Three ways you can avoid costly marketing mistakes

Three ways you can avoid costly marketing mistakes

Marketing mistakes can cost you leads

 A few weeks ago, I received a marketing email from a well-known PR solutions company. It said: “Hi Ariana, you may remember us from your time at (company X), and I believe we can help you now at (company Y).

The problem? Company Y was an organization I haven’t worked at in more than 8 years!

Being a marketer myself, I replied and kindly pointed out the mistake. To the want-to-be vendor’s credit, they replied and apologized for the mistake, which was exactly the right thing to do. I then promptly received another version of the email with the correct company names.

Most people would not have replied to a mass email to point out a mistake. Instead, they simply delete the email and never think again about the offer or vendor, costing the sending company leads, and therefore, revenue.

These types of mistakes are completely avoidable, and they underscore the importance of accurate marketing. While I don’t have an exact calculation of how much revenue is lost by mistakes, is it ever worth the risk?

Does your organization have a process in place to avoid marketing mistakes? If not, I urge you to create one now. Implementing a marketing control process is easy and can result in more leads. Here’s how:

  • Proofread, and proofread again.
  • Test every single email.
  • Make a commitment to list maintenance.

Proofread to avoid marketing mistakes

I urge all my clients to ensure every single item that comes from marketing – from collateral to emails to ads – goes through at least two proofreaders.

Yes, most marketers are decent editors. But since editing isn’t your full-time job, it’s easy to miss something, especially when your inbox is overflowing with other important work.

That’s why it’s best to have everything go through two editors, greatly reducing your chances of making marketing mistakes. When you set up your process, make sure the person who wrote the piece is NOT one of the proofreaders. It’s tough to catch mistakes in our own work.

proofreading to avoid costly marketing mistakes
Proofreading is a good way to avoid marketing mistakes.

I always practice what I preach. Both my life partner and my business partner read my blogs before I publish them.

Always test before you send

A/B testing is now a habit for most marketers, but are you also reading your own email tests? Even though the copy has been through two proofreaders, some marketing automation programs may produce odd line breaks, delete letters, make mistakes with special characters, etc.

Make sure you view the email on a few different email systems to see how it shows up for your readers.

Commit to list maintenance

List maintenance is one of the most time-consuming activities in marketing. Keeping your list current can be difficult, because of course your prospects and buyers don’t notify marketing when they change jobs or move to another town.

Luckily, there are now many email verification tools on the market, which make cleaning your list much easier. Clean your list at least twice a year, and do it once a quarter if you’re noticing a lot of turnovers.

Cleaning your list and removing inactive email addresses is not enough. The email I received went to my active email address; it just listed the wrong company. To avoid that type of marketing mistake, you need to make sure all your contacts are updated in whatever system you use.

Marketers often need to rely on Sales for this process, so it’s a good idea to show them the value of good data and how it can keep you from losing leads. Whether the job lies with Marketing or Sales, make sure you create a good process for keeping your client and prospect databases updated.

Establishing a proofreading process, ensuring you test every single email, and committing to list maintenance are three ways you can avoid costly marketing mistakes.

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