In a near perfect scenario, email marketing tools enable the small brands to operate like the big e-commerce brands of the world. Any such tool should give an edge in the way you churn your contact information, nurture prospects and target customers. These are typical campaigns which any marketer can dream of.

However, for many marketers, the process of automation can turn out to be a nightmare if it’s not handled properly. So, when you make mistakes that transcend into deadly sins, the automated email marketing can cause more hurdles.

Take a look at these 7 Deadly Sins that can derail your email marketing campaigns:

First Sin: Why aren’t you exploiting your email automation?

As we make inroads into 2016, a lot of automation is imminent. So, it’s time for you to set up automated emails, or else you will be losing out on the opportunity to establish a connect with your customers and prospects.

Once you’ve made a decision to purchase an email marketing software like Mailchimp, Marketo, Agile CRM etc. you have to focus on the next level to write engaging content. As this software comes with in-built capabilities to send emails to many people, you have to feed it with proper text, schedule the mails, check the results, optimize them and repeat the full cycle for the next email. If the process of writing emails is becoming tedious, then work on one at a time and target it appropriately.

Second Sin: Where’s your database?

Many marketers fall into the trap of bringing home the technology first and looking for data later. So, the first thing is to streamline your data so as to fill it in the software and place an automation on that. The question here is; “How is it possible to nurture and send emails to prospects without knowing who they are?”

Once you have your content in place, ask your online shoppers to enter their email for discounts or coupon codes or to receive the newsletter, which gives a peek into the  offerings the company has in store. You can also create a sign-up page on your social media channel to enable customers to enter their email id.

Third Sin: What is your team capable of doing?

Do a quick check on the available resources and the capabilities of your work force just after you took a decision to embrace a marketing automation tool. Then chalk out a solid plan to delegate the duties – to handle the setup, get training, add any new additions to the team, and the way forward. After that, the automation tool has to be fed with the right content and design, followed by a deliberation on what type of testing works and what doesn’t.

Fourth Sin: Where’s the personal touch?

Every brand has to follow a path wherein they can shower a personal touch to their customers. A one-size-fits-all email automation can’t create brand loyals out of your customers. When they expect more personalization from small retailers, you have to make them feel it’s done.

When you infuse the automated emails with your brand’s voice and soul, they become more personal. Then, based on demographics and consumer behavior, you can make custom segments of subscribers and create a message around specific target points.

To illustrate, most brands offer discounts during the holiday season. If the brand is selling unisex clothing, there needs to be a  different email campaign for the  men and women. This message should target with a gender specific proposition to aid them buy the product with the holiday season  discount. Here, on the same occasion, you are targeting different recipients with different messaging.

It is best to avoid sending  canned messages to your subscribers. It’s time to make it more personal.

Fifth Sin: Who takes care of mobile shoppers?

This is an era of mobile phones and your typical customer can be more inclined to it than anything else. With the advent of app and app only sales, more people have switched to shopping on mobile devices. So, your emails must be optimized as per the behavior and requirements of a mobile shopper. Ensure the message is optimised for mobile viewing purposes.

Few quick tips to make emails more mobile-friendly:

  • The call-to-action has to be big in size and easy to locate., Also, it can  be moved ahead with one tap of the finger.
  • Keep the text short and sweet.
  • Ensure that the automated email service provider you are using has responsive design capabilities.

Sixth Sin: Why not leverage customer’s purchase data and buying patterns?

As it’s always good to research on a person before you meet him and strike a partnership, it’s equally good to gather  your customer information to use in your automated marketing action plan. This also helps in writing and managing the content.

When companies are flooding their customers with automated emails with more generic language, they’re losing a chance to instill the sense of belongingness to the customer.. So, when you pick up an email template from your service provider, don’t forget to customize it according to the brand’s style and tone.

Automated email service providers like Springbot help you send emails to customers when they abandon their shopping cart. When a customer has not visited your site for a long time,an email trigger can be set to bring him back to your site. That’s the magic of understanding your customer and calling him back.

Seventh Sin: Why forget what you have started?

Email automation can remove the cumbersome process of sending emails to everyone in your list of buyers and customers. But you should not set this automation and forget it completely. Unless there is a periodic review, it may not show continual improvement and yield great results.

After the initial round of installations, track your emails and sieve out the ones that are converting into more sales and ones that are not. Focus on the latter and offer discounts and freebies to drive more buyers to your site or store. Also research on your industry benchmarks for email marketing and pull in statistics like click-through-rate, open rate and conversion rate.

Finally, email automation can prove to be an awesome tool to help retailers and ecommerce companies to spread brand awareness, engage prospects to get first-time purchases, and overall conversions and focus on the current customers.

On one side, email marketing can create magic for your business and, on the other, these deadly sins can thwart the proliferation of your brand. Don’t let improper use of technology mar your growth. Ask yourself the right questions before moving to automation. Don’t commit these sins that may be a death knell on all your efforts.

Authors Bio: Shreyansh is a Tech blogger who writes primarily on CRM, marketing automation and digital marketing. He has more than 8 years of experience in digital marketing. He presently heads the marketing department in a tech start-up company.