Your reputation on the internet is crucial to success. You have worked hard to establish your self as a thought leader in your niche. Make sure you are maintaining your position as an expert in all your public content. Watch out for these ten credibility killers in your email marketing.
Using free email addresses. When you use a free address such as Gmail, Yahoo! or other services people tend to not trust you as much as they would if you have a business email address. Having your own email address shows that you’re a real business. People are wary of spam email and hackers these days and a free address is one sign they look for. Think of your own email habits, if a business wants you to read their email but they are not willing to spring for a business email address, are you rushing to open their message? Would you click on a link? No? Your potential audience will feel the same about reading your message.
Not having a double opt-in. A double opt-in insures you are in compliance with anti-spam laws so this should be a no-brainer if you don’t want to be accused of sending spam. In addition a double opt-in will make your target audience trust you more when they see that you are following procedures to collect their information.
Glaring mistakes in the content. Proof Read! Proof Read! The grammar and spelling cops are alive and well on the internet. Everyone has someone in their life that can serve as a proof reader. It might be a spouse, friend or colleague. This is a great task to outsource to a virtual assistant. If you don’t know anyway(proof reader corrects, anyone) who can help out for free and can’t afford outside help, here are a few tips to do it yourself:
After writing your content, lay it aside and come back to it with fresh eyes. It’s difficult to edit your own writing so take the extra time. Read your content out loud. This helps if your brain tends to fill in the word you “thought” you said. Read your content backwards to pick up spelling errors. And don’t forget to test your email before blasting it to the world. This will ensure there aren’t any formatting errors.
Plagiarizing content is a huge credibility killer. Remember when we were in school and the teacher warned us against copying someone else’s work? The same rule applies to the internet and your professional content. If someone else wrote it, and you take it without permission, it’s stealing. This applies equally to blog posts, news, images and almost any other content. When you use a quote be sure to follow proper citation rules. Read about plagiarism so you won’t be accused of this crime.
Stay in good standing with spam legislation by having an unsubscribe link on all email. This is covered in the anti-spam laws. Every email you send out should have a clear unsubscribe button. Even if people subscribed to your list initially they need to be able to opt out at any time. Most email marketing programs include an opt out link automatically. Making it difficult to unsubscribe will damage your credibility and could result in legal issues.
Sending emails too often. I’m often asked what frequency of email blasts are optimum. This varies according to factors such as your audience and why you are emailing. If your audience has opted in for a daily tip, of course daily emails are expected. (Make sure that was clear when they opted in!) One way to tell if you are sending too often is that you are getting a large number of unsubscribes. Basically just make sure you are doing what you promised.
Not sending emails enough. Just as sending too often will get angry unsubscribes, sending to infrequently can be just as bad. Wait too long between emails and your subscribers will forget they opted in to your list. So they may automatically think your email is spam. Remember to do what you promised, if you stated in your opt in form that they would hear from you once a week, then make sure you do it.
Selling your customer’s info is a huge mistake. Yikes! This one is a big no-no! Do not sell your subscribers’ emails or other contact information. This information is private and if you sell it to people who will spam them, you will gain a reputation as a spammer as well.
Using a no-reply address. Make sure your list members can hit reply to send you an email. If your audience has questions, or would like to BUY what you are promoting and they have to search for an email address for replies, you will probably lose the client. There are too many competitors that will gladly take the sale from you. Do not use a no-reply address in any campaign.
Ignoring replies. Nothing is worse than sending an email to a company and not getting a reply. The potential customer loses interest and you miss a sale. Check your email daily (or more often) and reply to customer inquiries. You can easily set it up so your virtual assistant gets replies and responds promptly. Whoever does it, each one should receive prompt attention.
In today’s world of internet business, your credibility is of more importance than ever. Often your online reputation is the only one your potential clients see. Be sure you are scrupulous about maintaining a reputation for quality products or service.