B2C Email Marketing Mistakes Not to Make

Email marketing should be a part of any B2C sales and marketing toolset.

But there are still plenty of companies out there that either don’t use email marketing at all or do a poor job of utilizing it.

We’ve all been on the receiving end of an email mistake.

You open an email addressed to “First Name.”

Or you click to receive an offer on a product you’ve been eyeing, only to be sent to an unrelated page.

Certainly, these B2C email marketing mistakes can be costly to your brand and your revenue.

Let’s explain why B2C companies should adopt email marketing as a strategic marketing channel and some of the most common B2C email marketing mistakes out there.

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Why Email Marketing Works for B2C

If you’ve been around for awhile, you may recall a time — long, long time ago — when people were actually ecstatic to get an email but loathe to open the actual mailbox at the end of the driveway.

When email was brand new and exciting, every time we heard that now-extinct and not-exactly-grammatically-correct “You’ve got mail!” from our chunky desktop PCs, we knew something substantial was waiting in our inboxes.

But snail mail, as it came to be known, usually contained only junk and bills.

b2c email marketing mistakes image example

Image Source

Snail mail still contains mostly junk and bills. But now your email inbox is likely full of junk and bills. Some spam. And maybe some work.  

In a world where people are sending more than 205 billion-with-a-b emails each day, the novelty of email has definitely run its course.

It’s becoming increasingly difficult for brands to grab their consumers’ attention in their chronically overflowing inboxes.

b2c email customers

Pictured: Your customer

To stay competitive, B2C companies must provide fresh, eye-catching, and relevant information that pulls in the reader before he or she even opens the message.

There are myriad ways to do this correctly, but there are also infinite ways to kill customer enthusiasm and engagement with bad B2C email marketing.

Now let’s show you some common B2C email marketing mistakes and discuss how you can avoid committing these communication crimes.

b2c email marketing mistakes delivra blog

Looks like your customers didn’t. . . get the message. YEEEAAAAAAAHH!

 B2C Email Marketing Mistake #1: Lack of Segmentation

Segmentation is critical to effective B2C email marketing. Segmentation is the key that unlocks your customer’s full purchase potential.

Segmentation is made of unicorns and butterflies.

Segmentation has never bowled below a 200 game.

Segmentation is what transforms your email from spam into a compelling one-to-one conversation between your brand and your buyer.

Listen to this stat:

International brand Totes Isotoner leveraged effective email marketing segmentation to the tune of a 7,000% conversion increase.

If you’re thinking the ‘0’ key got stuck there, you’re mistaken.

With email segmentation, you can show consumers that you know them.

Personalized emails show that you’re aware of what’s important to them and you have the data they need to make future purchase decisions.

Consider this email from JetBlue Airlines:

JetBlue personalization b2c email marketing

The level of personalization in this reactivation email campaign is remarkable.

By using dynamic content to create personalized content for their customer, JetBlue feels less like a pushy sales email-sender and more like a living, breathing entity.

B2C Email Marketing Mistake #2: Poor Use of Images

There are two ways images can kill your B2C email marketing campaign: not having enough of them, and having too many of them.

HTML email design is a modern wonder for email visualization, and its impact speaks for itself.

However, image-heavy emails, images with broken links, or failing to include a text-only option may land your email in the spam folder, never to be seen by human eyes.

Additionally, many users keep email images disabled, leaving your beautiful HTML messages to show up like this:

Disabled image with now ALT text

This is why it’s essential to include compelling ALT tags in your HTML emails.

Litmus has an incredible article on ALT text that is definitely worth a read.

ALT tags can show these image-averse users what they’re missing: “This weekend only,” “Your latest account activity,” and other informative ALT tags prompt readers to take the next step and view the email in all its brilliant, graphic splendor.

Ideally, image-disabled versions of your marketing emails will be as clear, intuitive, and action-oriented as your HTML versions.

Keeping emails simple is key.

Especially since more than half of all emails are opened on mobile devices.

The phrase “less is more” was coined for email marketing purposes.

(It’s true. Don’t look it up, just take my word for it.)

Images should be compelling visual aids to draw the reader’s attention, but avoid including too much need-to-know information in your images so that emails are still relevant with images disabled.

B2C Email Marketing Mistake #3: Too many options

Conventional wisdom holds that consumers love options.

We want to know we’ve spent our hard-earned dollars on the best option for our needs.

We love having many different choices to compare and contrast so we get exactly what we want every time. Right?

too many options b2c email marketing mistakes

We all have spent time in the Hallmark aisle trying to pick out the perfect birthday card for Grandma.

There are thousands of cards, and I don’t know about you, but I’m not leaving that store until I’ve viewed Every. Single. One.

Similarly, providing too many options to your consumers in your marketing emails is overwhelming, confusing, and ultimately a waste of time.

Instead, each email should have a specific, clear, and singular purpose.

Limit your campaign to one call to action.

If you want your reader to reactivate their account, best not to distract them with glaring invitations to visit your website, complete a survey, or contact you on top of it.

If your reader leaves the email to complete one of those actions, it’s unlikely that they’ll return to complete the action you were shooting for in the first place.

Consumers want to know two things: “What do you want me to do?” and “What’s in it for me?”

One clear call to action can improve your clickthrough rate by up to 371% and your conversions by up to 1617%.

B2C Email Marketing Mistake #4: No humor

Humor is a tricky ingredient in email marketing.

Inappropriate humor can alienate a significant portion of your reader base, for sure.

But being too serious, too professional, and too bland in your communication is a mistake, too.

add humor to your B2C email marketing

Pictured: Maybe your emails, but not for long

Maybe you’ve caught on by now that we at Delivra don’t mind incorporating a bit of humor in our own materials.

There’s a reason for this, and it’s not just because we keep pumping nitrous oxide in through the office air vents.

When we laugh, our endorphin levels rise.

Endorphins make us happy, improve our moods, and help form a pleasant association with the trigger or catalyst.

For example, exercise also releases endorphins.

This is how members of clubs like Crossfit and Curves become such passionate advocates for those brands. They associate that brand with joy and exhilaration.

When you make your readers laugh (even just a chuckle) at your marketing emails, that act becomes an association that not only encourages the reader to complete the call to action, but also to remember and advocate for your brand in the future.

Humor is a tremendous tool to establish and strengthen your relationship with a customer.

B2C Email Marketing Mistake #5: You

Good conversation content in your B2C emails shouldn’t be overlooked.

And look, it’s not all about you, okay?

When your customers open your email, what are they reading?

Is it a wall of text about “our” terrific sale this weekend, or how “we” are excited about a new product, or that “I” am looking forward to hearing from them?

It may not seem like it matters, but the pronouns you use can alienate your consumers.

Think of the last job interview you had.

Many of your responses probably included these self-referential pronouns: “I,” “my,” “mine,” “our,” “we,” etc.

And that’s fine; you’re there to talk about your abilities and accomplishments, after all.

But the interviewer is actively listening to your responses to find out what you can offer them in the role.

Similarly, your customers open your email to find out what you can do for them.

If your emails are peppered with blurbs touting your brand as an “industry leader” or the “number one” company in town, it’s time to change your perspective.

Eliminate “me” marketing and focus on “you” marketing.

Use phrases and actions that show your customer how he or she will benefit from engaging with your company.

One way to do this is to stop talking at them and, instead, invite them to talk to you.

For example, ask questions like “What do you love most about that dress you bought last week?” and invite the customer to post a review with a clear call to action.

B2C Email Marketing is Here to Stay

Email is here to stay, and for most of us, it’s a major source of information.

For brands to remain competitive in the Digital Age, they must eliminate these conversion killers from their email marketing.

Personal, clear, relatable, and customer-focused marketing emails will boost not only your conversion rates but customer engagement, as well.

Fortunately, you’re not on your own! Delivra can help take your marketing email game to the next level.

We have many B2C customers that are using email marketing to its fullest and experiencing increased customer engagement and incredible ROI.


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