Businesses looking to make the most of the busy holiday season better be sure to not turn consumers off with their email marketing campaigns.

While tools such as email, mobile and social media marketing can significantly help in communicating the right message, to the right person, at the right time, Robert Burko, president of Elite Email, said without a proper strategy in place, businesses can easily lose customers.

"For business owners, especially in the consumer products or not-for-profit industries, it's selling season," Burko said. "It's a pivotal time to maximize spending and engage their customers or donors."

To help business owners, Elite Email offers some of the worst holiday email marketing mistakes and how to avoid them:

  • Sending a zillion emails: Over-sending emails annoys the audience and causes people to unsubscribe. Businesses already have their customer's permission to send emails, don't ruin it and become spam.
  • Passing off mediocre deals: A cheap 10 percent off isn't going to cut it these days. Don't waste a loyal customer's time. Businesses need to make deals special, and if not, they shouldn't bother.
  • Recycling promotions: Sending the same promotion to customers as last year is lazy and boring. Create campaigns that are new and exciting.
  • Writing a novel: There's nothing worse than reading an email that scrolls forever, especially when trying to read it on a mobile phone. Instead of trying to say too much in one message, multiple emails with more focus on individual products, and customized lists, perform much better.
  • Failing to segment your mailing list: Don't treat everyone as if they are the same. Tailor messages to their individual preferences.
  • Assume everyone is celebrating the same holiday: It's important to be aware of the various holidays and dates that make sense for promotions. This goes back to customizing email lists. Also, don't neglect the post-holiday window for follow-up promotions.
  • Over promising in subject lines: It's just annoying. For example, "Open this and all your holiday wishes will come true."
  • Failing to include a clear call to action: If businesses don't make it obvious what people should do after reading an email, then they won't know what to do. Have a specific call to action and show them where to go.
  • Sending for the sake of sending: Lots of businesses send emails at this time of year. Just sending to be "part of the pack" without any real strategy or content will lead to failure.
  • Not measuring the effectiveness of campaigns: Everyone gets busy during the holiday madness, but that doesn't mean it’s time to ignore email marketing analytics. These will usually tell businesses how to modify their upcoming emails to get better results.
  • Having an unidentified sender: People open emails when they know the sender. Will consumers recognize an email from an employee or from a brand name directly?
  • Including useless links: If someone takes the time to click on a link in an email, don't make them search all over the place for what they're looking for. Avoid connecting every link to the homepage. Instead use a well-crafted landing page tailored for the email message.

When done right, Burko said, using the right online tools appropriately can significantly boost sales, donations and brand awareness.

"Try to engage your contacts using the communication method they prefer, on a schedule that suits them best this holiday [season]," Burko said.

Originally published on BusinessNewsDaily.