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Email Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

12 Email Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

February 26, 2021

Email marketing is the perfect channel for developing a relationship with customers, building a readership and generating sales. 

However, not every email marketing campaign is a roaring success. There are many common mistakes that businesses make over and over again – all of which can easily be avoided.

In this post, we shine a spotlight on 12 common email marketing mistakes and how you can avoid them. 

The most common email marketing mistakes

1. Failing to optimise for all devices

With many of us checking our email via our smartphones, it’s hugely important that every marketing email sent is optimised for all devices. Always send test emails and perform checks on desktop, mobile and tablet to ensure they look how you intended on every type of screen. Pay close attention to things like font size, images/graphics displaying correctly, and the overall flow of the email to avoid mobile users having to scroll for too long to find what they need.

2. Boring subject lines

Our inboxes can get pretty saturated with marketing emails, with many brands vying to grab attention. Readers will most likely scan the subject line of your email for a second or two before deciding whether it’s worth opening or not. It’s therefore very important that you make this small piece of copy count. Provide value, keep it short and sweet and make the tone of voice appropriate for your brand.

3. Not utilising customer segmentation

It should come as no surprise that the best kind of messaging is carefully targeted. It may seem easier to send a blanket email to all of your subscribers and hope some of them bite, but this isn’t going to harvest the results you’re looking for to make the time and effort spent creating emails worthwhile. Whilst basic demographic information such as age and gender is a good starting point, you’ll need to go deeper to really succeed. Your marketing emails should cater to the needs of each specific customer, based on their purchase history, interests, location, etc to increase chances of conversion. 

4. Unclear CTAs

Your emails should have a clear purpose, and this should be evident to the reader by the call to action included. Whether you want the reader to make a purchase, follow your social media channels or read a blog post, all CTAs should be clear and concise. Keep them short, visible and clickable to encourage readers to use them. Don’t overdo it and include too many, either, as this can come across as demanding. 

5. Violating GDPR regulations

The introduction of GDPR changes in 2018 completely changed the way we approach email marketing. Ever since, businesses have been required to show proof that customers have opted to receive emails from them. If you haven’t already, take some time to familiarise yourself with legal guidelines to avoid common mistakes that could land you in hot water. 

6. Sending at the wrong time

Whilst there are general “rules” when it comes to the best times to send a marketing email, it’s worth experimenting with different send times to find out what works for your business. You’ll likely find that a particular time of day works best for your audience. For example, if your target readership commutes early in the mornings, then you may find that 6am-7am makes sense, as they’ll likely be looking at their smartphones whilst on the train or bus.

7. Neglecting personalisation

Personalisation can help to engage and forge a connection with your audience, and includes both segmentation and personalised messages. Including the recipient’s name in the subject line and email copy lets them know that you aren’t just sending generic emails out with no thought or consideration for the relevancy to the reader. It also grabs their attention and creates a more friendly tone.

8. Failing to utilise message previews

The majority of email marketing platforms have message preview capabilities. A message preview allows readers to see which topics are covered in the email without opening it. This means they can decide whether the rest of it is worth reading, and gives marketers an opportunity to draw them in beyond the subject line.

9. Coming across as spam

It may be easier than you think to appear spammy to your email subscribers. Whilst it may be tempting to make grand promises or use shocking statements, you should first prioritise honesty and authenticity to avoid the reader immediately hitting the unsubscribe button upon loading your email. Using click-bait, over the top subject lines or elsewhere in your copy is most likely going to turn readers off. Your click through rate may soar, but so will your unsubscribe and conversion rates. Like with all content, it’s important to take a human approach – no brand wants to sound like a robot, churning out the same thing over and over again. 

10. Bombarding your subscribers

‘Less is more’ definitely applies to email frequency. Bombarding subscribers with daily emails when they’ve signed up for a monthly newsletter is only going to exasperate them. Whilst you may believe that appearing in your readers’ inboxes as much as possible means you’ll stay on their radar, chances are they’ll either become sick of you or desensitised to your content all together. Plus, sending less frequent emails allows you to ensure they are relevant to the recipient and of a high professional standard – quality over quantity is the way to go. 

11. Pushing too hard

The main objective of email marketing is usually customer retention. You’ve established some sort of relationship, now you need to build on that and encourage them to come back to your business. With an ecommerce business, it may seem like constantly getting your products in front of customers is the way to go, but being too pushy or overly sales focused may have the opposite effect – especially in the current climate where financial concerns are prominent. 

12. Being too heavy handed with images

Whilst it’s true that carefully selected images and graphics can help to increase conversion rate, going crazy with things like stock photos can not only increase loading speed but also make the email appear irrelevant and too corporate-looking. 

Need a hand developing your brand’s email marketing strategy? We’d love to chat – send us a message and we’ll get back to you.