5 most common errors within your email funnel and how to avoid them

Episode – 020 - 5 most common errors within your email funnel and how to avoid them

Don't let these 5 common mistakes destroy the hard work you are putting in to create engaging newsletters and start making the best out of your email marketing!

I know, i know...email marketing, tech stuff...it's already quite complex, but in this podcast episode, I want to go through the most common mistakes and how to fix them. But nothing complicated, trust me! It's just a matter of paying attention and giving a bit of thought to what you are doing. I'll be frank, I am guilty of error #3 and I'm sure I'm not the only one!

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Full transcription

Hello and welcome to episode 20 of the Online Business Tech Hub. This is Alessia your host tech expert for online businesses on a mission to rescue my clients from tech disasters. And today we are talking about the 5 most common errors within your email funnel. And, of course, how to avoid these common errors.

Okay, so email marketing, we know is a really powerful tool. It's something, that in a way, you own because you can always export and import your list of subscribers from one platform to another. But you can't say the same about social media, for example. So the followers on social media are basically up to the platform. If one day Facebook doesn't exist anymore or Instagram doesn't exist anymore, or Twitter or LinkedIn, then you have lost all your followers. You can't say the same about your email subscribers.

You can always import and export the list of contacts. So email marketing is really important. It's really powerful. It's probably the best way to create a relationship of trust with your email subscribers. But we often make some mistakes in our email funnels that can have a direct impact on our relationship with them.

So in this podcast episode, I'm going to share 5 of the most common mistakes and how to fix them. And another thing that I want to share with you is to not feel bad if you have been doing any of these mistakes because these are really common, and I myself have made these mistakes, even some of my clients that have very big and profitable businesses, sometimes they might end up doing these silly mistakes. Okay, so please don't feel bad.

Now you're going to learn about them and you will know how to act on them. Reverse them.

So error number 1, you don't send a welcome email. When a contact signs up for your newsletter or your free resource, you only send the free resource, this contact that signed up for or an email like a confirmation that they have successfully signed up for your newsletter right here. You're missing out on a golden opportunity because this is the most read email your subscribers will ever read.

This welcome email, this very, very first email they receive from you matters because they will be most engaged with you since they have just subscribed. They have just signed up for the free resource that they want, and they left you their email address. So of course, they are going to read that very first email because they want to access that freebie, that free resource they signed up for. So of course, they will open the very first email. And if you're only sending out the free resource they sign up for, you're really missing out.

Okay, so that very first email. You can use it to introduce yourself, to welcome them, to share what comes next, so you can set expectations. For example, I'm sending a weekly email on Tuesdays, and I am talking about this topic. Okay. So the welcome email really sets the tone for all the emails, all the newsletters to follow. Okay. And it's also the very, very first email that can help you really create this relationship of trust. So if you start well, everything will follow.

So some things you can do in your welcome email, as I said, are welcome the reader, share the free resource, introduce the reader, the subscribers to the author of the business, so you can share what you do, what your business does, how you help your clients and so on, and then ultimately really set the expectations for what is to follow. Okay, so error number 1, you don't send a welcome email, but only the free resource the subscriber has signed up for. Big mistake. You're missing out. Okay, so this is the very first thing to fix if you are not already doing it.

Number 2, you don't put a very clear call to action. Okay. So obviously your readers are smart people. They're interested in what you do, but people like to be told what to do. So don't leave it up to your email subscribers to figure out what you want them to do. Do you want them to go and check out the link to the sales page of your latest online course or service? Do you want them to sign up for your upcoming webinar? Do you want them to book a call with you?

You need to tell them and you need to be very straightforward. Okay. So make your call to action very easy to find. So put them in bold. Highlight them somehow. Don’t muddle the message. Meaning don't put three or five different call to actions. Just focus on one. So if you send a newsletter where you are setting the tone for your upcoming online course, I mean, focus the call to action on going and check out the sales page for your online course or taking a sneak peek about what is inside. If you focus on that, don't add another call to action. Like, for example, follow me on Facebook or watch this live stream I did last week. Even if it's not about the online course you're launching. Okay, so stay focused.

One constant call to action for each newsletter, and then repeat the message. Don't just put the call to action once, only in one place, but repeat it because, you know, sometimes maybe there is a link and the link is being overlooked because maybe you put it in bold and someone may skip that. It's a link. So you want to repeat it somewhere else, maybe put it as a button so it's a lot more visible. So repeat the message. Okay, repeat the call to action. Don't think that you are annoying your subscribers.

If you're sending useful content, which is relevant to them, which is making a difference, you are offering your help to solve a big problem they have. You want to invite them to check out your online course? Okay, be very straightforward. Be very clear. And repeat the message.

Error number three. Starting email marketing late. It doesn't really matter if you have only a bunch of subscribers, like 10, 20, it really doesn't matter. I mean, think about it. These people voluntarily signed up for your free resource and they are keen on hearing from you learning from you. So why would you keep them waiting?

So if you start list building today and you get some people signed up, but you send your first newsletter in six months after you start this process of list building, there is a really high chance that people will have forgotten about you, because if they signed up for your list for your free resource six months ago, they will probably not even remember about you. There might even be flagging you as spam because they can say, "well I never signed up for this newsletter. I don't know what this is about. I have no idea who you are. Why are you in my inbox?" And it might flag you as spam, and you don't want that, right?

So if you start list building and you start to have subscribers send a newsletter anyway, even if it's only for ten people, it doesn't matter. These subscribers sign up for your email list for your free resource. They express the wish to be in touch with you and to read your content. So do what they asked.

Okay, don't leave it to chance. Don't wait. This is also something that I'm doing now. So I have started to have a lot more Italian clients, and so I created a free resource in Italian, and I'm starting to do some list building for the Italian-speaking people. And even though it's maybe not yet my primary focus, my list is growing slowly, but it's steady and it's growing regularly. And I have learned that it's not a good idea to wait until I have I don't know, 100 people in my list. Why wait? They signed up. They basically told me that they want to hear from me. They are interested in what I do. So I am emailing them it's just once a month, but it doesn't matter. I am staying in touch, even if I don't yet have big plans for the Italian market. I'm still gathering subscribers because I've had a lot more clients recently from Italy, and I'm just showing up regularly to say that, hey, I'm still here and I'm giving you useful content because that's what you signed up for. It doesn't matter if there are 20 people, it really doesn't matter. Okay.

Error number four, you use too many images, too many photos in your newsletters. Okay, so you need to keep in mind two things here when you're using photos. On the one hand, when you use it, use too many images, there is a higher chance you might end up in the spam folder. Okay. On the other hand, if your subscribers are reading your newsletters from their browser, there are some inboxes, for example, even Gmail, where the default setting is not to show images, and you have to click on a link to say that you actually want to see the images from this sender. Okay. So if your images are powerful and are an important element of your newsletter, there will most likely be people who are missing out on these images. Okay, so think about it.

Think if the images are a vital part of the newsletter, and if they are, remember to always add the tag the alternative description. So if your readers can't see the image for whatever reason, because their browser, their inbox doesn't let them view the images, then they have at least a description about what the image is about. Or you can add a tiny bit of text under the image and say, in case you don't see the photo above, click here and you can add the link to actually reading the newsletter from the browser instead of from the inbox.

But anyway, too many images can really damage your deliverability rate, so use them sparingly. Last but not least, error number five is forgetting mobile users, mobile readers. So the vast majority of people now read emails and consume content from their mobile. A really high percentage of your email subscribers will be going through your content from their smartphone from their mobile device. So if you're not making sure that your subscribers can read your emails on their phones and tablets, I mean, that's quite a serious problem. Okay, so always remember to keep the focus on the formatting, because the formatting of the text should be simple and clean images that are easy to see on a small screen, because obviously you have a lot more limited space.

You don't want to make it complicated to go through your content. For example, keep the content, keep the text on a single column. Don't split. Don't have two or more columns, because then it will make I mean, it will be distorted. If you check the content, if you read the email from mobile. Last but not least when you're writing your newsletters, also make a test. Many, many platforms let you test and see the layout of the newsletter from the browser or from the mobile and from the tablet. Okay. So make sure you check how your newsletter is coming across and that there are no parts that are difficult to read. Okay, so make sure that when you write the content, you leave enough space in between the paragraphs that the images have a layout that is easy to consume on mobile.

It's really important because think about it now when you it probably happened to you that you go through a newsletter from your mobile and you see the text. It's all crammed together and it's really hard to read. And you see this really long email with a lot of text is completely black because the text is all crammed together and maybe there is an image that is distorted because it doesn't fit on your screen. And so you see maybe only a part of it. You're not really keen on continuing to read the email, aren't you? I'm definitely not. So make sure that you double-check your newsletters before you schedule or you send them that they easily readable them from mobile as well. Alright, we have gotten until the end of episode 20 and we have been talking about 5 of the most common errors you can do within your email funnel.

So let's just recap from error number one...You don't send a welcome email, but you only send the free resource your subscribers sign up for. You don't send a clear call to action. You start email marketing late, not from the moment you start list building, you wait, for example, six months. You use too many images. Lastly you forget mobile users. These are five of the most common mistakes and now you know how to fix them. So if you have been doing any of these mistakes, you know how to avoid them, you know how to fix them. Alright, well I will talk to you next time for episode 21 in two weeks.

Before I bid you bye bye for today, I just wanted to remind you that if you have trouble with your email marketing, you can sign up for Kick Start Your Email Marketing, which is my free email course where I guide you step by step and show you exactly what you need to do to get started with email marketing and also how to pick the right platform for you. So it's really useful. I've been getting very good feedback about this course. It lasts only five days and obviously if you have any questions about it, you can always hit reply and ask away and I'll do my best to get back to you and help you sort out your trouble.

Alright, I will talk to you next time. Bye-bye.