While I hate to do it, I’ve got to use a recent email that I got from SkillShare as an example of what not to do in email marketing. Here’s the email in question:
You’ll notice that none of the images loaded appropriately. After I accepted the images in Gmail, this is what I say. I clicked on the option to open the email in a web browser and still got nothing. Now while this may have been an issue with the servers at SkillShare or the sender that they use, it looks to me more like oversight. It looks to me like the email went out untested. That’s a big no-no.
The first thing I do when I create a new email is send myself a test. Other than the fact that it helps you spot any errors, as in the email above, but it also let’s you experience the email as a potential customer would. You can check to see if your subject line is eye-catching. You can check to see that there is a call to action that is easy to spot and clear. When I send myself a test, there are usually 2-3 changes I’ll make based on what I see.
In addition, you should always include your own email address on the list that is going out (a seed list). You do this because you want to see exactly what the recipients are seeing. In the case above, you would see that the email had errors, and you could have halted the remainder of the list and altered the email, or send out an apologetic email in response with the actual images included.
There’s always next time.