Even the most successful online brands had a rough start. Even if you plan every intricate detail of your marketing strategy, there will always be unexpected challenges and inevitable miscalculations that could set you aback. What new marketers can do is to learn from the best, not only in what to do but in what not to do as well. When making marketing mistakes, nothing is wasted if you can learn from the experience. However, why risk time, money and effort if you can just learn from the mistakes of others? Here are the five worst mistakes that even the best marketers in the world have made: #1. Inappropriate Domain Name In the world of online businesses, words mean everything. You need to craft the perfect content, learn the best keywords, write the most engaging CTAs and come up with the most unusual names to move forward. When it comes to the domain name, many marketers have chosen words that either discouraged visitors from entering or misrepresented their brand. While some brands made the wrong choice, you cannot deny that some of these mistakes are quite hilarious. Some unfortunate examples of these domain name errors include Expertsexchange.com for “Experts Exchange”, Itscrap.com for “IT Scrap”, and Bendover.com for Benjamin Dover’s website. Domain names play a critical role in site visibility, particularly in ad networks and SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). You need to pick a domain name that’s not only brandable but must also convey an appropriate message to your target audience. You can use tools such as Temok Domains & Hosting to plan your domain name based on a keyword or phrase. You may also use their integrated registration and dedicated hosting services to secure your domain name. #2. Using a Free Blogging Platform Despite the rise of affordable site-building and hosting solutions, some marketers unnecessarily skimp by choosing a free blogging platform for a business website. Bear in mind that free platforms such as Blogger and Tumblr are meant solely for blogging. While they can be monetized through ads, these platforms are not flexible enough for professional business websites or e-commerce stores. If you want to build a website that is ready to compete, then you should opt for a more comprehensive Content Management System or CMS. WordPress.org is by far the most popular CMS for building professional websites. It enables you to create anything from a blog site to a fully-fledged online store without having to write a single line of code. With WordPress, it is easy to use different layouts using the built-in customization features. As you focus on creating your content, you can only choose from highly-customisable themes and plugins that could integrate useful functionalities to your site. For experienced web developers, you may also modify the back end with PHP, HTML, and CSS. #3. Not Spending on Premium Services There is no denying that the world of digital marketing has become very competitive. This has increased the demand for marketing automation tools for email marketing, social media, analytics, SEO, content creation, and so on. Those who are quick to adapt and incorporate these tools into their marketing strategy can gain a competitive edge while those who are hesitant to take risks are often left behind. As an online marketer, you need to be prepared to take on calculated risks and challenges that could give you an advantage in the long run. Start with the bare essentials that could get your online brand up on its feet. There are plenty of reliable tools and services you can use for key online marketing processes. Some examples are AWeber or GetResponse for email marketing and KISSmetrics for valuable analytics. You should also consider outsourcing a professional web developer to optimize your WordPress site from freelancing sites like Upwork and Freelancer. While there are several free alternatives to these marketing tools, operating with their limitations can stunt the growth of your business. Just be sure to learn as much as you can about a service or tool before committing to make the most out of your investments. #4. Spending Too Much on Services Although it is important to invest a little to gain more down the road, you should never go overboard with premium services and premium marketing channels. It is a crucial objective for startups to get traction while creating a sustainable cash flow in its early phases. If you fail to keep track of your budget, your entire enterprise could crash without giving you a chance to recover. Remember to be ROI-oriented when making investment decisions for your online business. This is what an analytics tool is for, which is why it should be the first thing on your list. Do not move on to the next marketing tool – be it for lead acquisition, content optimisation, or marketing – without making sure that the current ones would end up in profit. Some of the key metrics you should monitor include traffic, click-through rate, and conversion rate. Keep on testing and optimising these tools until you break even and start earning more than you spend. You should also aim to optimize your lead generation channels one at a time and not all at once. This will ensure that you stick to your budget and reap the full benefits of every marketing dollar you spend. For example, focus first on your Facebook Ads platform before launching your AdWords or Pinterest campaign. Remember that focusing on one thing at a time is one of the best ways to manage risks. If you need a better way to manage effectively your budget and gauge the performance of your current setup, consider using a premium campaign management tool like SteadyBudget. This particular tool organizes and keeps track of your budget for your marketing campaigns. As a result, you can easily stay in a sustainable position while you focus on growing your business. #5. Not Building an Email List Email marketing has been one of the time-tested pillars for an effective online marketing strategy. All successful brands generate and nurture their leads through emails. It is the most personal, professional, and convenient way to educate your leads, promote your brand, establish your authority, and maintain your credibility in your niche. A lot of new startups either neglect their email list or forget to have one altogether. Remember that turning your visitors into subscribers will keep your brand in their minds. Without an email list, you’ll have an enormous gaping hole in your lead generation strategy. A safe way to start your email list is to use a free option like MailChimp. However, as your subscriber list grows, you should consider switching to the premium version or alternatives such as the tools above AWeber and GetResponse. These tools have plenty of useful features such as an email builder, broadcast scheduler, and multi-campaigning capabilities. Conclusion There are plenty of ways you can mess up an online marketing strategy. However, the worst mistake you can make is the failure to learn. Remember that the best marketers attain success by regularly reviewing their current plans and finding ways to improve. They are built to adapt and are unafraid to go the extra mile, even if it includes risks. If you want to reach their level, you must grow a thick skin and have an open mind. 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