I help people, business, non-profits, and others to write better emails. It’s part of what I do. And I have fun doing it. So much so that I give multiple seminars and webinars on Email and Social Media Marketing on a regular basis.

And when I began this blog, I was going to write about the 3, or 4, or 7, or 25 mistakes to avoid when creating your next email. Which really goes to show that to create your next perfect email can be a bit over-whelming. There are so many places to go wrong. But in my many years of teaching, training, and writing emails I have isolated the biggest mistake to avoid when creating your next email. And it starts before you create your email.

Lack of strategy. At its core, what is the main purpose of the email that you are about to create? How does that email tie into your business or organization goals? It needs to be more than just a Call-To-Action (which is also part of a successful email). It’s needs to connect your business goals, with the needs of the reader.

A lot of emails I see miss the necessary balance of business goals vs customer needs. And the hardest part of finding this balance is that customer needs are constantly changing. So when crafting an email, you also need to take into account that the customer might not need it YET. And that is an important distinction for long term success. Here is an example.

I receive regular emails from ‘ABC Auto Repair’. The typical “time for oil change” stuff. One of the emails I received was a promotional discount for flat tire repair. Great. But I had no flat tire, YET. 4 months later I find I actually need that service now. A quick inbox search, and I redeemed the offer and was a happy camper.

Now the previous example does break one of the rules in that offers should have deadlines. And I agree that most retail offers should have a short time to encourage the response. But no-one plans for a flat tire. They do for an oil change, or even new tires. So this worked. This time.

What is the take-away from this blog? How do you START your next email campaign properly? You need to ASK yourself:

  1. What do you want the reader to do? (Call-To-Action)
  2. Does this sync with at least one of your business or organization goals? (High level view)
  3. How does the Call-To-Action benefit the reader? (Now or in the future)
  4. And finally metrics. How do you measure success? (Hint: It’s not just an open rate)

Each one of these steps can be a blog post by itself. And of course there are a LOT more mistakes that you need to avoid when working on your next email. I found the following articles to be helpful and think you might like them.

  • 3 simple mistakes you might be making with email design (Click Here)
  • 4 common mistakes to avoid in your next email (Click Here)
  • 7 email newsletter design mistakes you don’t know you’re making (Click Here)
  • 21 email marketing mistakes to avoid: The experts weigh in (Click Here)

And a final call to action for you, the reader. The fact that you read this far means you are constantly trying to improve yourself and your education. So consider attending one of my free webinars. Click Here to see what is coming up next. My webinars are not thinly-disguised sales pitches, but serious opportunities to learn and grow your business or organization using various forms of Email Marketing, Social Media, and Digital Marketing. Always Be Learning!

And Always Be Sharing. Please leave your comments below.