1 (And Only 1) Email Marketing Tip Your Campaign Will Need

Posted by Jake Solyst | April 26, 2017 | 2:51pm

Considering an email marketing campaign? Good call. Not only is email one of the most effective tactics for engaging target audiences directly, but you, lucky you, are also just starting, which means you have a unique opportunity to avoid common mistakes.

If you’re expecting a listicle of common email marketing mistakes to avoid here, we aim to please. Here is mistake #1 of 1 to avoid:

NOT collecting key information about your email subscribers

Listicle over.

Too delicate? Let’s try it again.


It’s a one-item list. Sure, there’s other things you can do wrong, but this is the big bad wolf of common email marketing mistakes. It is vitally, urgently, desperately important.

Of all the email marketing tips we could give, it’s the one that sticks out. It’s the most important thing you can do, and people overlook it ALL. THE. TIME.

Before you send a single email, develop a way to collect key information about your email subscribers.

What does it do for you? It allows you to differentiate specialized messages to targeted segments of your master list. And you probably need to do that, because, let’s face it: not everybody who’s interested in your organization will be interested in EVERYTHING your organization does. So sending to segmented lists is the only way to consistently deliver emails people want to open and click on, with content and tone that rings true to their wants and needs. In short: unless you enjoy digging a hole in your backyard, shoveling your entire email campaign into it, and labeling the grave “Spam Folder,” you’ve GOT TO COLLECT KEY INFORMATION.

Let’s back up this party bus for a second. What do we mean by “key information?”

It depends on your brand and the type of audiences you have. For example, if you’re marketing a museum, you may want to know which contacts among your email list have children or grandchildren, so you can send them family event info or relevant content, like an article on “How To Introduce Your Children to Art” that emphasizes that time-honored ratio of money to active kid engagement hours.

If you’re marketing a travel destination, you may want to know what activities certain travelers most enjoy, or how close they are to your location. That way, if they like winter activities but live in a warmer state, you can send an email in September about December skiing events emphasizing how chilly it’s already getting.

Taking advantages of segmenting for accuracy in tone and content creates more value for the content you provide your audiences, increasing the efficiency of your campaign and continuing email signup momentum.

But just as important as sending high-value content? NOT sending low-value content.

If you send a college student with no children an email about your museum’s “kids night,” there’s a strong chance they’ll unsubscribe before you get a chance to send them an update on your “college ID discount club.” And even if they don’t unsubscribe, you will have missed an opportunity to send an email that promotes your brand’s relevance rather than broadcasting your lack of connection with the individuals who comprise your audience.

So, one more time:

Pretty please, don’t start an email marketing campaign without collecting key information about your subscribers.

After you’ve figured out what information your organization needs to know that will serve as differentiators between your key audiences, THEN you can start designing ways to collect it. Newsletter sign-up forms, “gated” content, unique landing pages, Facebook lead ads, and tracking URLs are just a few of the tactics that can be used to do so.

Congratulations. You’re ready to start.


To find out more about how to develop an email marketing campaign based on audience insight and email accuracy, give us a shout or sign up for our monthly newsletter for mission-based marketers.