grow trusted business

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