Typos. Broken links. Incorrect data. Poor rendering.
Did you feel a shiver run down your spine?
These mistakes are the stuff of email marketing nightmares: the worst-case scenarios that keep marketers lying awake.
These nightmares are worse than a bump in the night — they have real consequences. Email marketing mistakes can result in lost revenue or frustrated customers.
Checking and double-checking can only go so far. Instead, you need to know what to watch for.
That’s why we pulled in the experts: our team of email marketing ghostbusters here to save the day and tell us how to overcome your spookiest email marketing fears.
Here’s how to avoid your worst email marketing nightmares.
Having the wrong merged data with a subscriber’s email address
Given the dynamic nature of email and the email address being a unique identifier (UID), having the correct data is vital. If the data is wrong or inaccurate, subscribers will get the wrong message, think we sold their data — or worse, think their data had been hacked.
How to avoid it:
We merge partial data (20-30 records) so we can double check if those fields were populated correctly, once that manual process is completed and verified we merge the entire list.
— John Thies, CEO, Email on Acid
John Thies is the CEO and Co-Founder of Email on Acid, a service that gives email marketers a preview of how their emails are displayed in the most popular email clients and mobile devices. His career passion is helping marketers send perfect emails.
He resides in Denver, Colorado with his wife and son. When he isn’t working he’s either on the golf course or snowboarding in the fresh Colorado powder.
Emails rendering incorrectly
Just as not all fingers are the same, all email clients are different. Because of the different rendering engines used, every HTML email template needs to be rigorously tested across each client. Sending out an email to all subscribers and finding out that even 10% of them are receiving a broken layout is the worst nightmare I could ever imagine.
To avoid such expensive embarrassment and a lot of email correspondence, we implement appropriate fallbacks for any design nuance that is not supported in certain email clients. This is done by following a strict pre-delivery QA testing for every email template that we code for our clients.
How to avoid it:
- Compare the final email with the job description provided
- Inline the CSS for Gmail and Outlook support
- Add appropriate fallback options and ‘view online’ link as fallback support for any kind of CSS based interactivity in emails
- Use testing tools to ensure rendering across 40+ email clients
- Ensure proper rendering of background images
- Gauge accessibility prospects of the email
— Kevin George, Head Monk - Marketing, EmailMonks
Kevin, the Head of Marketing at EmailMonks - one of the fastest growing Email design and coding companies, specializes in crafting beautiful email templates, PSD to HTML email conversion and free Master Email Templates. He loves gadgets, bikes, jazz, and breathes ‘email marketing’. He is a brand magician who loves to engage & share insights with fellow marketers.
At GreenRope, we were doing a review campaign, and I sent out two different emails to test the different layouts. One was an image, but I forgot to link it. It was so embarrassing!
Once I figured it out (which was of course after it was sent, but luckily only sent to a small test group), I cancelled the broadcast and fixed it before it went out to the entire list. Phew.
I also sent out a follow up to those who did get the one with a broken link with an apology email and the correct link. This could have been bad, though, since we were asking for reviews.
How to avoid it:
Yes, we did send the one-off, but we also updated our review process. Now, emails go through two levels of review before anything is sent out. We also made it easy in the system to edit the email right from the Queued Message list, so instead of having to cancel the broadcast, you can edit and save right from the same screen. This makes the editing process a lot easier for little changes.
— Alessandra Gyben, Marketing Manager, GreenRope
Alessandra Gyben is the Marketing Manager at GreenRope, a Complete CRM and Marketing Automation platform. She specializes in marketing automation process, customer journeys, pipeline marketing, content and social. She has been with GreenRope for over 7 years, starting as the email marketing and social media coordinator. She currently lives in Reno/Tahoe and enjoys skiing and outdoor activities when not working on new and creative marketing strategies.
We hope these quick expert tips keep the email marketing boogiemen at bay. What are your worst email marketing nightmares? Share them in the comments or tweet at us @TowerData.
Ready to better reach and engage your customers? Test our Email Validation and Email Intelligence services for free on InstantData.