8 Ways Businesses Can Avoid Common Email Marketing Mistakes

Contributed content / By Nora Mork / 9 May 2019

Despite email’s relatively long history, there’s no denying that it’s remained one of the most popular channels. To this day, marketers are still achieving impactful results by using email marketing to increase brand awareness for their businesses. 

Email marketing campaigns can increase the sales and engagement your business receives. Investing in an email marketing campaign allows your company to reach its audience directly and offers valuable incentives for potential customers. 

Benefits of a strategic email marketing campaign include:

  1. Establishing credibility
  2. High-quality lead generation
  3. Rapid sales turnaround
  4. Actionable consumer insights
  5. Stronger vendor relationships

Email marketing can offer countless benefits to your business — if you get the emails right. Still, mistakes are easy to make, and few companies realize these missteps when they occur. 

Below is a list of common mistakes businesses make when sending emails. 

1. Vague Sender Information

Although dry, simplistic business-oriented copy is the norm nowadays, most people prefer more genuine content that feels like a real person sent it.  

Rather than taking a generic approach, tailor your content to resonate with individual recipients. Using a person’s name instead of a brand in the sender field makes the email feel like it's coming from someone familiar.

Including your own name and basic personal information about your role is an easy way to make your marketing emails feel more human. 

As your email recipients get to know you personally over time, they’ll feel more of a connection to your newsletters. Knowing what to expect from your email campaigns will make users far more likely to open and engage with your content.

2. Misleading Subject Lines

The subject line of your email needs to be attention-grabbing for readers to notice your efforts, and, most importantly, open them. As you consider popular headline options, however, keep in mind the importance of being genuine and ethical.

Deceptive Subject Lines
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Labels that don’t match the body of your email are ultimately disingenuous. Feeling misled or even lied to will turn readers away and discourage them from opening future emails. There’s no faster way to prompt users to unsubscribe from your mailing list than filling your subject lines with clickbait content. 

Subject lines should stand out from all the others in an inbox and make recipients wonder what an email is about. The best kind spark sustains interest so readers want to receive more correspondence from your brand. 

Commit to using honest hooks and intros that actually preview the content a user is about to read. Accurate subject lines that flow organically into the body of your email will draw your readers in and keep them engaged and subscribed. 

3. Unengaging Copy and Content

Sending a boring email is one of the most obvious mistakes marketers can make.

Take preemptive measures against your audience unsubscribing by putting an effort into writing engaging copy. Unique and creative content will solidify users’ interest in what you have to share. Once you’ve captured their sustained interest, they’ll be much more likely to open and read your emails in the future. 

Even if you’re not a professional writer, plenty of online tools can help you achieve high-quality results.

Here are some of the best options:

  • My Writing Way/Via Writing - Use these email copywriting guides to structure your content and to help you learn everything you need to know to make your copy captivating.
  • Paper Fellows - Here’s an online editing tool to help you perfect the readability of your content to give the reader the best experience.
  • Academ advisor - Choose this service to help you check and correct the grammar of your email content, as well as giving you tips to be better in the future.
  • AcademizedAustralian Help - As reviewed by Best Australian Writers, these two professional proofreading services help you spot and correct any errors. Use these tools to ensure your content is free from typos and mistakes. 
  • Studydemic - This service generates catchy headlines, keywords, and subject lines for your emails.

Using these tools, you can create more effective emails that encourage users to engage more frequently with your content. 

4. Forgetting to Optimize for Mobile Devices

Over half of all internet traffic (50%) is currently processed through mobile devices. It’s now more important than ever to optimize your emails for mobile users. If someone can’t read your email properly from the device they use the most, it’s more than likely they will click away before engaging with any CTAs.

Taking a mobile-first approach to design will ensure your audience receives the exact message you intend to send them. 

The example below shows how a newsletter from Clutch appears on a desktop (top) and a mobile phone (bottom). As you can see, they have made their emails clearly adaptable to mobile devices.

 

Mobile vs. Desktop Email
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Furthermore, the email also includes engaging and interesting content. Making an email look great both on mobile devices and larger screens is very important for your readers.

5. Not Testing Your Emails Before Sending

No matter what email client or software you’re using, it’s critical to spend adequate time on testing your emails after they’re complete so you can ensure they work properly.

Check how they appear in a variety of browsers, mobile devices, and desktop hardware to make sure they function flawlessly and are easy to read wherever a user might access them. 

6. Not Segmenting Your Lists Properly

It goes without saying that an 18-year-old girl will be marketed to differently than a 60-year-old male, which is why a fundamental rule of email marketing is segmenting your email lists before sending out a campaign.

This way, you can highlight different elements of your product or service in a way that appeals to a wide range of audiences. 

Here is some data related to how much the email list segmentation improved various rates:

Email List Segmentation
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For example, Christopher Gimmer from Snappa sends highly targeted emails based on his recipients’ position in the sales funnel.

MailChimp includes the option to split a listserv into smaller groups based on any common trait of your choosing. Furthermore, segmented email lists maximize the value of audience insights you can track through most email marketing automation platforms. 

Examples of audience engagement metrics include:

  • Rates of delivery 
  • Opens
  • Click-throughs
  • Bounce rates
  • Subscriber retention

Segmenting your email list will target your audience in the most specific way possible, positioning your brand for maximum exposure.

Once you gain a more detailed understanding of your specific types of readers’ behaviors and preferences, you can tailor future campaigns to suit their preferences even better.

7. Not Showcasing Your Personality

Beyond vague sender details, there are many ways to customize your emails so they feel relatable to your readers. 

Personalized email messages improve click-through rates by an average of 39%

Feeling mechanical instead of human will put people off from reading your emails, which makes it harder for them to yield the desired effect you intend. 

Even professionals agree. 

"One of the best ways to inject a bit of humanity and stop yourself sounding so formal (unless that’s your style) is to add a bit of your own personality," said Matt Taylor, an email marketer for Big Assignments and Ox Essays. "Don’t be afraid to be yourself and be a real human being. Your style doesn’t have to be perfect professionally. In fact, that type of content won’t do as well."

“One of the best ways to inject a bit of humanity and stop yourself sounding so formal (unless that’s your style) is to add a bit of your own personality. Don’t be afraid to be yourself and be a real human being. Your style doesn’t have to be perfect professionally. In fact, that type of content won’t do as well.”

Here are a few simple ways to bring your brand closer to your customers:

  • Being funny and witty in your emails is a completely valid option.
  • Text doesn’t have to be boring or formal to sound professional.
  • Write in your own tone of voice
  • Add a comment or a joke your recipients will appreciate. 
  • Include your own images of your company’s office or team. 

Consider using these easy ways to express yourself and your brand to bring your email content to life and foster a sense of connection with your audience. 

8. Not Operating on a Schedule

People who subscribe to your email list expect to receive emails on a regular basis, whether that’s every month, bimonthly, weekly, or even daily. Miss the mark once or twice, and you’ll be gone from their inbox.  

Creating a schedule can help you determine when to send your emails. Leave enough room for some unexpected events. Examples of common issues include:

  • Duplicating emails 
  • Sending two emails in one day 
  • Errors that arise when you update your email list

It’s best to be transparent about your emailing schedule with your recipients. Right when they subscribe, let them know exactly when they can expect your emails — then keep to that promised schedule. 

Depending on which email marketing service you use, you will have different scheduling tools available. Some of the best options can be found in AWeber and Constant Contact

Avoiding Common Email Marketing Mistakes by Using Great Solutions

As we’ve seen so far, there are lots of different aspects and elements you need to consider when writing your content marketing emails.

Taking proactive measures to use best practice techniques and avoid pitfalls will ensure you generate the best results possible.

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