Marketing Foolishness: 8 Common Mistakes to Avoid

Patti RennerEven the smartest marketers make mistakes. So in honor of April Fool’s Day, here’s a quick list of common marketing foolishness and mistakes to avoid.
Sending the same message to everyone – Relevance matters. You’ll get better results by designing your messaging around the specific traits and needs of the recipient. Define your segments, then tweak your language around what is most relevant to them.
Using hunches or opinions instead of testing – Go with your gut? But why risk alienating your list with a send that doesn’t get the results you want? Direct digital marketing is very cost-effective and flexible. Instead of an “all or nothing” approach, you’re better off sending different versions of your message to a few people. Measure your results, then go with the version that performs best. Mere open rates aren’t enough… be sure your platform has powerful analytics to dig deeper into the data. Variables to test can include: subject lines, call to action, time of send, design, tone of messaging, etc.

Offering too many options – Know your goals. Keep messaging simple enough so people understand what you want them to learn, and they know how to take action. Mixing in too many messages can dilute campaign effectiveness. Be clear and specific.

Taking a single channel approach – Consumers today are using multiple tools and channels to receive information. Take advantage of that by bridging your messaging seamlessly across more than just one. It helps to have a data-driven platform that seamlessly supports all digital channels based on information stored in a single powerful core. It’s best to avoid piecing together multiple systems and hope they’ll all “play nice” together. You’re just creating more work for yourself and increasing the risk of potential problems.

Using lists instead of profiles – Each one of those emails on your list belongs to a real person. Each of those people engage with your brand in different way. Some like text offers… some like to search products online… others will shop but abandon their carts. When you use a profile-based environment, it’s easy to capture consumer preferences and behavioral data in real time and store that data in individual profiles. You can actually access that data to serve up stronger messaging, dynamic web content, targeted advertising and more. Skip the list – think profiles instead.

Style over substance – Even the most amazing campaign visually will fall flat if the message isn’t a good fit for its audience. Consider context and content instead of design and drama.

Belief that mobile doesn’t affect you – If you haven’t seen our Mobile Email Opens Report, you really need to take a look. Here’s the rub: If your market opens just 10% of the emails you send out on a mobile device and those people are not able to properly view your message on their smart phone, you’ve just annoyed 10% of your core audience. And if it’s a campaign with a purchase-based call-to-action, you’ve just lost 10% of potential buyers. Mobile adoption rates in the US are soaring. That’s a fact. And if your emails or websites are difficult (or impossible) to navigate on a mobile device – or if you can’t even read the messaging – find partner with a proven track record and maturity in the mobile space to help refine your approach so you get stronger reach.

Waiting too long to try new things – Don’t let your competitors set the expectations and habits for your industry. If you’re considering new direct digital marketing tools – like QR codes, texting service messages, dynamic content on your home page that changes based on the past page views of that consumer, etc – the time is now. See what makes sense for your audience and give it a try. It’s time to get off the sidelines and into the game.

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