5 common mistakes made when using email marketing automation tools

The average business uses at least one form of email marketing automation to power their email efforts. This can be a tool that helps with list management, content creation, sending timed emails and more. Although automation is very helpful when doing email marketing, there are several common mistakes businesses make when using automation. In this post, we’ll cover the five most prominent ones and talk about how you can avoid each issue.

Lack of personalization

The biggest mistake that companies make when using marketing automation tools is not personalizing it enough. Just because you’re using a tool to automate your email marketing doesn’t mean that you can completely forget about personalization. If you use the same basic templates that tools give you, your campaigns will look identical to other companies.

The average customer receives dozens of generic emails per day. Without actually personalizing your email content towards them and their needs, you can quickly end up in the spam folder. Even if your offer and call to action are amazing, your email list is unlikely to take any action if they feel like your email is generic and not specific to them.

Make sure to take the time to personalize each email you send. This means adding their first name in the subject line and throughout the email. It also means customizing the content to fit their needs. You can also use other data they have provided to you like their company name, job title, etc. to further segment your list and make the email even more personalized.

Some practical tips you can use to personalize your emails with automation tools include:

  • Using specific dates to personalize your campaigns: Email automation tools allow you to see when a customer subscribed to your email list, when their birthday is, etc. You can use this data to give limited offers on your products and services and give it to your customers on their special occasions.
  • Including a customer’s name in the subject line: This is one of the oldest personalization tricks in the book, but it works. Email automation tools allow you to easily add the name of your recipient anywhere in the email. The subject line in particular is one of the most effective places to put the name of your recipient because they can easily see it and click on your email.
  • Using their purchase history to personalize content: Automation tools can track every purchase your customers make. You can use this data similarly to ecommerce companies to give them personalized recommendations for other products they might like. You can also use it to give them discounts on items similar to what they’ve purchased in the past.

Sending too many emails

With the latest email automation tools, it’s very easy to send a high volume of emails in a short period of time. This can be great for getting your message out there quickly, but it can also backfire if you’re not careful. When someone subscribes to your email list, they are typically signing up to get a routine update or message from you. If they start getting 10 emails a day from you, they’re quickly going to become annoyed and unsubscribe.

Instead of blasting your list with more emails, take the time to optimize your content and make sure you’re only sending emails when you have something valuable to share. Making improvements to your subject line, email copy, offer and CTA will bring much more results than sending more emails.

Some best practices for sending the right cadence of emails include:

  • Sending a welcome email after someone subscribes
  • Sending a specific amount of emails per week: This can be something as simple as 1-2 emails per week
  • Sending emails during work hours (8AM to 4PM)
  • Sending promotional emails occasionally instead of routinely

Neglecting email warmup

Far too many companies buy an email marketing automation tool and start blasting out emails to their audience. This is extremely dangerous because if you send too many emails or if you neglect warming up your domain, you can quickly end up in the spam folder. Prior to starting your routine schedule of sending emails, make sure to do email warm up to avoid being marked as spam by Gmail, Outlook and other email service providers. This is incredibly important if you’re starting off with a new domain.

You can do email warmup by manually doing it yourself or using an email warmup service. You can do email warmup by:

Sending a few manual emails each day: To start, send a few manual emails each day from your new domain to different people. You can do this by emailing friends, family or colleagues. This is key to showing your domain that you are a person who doesn’t spam and you’re using your email correctly.

Reply/get responses: Another key part of email warmup is getting replies. If someone replies to your email, it’s a good sign to email providers that you’re not a spammer. You can do this by sending emails to your other email accounts, close friends, colleagues and family. Getting a few replies is enough to verify you’re legitimate

Sending your first mini/test campaign: Prior to sending out emails to your entire list, experiment with sending your email to a small segment of your audience. This will give you a chance to see how everything is working and if there are any issues with your content, email design or overall process. If everything goes smoothly with your test campaign, you can go ahead and start using your automation tools on your entire list.

Lack of mobile optimization

The vast majority of your email subscribers will see your emails on your mobile device. In fact, more than 70% of people view their emails on their mobile devices. It’s vital to make sure your email marketing automation tools are optimized to deliver emails to mobile devices. If the vast majority of your users are getting ill-formatted emails due to your company using some automation tool, it will quickly become a liability.

Before sending your first email marketing campaign with an automation tool, it’s key to test it out. You can do this by sending a test email to yourself or to a small group of people and opening it on your mobile devices. This will help you identify any potential formatting issues and make the necessary changes before your audience receives it.

Some factors that will influence how the formatting of your emails on mobile devices include:

  • Length of subject line: Keep your subject line under 50 characters to avoid it being cut off
  • Preheader text: This is the brief summary of your email that appears below the subject line in most emails. Keep it concise just like your subject line
  • Size of any buttons you use: Make sure your buttons are large enough to be easily tapped on a mobile device
  • Images: Use images that are low in file size so they load quickly on mobile devices

You may have the right default settings for these parts of your email in your desktop version of your automation tool, but it’s vital to make sure that these settings also work for mobile devices.

Not maximizing customer data

One of the greatest benefits of email marketing automation is the ability to send personalized messages at scale. A significant part of personalizing your emails is using the data that customers give you. In addition to their name and email address, you can use other data points like their date of birth, location, transaction history, etc. to personalize your messaging more. You can collect all these data with CRM software.

Some of the ways you can leverage customer data in your email marketing include:

A/B testing your campaigns: You can run numerous A/B split tests to see what works best with your audience in terms of engagement, conversions, etc. Instead of taking a random guess and running an A/B test, you can use the data given to you by your customers to make an educated experiment. This will help you optimize your campaigns for better results.

Segmenting your audience: If you have a sizable email list, you probably have some difficulty with segmenting your audience. Using other data points besides the name and email address of your email subscribers is a great way to start segmenting your audience. This gives you the ability to send hyper-targeted messages that are relevant to each segment, which can lead to higher engagement rates and more sales.

Creating dynamic content: You can use the data points you have to create dynamic content blocks that change based on who is viewing the email. For example, if you have a clothing store, you can show different products to men and women based on their gender. This is just one way you can use dynamic content to make your emails more personalized and relevant to each individual.

These are just a few of the ways you can use email marketing automation to improve your results. If you’re not using an automation tool, now is the time to start. And if you are using one, make sure you’re taking full advantage of all the features and benefits it has to offer. To learn more about how you can use marketing automation to fuel your email marketing, learn more here.