April 9, 2018 · Stuart Butler

Fuel Hotel Marketing Podcast: Episode 83 – 8 Email Marketing Mistakes Hotels Should Avoid (from Marketo)

On today’s episode, find out all of the mistakes that are holding your email marketing campaign back as we run through Marketo’s list of the most common email marketing mishaps.

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Before you listen to this episode:

Mistake #1 – Sending Emails with Unclear Subject Lines

  • Keep your subject lines straightforward and to the point. Don’t lean on clever/witty subject lines for click-throughs and other important metrics.
  • A 2011 case study conducted by AWeber Communications discovered that “clear subject lines received 541% more clicks than clever subject lines.”
  • You should be creating subject lines that:
    • Tell the client what they’ll receive by opening the email
    • Focus on all metrics like click-throughs
    • Front-load with the most important words or numbers, like Tricks and Top

Mistake #2 – Poor Email List Hygiene

    • You should keep your sender reputation as pristine as possible so your emails are valued and not spammed.
    • Subscriber engagement, positive and negative engagement signals, hard bounces, blacklist placement, and spam complaints are the most common factors that can affect your reputation and are all reasons why your emails are not ending in the “primary” inbox.
    • Marketo’s 3 steps to a healthier campaign:
      • Run soft bounce management campaigns to clean up your sender list
  • Remove role accounts – such as email accounts that are not attributed to a person, like support@ and info@.
    • Run re-engagement campaigns – because an unsubscribe hurts much less than being marked as spam.

Mistake #3 – Failure to Measure Email Inboxing

    • Your emails may be sent and delivered, but how do you know they landed in the “primary” inbox, and not the spam/junk folder?
  • Don’t just stick with the typical campaign metrics (like deliverability rate, sent, delivered, and so on): make sure you’re measuring email inboxing too.
  • Inboxing: is the percentage of delivered emails that land in the primary inbox.
  • Use a tool that will break down deliverability at a detailed level.
  • To improve your inboxing, focus on:
    • Introducing a bounce management campaign
    • Reduce issues by measuring inboxing across specific ISPs
    • Proof your emails for spam triggers like copy and images

Mistake #4 – No Engagement Segmentation

  • You want your emails to receive a high level of engagement like opening, scrolling through, and clicking on your emails on a regular basis.
  • Maintaining a high level of email engagement gives ISPs a better reason to place your emails in the primary inbox, thus resulting in higher inboxing.
  • Keep your engagement up by:
    • Using your engagement levels to separate your email campaigns.
    • Staggering your email campaigns by engagement to increase email inboxing. Send emails to your most engaged subscribers, then wait to send to unengaged subscribers, to boost your inboxing and sender reputation.
    • Reducing risk by attributing IP addresses for your campaigns like subscriber importance and engagement

Mistake #5 – Poor Or No Re-Engagement Strategy

  • Build a re-engagement campaign(s) to target your inactive subscribers.
  • This gives you the perfect opportunity to not only re-engage and capitalize with subscribers that still want to hear from you, but also clean up your email lists so you’re not wasting valuable time and money on subscribers that are no longer interested in your product.
  • You can build out a series of reactivation emails – this is a proactive way of determining whether your inactive subscribers still want to hear from you instead of getting spammed.
  • This way, you can discover any shared commonalities between your inactive subscribers.

Mistake #6 – Using Image-Based CTA Buttons

  • Images may not always render, and relying on good alt text may not be enough to positively affect important metrics.
  • Remedy your image-based CTA buttons with HTML buttons that look and feel just like a JPEG image.
  • This ensures that your CTA is always displayed once the email hits the inbox and results in an improved user experience.

Mistake #7 – Your Emails Are Not Optimized for Mobile

  • Being mobile-responsive is a must.
  • According to Google, 65% of buyers start on a smartphone when on a path to purchase. (25% PC/Laptop; 11% tablet)
  • “Ensure your templates accommodate every screen size as emails transition from desktop to tablet to mobile.”
  • Be sure your emails:
    • Use media queries so your email is optimized correctly for mobile (for display purposes)
    • Use a large font/text size for mobile devices
    • Your CTA should be near the top of the email to minimize scrolling

Mistake #8 – Making Bad Testing Decisions

  • Common testing mistakes, like too small of a sample size, can lead to poor statistical results that have no benefit to your future goals.
  • Don’t:
    • Test your emails at random or different times during A/B testing. This could dramatically impact results. You want to keep your testing times uniform.
    • Test too small of a sample size. You want a large enough sample that can display significant results.
    • Test too many variables at one time. It could be difficult to associate improvements or declines to one variable when testing more than one at a time.

Listener Question:
GVM @grettavonmar
@FuelTravel Just finished my 1st cast: #69. FRIENDS over Sien! Q: do you think this promo too much for customers to digest 10% SAVINGS on all Singles & dbls 15% SAVINGS on all Triples . 20% SAVINGS on all Quads ? Tx!! gonna binge listen to the rest.

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