Avoiding Common Email Automation Mistakes
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Avoiding Common Email Automation Mistakes

Avoiding Common Email Automation Mistakes

Almost every company uses automation to send emails in today’s day and age. Every morning, I wake up to dozens of emails from retailers comprised of newsletters and special offers.

For the most part, I love sifting through these emails. However, as a marketing automation enthusiast, there are some aspects of email automation that can drive me crazy if done incorrectly. Below, I have determined four of my biggest automation pet peeves.

Boring subject linesSubject Line Email Automation

They say you can’t judge a book by its cover… However, this doesn’t always resonate with email recipients. Even marketers with the best email content can be at a disadvantage when not using catchy subject lines in their messages.

Amidst dozens of emails, a recipient’s eyes can easily glaze over a boring subject line. Subject lines should promote new products, relevant offers, special discounts, or use the recipient’s name to stand out among other emails.

In the example to the right, notice Nordstrom had sent me a “relevant” email about sandals after I had shopped for sandals on their website the day before. NM Last Call advertised a noteworthy sale to draw me in. J. Crew emphasized a “new” offer and special discount of free shipping to attract me. Note that Amazon Local did not utilize any of these tactics to grab my attention, and their message remained unopened and ignored.

Sent at the wrong time

Just because a software sends out automated emails, companies must still be conscientious of when they are distributing marketing messages.

Nordstrom Friday Evening EmailMost companies send out emails first thing in the morning – and for good reason.

While there is no set rule that marketers must stick to mornings when sending out emails, there are certain times marketers should avoid sending messages. For example, consider this email I received from Nordstrom. Nordstrom sent me this email at 6:30 Friday afternoon. This is one of the worst times to send me a marketing email, as I have likely finished work for the weekend and am probably enjoying a happy hour or dinner with friends. The only reason I opened this email was because I was looking at messages sent during poor times  for this blog post.

Friday evening is not the only bad time to send emails. Weeknights during “dinner time” will likely hold a low open rate. However, emails sent between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on weekdays will yield higher open rates, according to experts.

 

Incorrect personalization

Nothing aggravates me more than wasting my time opening an email with irrelevant offers. This holds true in the past couple months I’ve been a member of Banana Republic’s reward program.

Banana Republic's Men's Email
One of Banana’s many “male-centered” emails I always receive.

Every time I receive an email from Banana Republic, I receive emails about men’s clothing. I find this strange because every time I have shopped at Banana I have only ever bought clothes from the women’s section. However, every email I receive always includes information about their latest additions in their men’s line with little or no regard to women’s clothing. For some unknown reason, I think Banana Republic assumes I am a male.

Banana’s automation tendencies were amusing at first, but now I get annoyed whenever I see their irrelevant emails. Now, I rarely open any of their messages unless the subject line references some special discount.

While personalization can be a huge marketing asset, incorrect personalization can cause major problems. About 75% of consumers get frustrated when receiving irrelevant content. Avoid upsetting your target audience by personalizing with correct data.

Changing personal information is a hassle

While incorrect personalization is dangerous, mistakes can happen. In the case that consumers receive irrelevant content, the process to change personal information should be easy and convenient.

Consumers that must navigate through an entire website just to change a small personal detail (like their gender at Banana Republic), may be turned off at the thought of spending extra time on a website. Updating personal information should be simple. If changing profile details is too difficult, don’t be surprised if your email unsubscribe rate is uncomfortably high.

Wrapping it up…

While automation can be a big time saver, make sure your company is doing it effectively! The above mistakes can be harmful to your company’s growth, but making small fixes to your automation strategy is simple. Learn how to keep your automation easy and effective.

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