Everyone makes mistakes.
I’m guilty of this, too.
Over the years, I’ve seen and experienced my fair share of online marketing blunders.
It’s important to learn from these errors and prevent them from happening again.
I want to share some of the top marketing mistakes that I see people making on a daily basis.
This will help you correct the things you’re doing wrong.
Chances are, your company is guilty of at least a few mistakes on this list.
It’s not too late to change.
For each mistake, I’ll outline what people are doing wrong and how to correct it.
I’ve got some helpful tips, examples, and data to back up my claims as well.
These are the top 25 mistakes in online marketing.
1. Forgetting about mobile users
Everyone has a phone in their pocket, and they use it for much more than just making calls.
Make sure you’re not overlooking mobile customers.
Having a website isn’t enough.
Your website needs to be optimized for mobile devices.
Bad mobile experiences can turn customers away from your business.
50% of people said they would use a company less often if they did not have a site that’s mobile friendly even if they liked the brand.
What kind of impression does this give your customers?
Well, 48% of people think that companies don’t care about their business if the website isn’t optimized for mobile users.
If applicable, you can also consider making a mobile application for your business.
While this may not be reasonable for everyone, some companies can definitely benefit from a mobile application.
That’s where mobile users are spending the most time on their phones.
Regardless, even if you’re not going to create an app, you need to make sure that your site is mobile friendly.
2. Never offering discounts or promotions
Reward your customers.
You need to offer discounts and promotions to encourage buying and get people to your doors and website.
Offering discounts will increase traffic to your store and web page.
Advertise your sales clearly.
Promotions can usually help increase your sales, as well.
Offering a discount doesn’t mean that your customers won’t purchase items listed at full price.
Sure, they make pick up a few things at a discounted rate.
But if something else catches their eye, they may even be more willing to purchase it because they got a deal on the items on sale.
Coupons also build a stronger relationship with your clients.
91% of people say they will visit a retailer again after they redeem a coupon.
Discounts are a great way for you to acquire new customers and retain your current clientele.
Coupons create customer loyalty.
Nearly 50% of people said they would switch brands based on a coupon offer.
You can gain a significant advantage over your competitors if you start offering coupons to their customers.
3. Not having a blog for your website
Your website needs a blog.
Businesses with blogs have 97% more inbound links, which helps increase traffic, as well.
Let’s take a look at this chart for a visual representation.
Blogs can also help you build a relationship with your prospective customers.
It’s a creative way for you to interact with consumers and for the consumers to interact with you, as well.
Let people comment on your blog.
Respond to those comments (we’ll elaborate on this point shortly).
Blogs are also a great place for you to get some feedback.
People aren’t restricted in voicing their opinions on blogs.
You can also integrate your blogs with social media.
What do I mean by this?
If you find yourself struggling to come up with new posts to share on your social media pages each day, your blogs can help.
Share the links to your blog posts with your followers on social media. It’s a great way to keep all of your pages active.
4. Avoiding social media
Why aren’t you using social media platforms?
I’ll give you a hint – there’s no right answer to this question.
Your business needs to be on social media.
Social media is a great way to interact with your customers. It’s also very inexpensive.
Unlike other marketing avenues, it won’t cost you anything to create a Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account.
Sure, it will cost money if you’re going to buy advertisements and pay someone to run the pages.
But this is still less expensive compared to traditional marketing efforts.
Your business will benefit from social media.
Your customers use these platforms, so you need to use them, as well.
81% of people in the United States have a social media profile.
Once you create your profiles, do not buy followers.
You might be discouraged if you don’t have tons of users following your page right away.
That will change.
Buying followers does not accomplish anything.
You won’t have any additional engagement.
Plus, if you get caught, it could ruin your reputation.
5. Forgetting to use videos
Most people think of Facebook and Twitter when they hear the words social media.
But what about YouTube?
Your business needs a YouTube page as well.
You can also use the videos from your YouTube channel on other digital marketing platforms.
Don’t forget about Facebook videos, either.
Even Instagram lets you post videos that are 1 minute long.
Videos are engaging and help capture the attention of consumers. Video content marketing is a great strategy to get people to check out your website.
There are a couple of key takeaways from this graphic.
First, over half of respondents to this survey have seen a video advertisement on the Internet over a 1-month time period.
So, if you’re not using videos to advertise, then your competition is.
43% of those people viewed a website after seeing the video.
That’s half the battle.
Videos can generate new leads and ultimately lead to conversions.
If you’ve never used videos as a marketing technique, that’s OK.
But it’s time for you to learn how to get started with video marketing.
6. Not measuring ROI
How much money are you spending on your online marketing strategies?
What kind of return are you getting?
Don’t just blindly throw money at digital marketing strategies without measuring the ROI.
If you don’t measure the ROI, you won’t know how successful your strategy was.
Unsuccessful campaigns can start burning a hole in your checking account if you keep repeating them.
You need to stick to what’s working and either abandon or modify what’s not.
There are different metrics available for determining your marketing ROI.
Calculating the return on your investment isn’t as difficult as it may seem.
First, you need to figure out what it is you’re measuring.
Here are a few different examples:
- Click-through rates
Once you decide what your campaign goal is, you can calculate your ROI.
Take the financial gain from your investment and subtract the cost of your investment.
Divide that number by the total cost of your investment.
That’s how you calculate ROI.
Make sure you determine the ROI of all of your marketing campaigns moving forward.
It’s the only way to see if your strategy was successful.
7. Targeting everyone
Who are you targeting with your online marketing campaigns?
Everyone with a computer?
People with smartphones?
Anyone with Internet access?
These answers are incorrect. You need to narrow your target market.
Consider the demographics of your current and prospective customers.
That’s who you need to be targeting.
I have a step-by-step guide that explains how to find out the demographics of your existing Facebook followers.
Use this information to enhance your marketing efforts.
You may be surprised to see what you discover.
Don’t make assumptions about the demographics of your customer base.
The image shows some quick stats that disprove some common stereotypes.
Based on this information, a skin and body care company can’t assume that their target audience is just women.
Once narrow your target audience, you’ll have more success with your digital marketing campaigns.
You’ll get more relevant leads this way.
Targeting everyone and anyone is also an inefficient way to spend money.
8. Not commenting on blogs
Commenting on your own blogs is a great way to do two things.
- Increase communication with your subscribers.
- Enhance your SEO
Yes, comments can help boost your website ranking.
Comments also add words to your page.
Engaging with your users can benefit your brand as well.
Your subscribers will be pleasantly surprised that their voices are heard.
Just make sure you’re commenting in an appropriate and professional manner.
Don’t spam people via blog comments.
It’s not a good look for you or your company – nobody wants to see that.
You should comment on other blogs, as well.
It will promote your brand if you do it subtly.
Make sure your comments are natural and informative.
This will help you establish credibility and showcase your specific areas of expertise.
Avoid commenting mistakes such as not using your full name in the comment and using a fake or inactive email address.
9. Your website is too slow
Slow websites will lead to big problems for your company.
You spend all this time, money, and effort to drive people to your website – just to drive them away if it’s too slow.
People are impatient. It’s the nature of the Internet.
Customers will abandon your website if it takes too long to load.
Don’t let your loading time kill your bottom line.
If you need to spend more money to make sure your web hosting service is as fast as possible, do it.
Every second counts, and you can’t afford to lose any customers.
If you’re not happy with your current web host, shop around and find another one.
Your page load time is too important for you to put up with mediocre service.
This needs to be a top priority for your company.
Don’t spam your customers.
This should go without saying, but some people are spamming their customers without even knowing it.
How do you determine if you’re a spam account?
First, take a look at the emails you’ve sent your customers in the past.
Ask yourself if each email is:
Relevancy is extremely important.
Your message needs to be relevant to everyone on the recipient list.
Some of your emails may be relevant to some of your customers, but not others.
You can avoid this by using email segmentation lists.
The last thing you want to do is upset your subscribers.
They already subscribed to your emails, which means that they are genuinely interested in your content.
Don’t make them unsubscribe by sending them emails that they don’t want to see.
Give your customers options when they initially sign up to receive content.
Ask them how often they want to receive emails.
Do they want your monthly newsletter? Or do they want your weekly promotion?
If customers only want to hear from you once a month, make sure you’re not contacting them every day.
They will unsubscribe and won’t get any of your future messages.
11. Not converting web traffic to customers
You look at your website analytics and see the number of visitors continuing to grow.
This is great news.
You have triple the amount of traffic from the previous month, but your sales numbers are staying the same.
What’s the problem?
Your web traffic isn’t converting to sales.
How do you fix this?
Make sure your website is easy to navigate.
80% of website visitors leave your page because they can’t find what they’re looking for.
It’s that simple.
If you have some sort of confusing layout, your website visitors won’t put up with it.
For those of you with an e-commerce page, make sure there are plenty of search options and filters so users can quickly find what they want and make a purchase.
Consumers don’t want to spend a long time scrolling and searching.
They want results fast. How fast?
So fast that they won’t even use a computer.
People want to make purchases from the palms of their hands.
If your website does not allow them to do that, they will buy from another website that’s more accommodating and easy to use.
We discussed this earlier, but it’s worth mentioning again.
Make sure your website is optimized for mobile users.
This will help turn your increased web traffic into more revenue on your bottom line.
12. Disregarding abandoned shopping carts
For those of you with e-commerce websites, how are you handling customers who add something to their shopping cart but don’t check out?
If your answer is nothing, then you’re doing something wrong.
These customers are just one or two clicks away from finalizing a sale.
Why are customers abandoning their carts instead of checking out?
Evaluate this information and compare it to your website.
The checkout process should be quick.
Try to offer your customers free shipping and don’t add on extra fees if you can avoid it.
Don’t force people to create an account just to make a purchase.
Let them check out as a guest.
Make sure you have a secure checkout process so the customer feels comfortable submitting their credit card information online.
Optimizing your checkout process can increase conversions by over 35%.
If your customer has a profile with your company, send them a reminder email about the items in their cart.
13. Not using SEO
Your website needs to be optimized for searches.
Ignoring SEO can be detrimental.
Customers won’t be able to find you.
If you’re not on the first page of their search results, you are out of luck.
Based on these numbers, paying to promote your website through search engines is not effective, either.
You need to make sure that your website contains keywords and phrases that people are searching for.
If you’re not sure how to do this, I have a simple guide to teach you about search engine optimization.
14. Turning down guest posts
Guest posts may not seem attractive at first glance.
You’re not directly adding content to your website, which can be a turn-off for some people.
But take a second to analyze this one step further.
You have the opportunity to reach an entirely new audience that may not even know that you or your website exists.
It’s a great chance to gain some exposure for free.
You’ll be able to link your website and personal blog, as well.
Let’s take a look at an example.
Over five months, Silvio Porcellana, the CEO of Mob.is.it, wrote 44 guest posts for 41 blogs.
It boosted his website traffic by 20%.
These guest posts also increased his domain authority.
Guest posts are a great way for you to gain exposure. This exposure can ultimately turn into conversions.
15. Not using lead validation
Lead validation separates your Internet marketing sales leads from other conversions.
Where are your customers coming from?
- Customer service inquiries
- Sales representatives
- Job applicants
- Empty submission forms
These are all possibilities.
Don’t just lump all of your marketing analytics into one group and assume that all of your conversions came from the same place.
If you’re not validating your leads, you are overstating your campaign success.
Very few companies use validation, but some businesses have up to 50% of conversions coming from sources other than leads.
These miscalculations will end up giving you a false ROI.
Consider hiring a lead validation team.
The team will help give you a more accurate depiction of your lead-generation success rates.
You may discover that you’re spending extra money when you don’t need to.
Validating leads will help tighten up your marketing budget in relationship to your ROI.
16. Poor personalization techniques
You need to be personal with your customers.
Sending out an email addressed “Hey everyone” is not an effective personalization technique.
Instead, use the customers’ first names.
You should also sign each message with your name.
It’s more personal than “Sincerely, Company XYZ.”
Use your personal email address in the sender’s field.
Personalization helps you connect with your customers.
It makes them feel like they are hearing from a person rather than an automated and anonymous sender.
If you have retail store locations, speak to your customers when you see them.
Try to establish emotional connections.
Being personal is a key factor in successful customer service.
Learning someone’s name can go a long way toward differentiating your company from the competition.
17. Overlooking email marketing
Email marketing is not dead.
If you’ve you sent emails in the past and didn’t have much success, you should re-evaluate your methods.
You need to send marketing emails that actually generate a response.
Email marketing is extremely effective when you do it properly.
Compared to other marketing techniques, emails have a high ROI.
One of the reasons it yields a high ROI is because the costs are so low.
If your company is overlooking emails, it’s a big mistake.
Make sure your emails are optimized for mobile devices.
Over half of emails are opened from mobile phones.
Your customers may delete your email without reading it if it’s not optimized properly.
Don’t put email marketing on the back burner.
Continue to collect email addresses and send messages to your subscribers. It’s a great way to help you retain your customers.
18. Not using a call-to-action
What’s the goal of your marketing campaign?
How do you expect your customers to help you reach this goal?
If you have a great advertisement but no call-to-action, it’s virtually useless.
One of the only things worse than no call to action is a poor call to action.
“New customers get 5% off.”
Does that sound enticing to you?
How about this…
“Visit our website before midnight on Saturday to receive 20% off select items and free shipping on all purchases.”
Include a link to your website.
The second call to action is significantly more appealing to your customers.
It gives them a reason to actually visit your site and a deadline by which to do it.
Marketers are ignoring CTAs.
It’s a mistake.
If you start using better CTA methods, you can separate your company from the crowd.
19. Focusing on acquisition and not retention
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not undervaluing the importance of customer acquisition.
You need to actively try to grow your customer base to survive.
With that said, customer acquisition is only half of the battle.
Once you get a customer, you want to turn them into a customer for life.
What are you doing to retain customers?
If you don’t have an answer to this question, you’re behind.
Why do you need to put so much focus on retention? You’re more likely to sell to your existing customers.
It’s also 6 to 7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to retain current ones.
Do not spend your entire marketing budget on new customers.
Make sure that a portion of those funds goes to customer retention.
Your existing customers are likely to shop more frequently and spend more money on each transaction than new customers, as well.
21. Trying to do it all alone
You can’t do it all by yourself.
If you don’t excel in certain areas of marketing, find someone that does.
I’m not saying that you need to find 20 employees to manage your marketing efforts.
But you may need to hire a few.
Once you surround yourself with the right people, make sure everyone has a role.
Another mistake that people make is not properly delegating tasks.
Sure, the members of your marketing team won’t work in isolation – their efforts will all work toward your marketing goals.
But everyone needs an assignment.
Your social media manager doesn’t need to be the same person who’s trying to increase website conversions through SEO.
22. Poor budgeting
You need to have a marketing budget.
If you don’t, that’s your first mistake.
The second mistake people make is not properly allocating the funds from their marketing budget.
As we discussed earlier, if 100% of your marketing budget is going toward customer acquisition, then you’re neglecting customer retention.
Here’s an example of a diverse marketing budget.
I’m not saying you need to follow this graph exactly.
But it’s a great illustration to show that you need a well-rounded marketing strategy, and your budget should reflect this plan accordingly.
Bad budgeting can also you land you in financial trouble, especially if you’re not measuring your results.
Throwing money at unsuccessful marketing campaigns is a recipe for disaster.
Spending money on multiple avenues and campaigns can help hedge your bets in case certain promotions don’t work as well as you predict.
23. Not setting goals
Marketers need to set goals.
Create both short-term and long-term goals for your company.
What do you want to accomplish? How do you plan on getting there?
Once you answer these questions, you can start to plan your marketing strategy.
Here are some tips to help you set goals.
Make sure everyone on your marketing team understands your goals.
Communication is key.
Everyone’s efforts need to work toward achieving the established goals.
Goals will also help you allocate your marketing budget (as we just discussed).
24. Providing subpar customer service
Most people don’t associate customer service with marketing.
There is an important correlation between these two departments.
Your customer service representatives need to understand your marketing plan, as well.
When consumers have problems or inquiries, your customer service team can respond in a way that reflects your marketing goals.
Here’s an example.
To keep it simple, let’s say that you want to collect more email addresses.
If a customer is inquiring about something in the store or online, your customer service team can ask them for their email address.
Customer service representatives can help steer the consumer toward products that you’re trying to promote.
Bad customer service can destroy your business.
You spend so much time, money, and effort to acquire and retain your customers.
Don’t let them leave because they experienced bad customer service.
It will kill your marketing campaign and ROI. Customers are too valuable – you can’t afford to lose any of them.
25. Not promoting your website
This one should be a no-brainer.
But too many marketers aren’t promoting their websites.
Having a great website isn’t even half of the battle.
How are you drawing customers to it?
Try different strategies like banner advertisements to promote your website.
Having a website isn’t enough.
You need drive traffic to the website through online marketing tactics.
It will help bring new and existing customers to your page.
Nobody is perfect.
Don’t be discouraged if you went through this list and realized that you’re making some of these mistakes.
The first step is acknowledging what you’re doing incorrectly.
Once you’ve identified your errors, you can take the proper steps to correct the faults.
Here’s something else to keep in mind:
A lot of these mistakes are connected.
Correcting one of these mistakes can help you with other ones, as well.
For example, let’s say you realized that you’re not properly targeting mobile users.
Correcting that error can:
- Improve customer service
- Increase customer retention
- Speed up your website
If you don’t optimize your website and emails for mobile users, your customers will think you don’t care about them.
When your customers think you’re indifferent, they leave.
By increasing your focus on mobile users, you inadvertently address three other mistakes on our list.
Here’s another example.
Let’s say you’ve identified that you’re not promoting your website.
What else on this list can fix that?
- Starting a blog
- Using social media
- Email marketing
- Guest posts
Trying to correct just one of these errors will have a positive impact on other mistakes that you’re making.
Don’t get overwhelmed.
Trying to address all 25 of these points at once would also be a mistake.
I’m willing to bet you’re doing a lot of these things properly.
Don’t stop your successful online marketing strategies to focus on your mistakes.
Take time to set realistic goals for how you want to improve.
How will you correct the online marketing mistakes your company is making?