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Avoid These Email Horrors – Not Only on Halloween

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Break out the pumpkins and fill up the candy bowl – it’s Halloween! To celebrate all the spooky fun, we assembled this list of email horrors. Give your subscribers treats, not tricks by avoiding the ghouls below..

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Zombie subscribers

Keep the undead from ruining your engagement rates by practicing proper list hygiene. If someone has not opened or clicked on an email in over six months, it’s a good bet they’re no longer among the living… or at least they’re no longer reading your emails.

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Caution! Zombies!

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To stay in the good graces of the major ISPs, purge these zombie subscribers (also known as “inactives”) from your list. Yes, you will have fewer subscribers, but you’ll enjoy better delivery rates and have a healthier list. And no more rotting corpses!

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Failing to cast a spell

Have your emails had all the life drained out of them? Have you been sending sale email after sale email in the same old template with nothing new to talk about?

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Cast a magic spell

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Breathe new life into your readers by giving them something unusual. Even better, give them something useful – some content that entertains or helps them solve a problem. Email generates tremendous ROI, but if we do nothing but push sales all the time, our readers can get disillusioned. The most successful email marketers know how to enchant their readers even while they’re making the sale.

What could you send your subscribers to charm them? For clues on how to answer that, look back to old email messages and see which ones generated the most response.

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The Grim Reaper

The one thing that could kill your chances? Not having mobile friendly emails. 41% of emails are now opened on mobile devices, which means your sales just might get a visit from the grim reaper if you ignore mobile.

Fortunately, you can avoid the reaper’s blade just by using the responsive email templates. This means they’re built to look sharp on any device, whether that’s an iPhone or an Android, a laptop or a desktop.

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Grim Reaper

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Stay one more step ahead of the reaper by using the Inbox Preview, also in your account. Spend just a few extra minutes reviewing how your emails will render on different devices, and then rest assured your message won’t become a shape-shifter.

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Bad disguises

Costumes are one of the best parts of Halloween, but in email, it’s critical to look like yourself. Having a consistent and easily recognizable from name and sender name is one of the number one email marketing best practices.

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Bad Disguise

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As you probably know already, Apple’s IOS presents email messages so that your sender name is actually larger and more visible than even your email subject line. In other words, your subscribers will see your sender name first, and then your subject line.

To look your best, your emails’ from name should match your business name, like “Wanda’s Eyeball Emporium”, not “Wanda’s Email List”. And your email address should include your domain name. So use something like Dracula@BloodBank.com, not Drac8NY@hotmail.com.

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Ghost messages

Don’t get all hazy on your readers. Give them a specific call to action so they can focus on what you want them to do. You don’t want your readers stranded in a netherworld of confusion. Show them the path to the light.

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Ghost

Ghost

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Another way to not be a ghost is to make your message visible. This is important  because most email clients automatically block images, and only 45% of consumers ever change those settings.

If someone has images turned off, how will your emails look? Emails with large blocks of blank space are scary. Email designers have nightmares about them all the time.  The solution? Use CSS (cascading style sheets) for buttons and the overall structure of your email’s design. That way your messages will look great in the flesh, whether a subscriber has images turned on or off.

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Even vampires ask permission

The old legend is true: Email marketers who mail without permission are even worse than vampires. Vampires, at least, only come in after they’ve been invited. Don’t let unsolicited emails drain all the enthusiasm from your readers. Ask before you send.

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Torturing your subscribers

Don’t make people suffer to unsubscribe. A one click unsubscribe at the top and bottom of every message you send is a must. Still hate to see them go? On the unsubscribe confirmation page, invite them to connect with you through the social media channel of their choice.

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Avoid black cats… and rented lists

It might be bad luck to have a black cat cross your path, but it’s definitely bad luck to cross paths with a rented list. Not only will most email service providers block the use of a rented list (Get Response does, too), but you’ll get terrible results from the mailing, enough to send that rented list sales person slinking back to their dark corner.

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Black cat

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It is OK to be an ax murderer

“Cut em up! Cut em all up! “

Ahem… we mean: Segmentation is good. Chop up your list of subscribers into a couple of different buckets. You’ll be able to deliver more relevant messages, get higher click and open rates, and earn more per message.

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Definitely be a mad scientist

We don’t recommend you wire up a pork chop to try to bring the pig back to life, but we do love testing. It’s good to be an email scientist. Run lots of tests, even if they’re just for email subject lines. Other things to test include calls to action, buttons and hero shots. (Hey – that lab coat would make a great costume!)

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Email science

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We can see the future…

If you can steer clear of these horrors through Halloween, our crystal ball predicts your holiday email marketing will bring you good fortune.

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Crystal ball

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Any email tricks or treats you want to share for Halloween? Leave a comment!

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