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3 embarrassing email marketing mistakes you might be making

For all the pronouncements that “email is dead” over the past couple of years, we all still get a lot of it. Email is not going away, it is not a bad thing, and it can be an effective marketing tool for businesses— when done properly. But just in the past few days, I’ve seen some examples of what I call the three most shameful things that businesses get wrong about email marketing:

  1. Laughably-bad use of email form fields – Numerous stats are available showing that personalized emails deliver between five to seven times higher open and click-through rates. Companies automate this personalization by using form fields in their email apps. These bulk email apps can send hundreds to thousands of emails at once typically using a list of names in a text file or spreadsheet. However, all it takes is one data entry error to either send out 500 embarrassing “Hello Firstname/Lastname,” emails to prospects or addressed to the wrong person. An example of this was the email I received today that referred to me multiple times as “Erna” due to an obvious form field error. I'll score them 10/10 for personalizing an email but it was the wrong name! Not quite the impact they were intending.
    Rather than using a text file or spreadsheet of names to populate your email list, we recommend using a customer relationship manager such as Microsoft Dynamics 365. This cloud-based solution when combined with a marketing automation solution, such as ClickDimensions, generates the merge right in your CRM. No risk of sending to the wrong person because the email marketing is merging directly with your CRM records. 
  2. Sending multiple emails to the same prospect – I recently received a cold sales email from a business development rep named “George,” followed by an identical email from a business development rep named “Phil” from the same company. While nobody could call me an introvert, I’m not someone who needs that much attention. One at a time, please.As previously mentioned, there are marketing automation tools for CRMs such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 to fix this. For example, sometimes you can have the same person listed in your Dynamics 365 contact list more than once; usually because you have multiple email addresses for one person. At Amaxra, we have configured our ClickDimensions marketing automation so that it detects duplicates in our Dynamics 365. This results in only one email going out to one contact rather than an embarrassing deluge of duplicates every time we send emails to our “list.”
  3. Improper targeting – So much data is available to marketers today that there’s almost no excuse for a poorly-targeted email. When I see the phrase "are you the decision maker" in an email, I get frustrated. Asking if I’m the decision maker proves the sender knows nothing about me—and potentially nothing about human interaction. How would you respond when ordering a latte if the barista asks: “Are you the decision maker?”Doing a minimal amount of homework on your intended audience ensures you target the right person in the organization. As a Dynamics 365 user and partner, I was excited by the announcement of deep LinkedIn integration with Dynamic , allowing users to ensure their email contact lists are updated with proper job titles (assuming your contacts keep their LinkedIn pages current). As a matter of fact, just before I finished writing about “doing a minimal amount of homework,” I received not one but two emails perfectly illustrating my point. One from a company trying to sell me a CRM product that competes with Dynamics 365 whilst explaining why me buying the competing CRM product would align with my business goals. The second email asked why I hadn't registered for a big must-attend conference… even though I’ve already paid for myself and three other Amaxra employees to attend the conference. Both of these organizations improperly targeted me to receive useless emails either because they have a broken CRM or don’t have a CRM at all! 

Even after listing these examples, it occurs to me that in a way this bad email marketing was still minimally effective because it started this discussion. But if you’re a business owner or marketing professional, you should never have to hope your marketing is “minimally effective” given tools like Dynamics 365.

Amaxra loves helping our customers see the possibilities available to them when marketing automation is implemented properly and our Dynamics 365 experts have provided solutions to many businesses with proven results. Contact us to learn how your business marketing can be more successful with an integrated Dynamics 365-driven CRM and email marketing solution.

Contact me at Rosalyn.arntzen@amaxra.com or call 425 749 7471 if you have any questions or comments on this blog.

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