11 Email Marketing Mistakes You’re Probably Making

Email marketing Mistakes
Table of Contents

    Email marketing mistakes happen all the time, as any seasoned email marketer will tell you. This list is not to scare you away from email marketing, it’s better to send the email than to not, but rather a list of common, easily fixable mistakes. Correcting these mistakes will help your email marketing program have more of an impact. 

    Common Email Marketing Mistakes

    Email Marketing Mistake #1 – Not Sending a Welcome Email 

    If someone were to walk into a brick and mortar store, say hello, and then be completely ignored – how do you think they would feel about your business? 

    If this actually happened in person, the ignored customer would probably tell everyone your store is horrible, and to not shop there. On the internet, though, they are going to forget you exist. 

    People bounce around the internet quickly, viewing multiple websites/pages at a time multiple times per day. If you wait to introduce themselves after they have subscribed, they are not going to remember you. 

    Send a welcome email while you’re still fresh in their minds. 

    A good welcome email welcomes the subscriber,  introduces your business, and lets the subscriber know what to expect. It can be lighthearted and fun, professional, or somewhere in between. Need some inspiration? Really Good Emails has an entire category of welcome emails for you to peruse.

    Email Marketing Mistake #2 – Sending Irregular Emails

    This goes along with what we said in the previous section. If you want to stay top of mind with your subscribers, you need to stay in front of them. Set a regular cadence of emails and stick with it. 

    We always tell businesses to send emails at the rate at which you can create quality content. Although it should be more than once a month. Waiting too long between emails can cause people to forget who you are, and affect deliverability. 

    Email Marketing Mistake #3 – Sending Too Many Emails 

    If you send too many emails, you risk annoying people. Disclaimer here, if you tell people at sign up how often to expect emails from you, and it’s a high frequency, it’s ok to meet the frequency — subscribers are executing it.

    If you have a clean email list and are sending quality targeted content, you’ll be able to tell if you’re sending emails too many emails. Your unsubscribes and spam complaints will both rise. If this happens, and a dirty email list is not to blame, experiment with sending less email and see how your list responds. 

    Email Marketing Mistake #4 – Sending Emails Just to Send Something

    Sending an email to your list just for the sake of sending an email is not a good idea. Sometimes you get busy and realize you need to get an email out, so you randomly throw something together. If it’s not what your subscribers are used to and doesn’t add value, people will unsubscribe. 

    Are you currently thinking — You all said to stick to a regular schedule! 

    We know, we know. We also know this is a common struggle for businesses when they first start email marketing. 

    If this is common for you, here are a few tips to make creating emails easier. 

    1. Know who you are sending emails to – When you have your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) dialed in, coming up with content is easier.
    2. Keep a swipe file – You undoubtedly come across ideas for email content all the time. Keep a file or document with ideas and inspiration
    3. Repurpose high performing content – If you have past high performing emails, repurpose the content into something new or use high performing social media content.
    4. Let your customers create the content – If you have customer stories, reviews, customer videos, etc – go ahead and compile them into emails. Social proof sells and it’s often entertaining. 
    5. Teach them something – Sometimes we forget how much we know or how long it took us to learn it. It’s ok to talk about the same thing all the time — that’s why people signed up for your list. Take it back to the basics and teach something foundational. Teach them a few tips and tricks. 

    Email Marketing Mistake #5 – Not Setting or Meeting Expectations

    On your subscription form and in your welcome email, you should let subscribers known how often to expect emails from you and the value you are going to bring to their inbox.

    Meeting expectations looks like:

    • Sending emails at the frequency you said you would.
    • Providing the content you said you would.
    • Sending a coupon or resource you said you would. 

    Not meeting expectation looks like:

    • Sending emails at a different rate than promised (i.e. daily emails when they expect weekly emails. 
    • Sending irrelevant content – People signed up for your list for a reason. Maybe it’s blogging tips, maybe it’s recipes, maybe it’s deals…whatever you promised them when they subscribed, make sure that is what you send. Sending irrelevant content is a sure way to get unsubscribes. 

    Email Marketing Mistake #6 – Not Optimizing for Mobile Devices

    The exact percentage varies depending on the source, but all percentages fall between 50-70% of emails are opened on mobile devices. No matter what the exact number is – the majority of your marketing emails are being opened on a phone.

    Emails that display incorrectly on mobile are frustrating. We’ve all been there before, trying to shrink an email, so we can read it. It’s so frustrating, more than 70% of people delete emails not optimized for mobile within 3 seconds.

    Make sure you use a mobile responsive template and test how your email opens on a phone before sending to your list.

    Common culprits leading to poor mobile experience are:

    • Oversized images
    • Large chunks of unbroken text
    • Not enough white space
    • Not readable on mobile screens

    Email Marketing Mistake #7 – Not Having a Call to Action

    Tell your readers what you want them to do next. Yes, your readers are smart, but they’re also busy and a strong call to action can increase clicks and conversions.

    • Have a singular call to action – having multiple calls to action in the same email confuses the reader. There should be one call to action which makes it clear exactly what you want the reader to do.
    • Make it obvious – Don’t bury your call to action in a paragraph or as a small link. Use a button.
    • Use action words – Steer clear of vague calls to action and use strong action verbs to get people to act.
    • Repeat if necessary – If your emails are long, repeat the call to action frequently, so subscribers can always see it. 

    Email Marketing Mistake #8 – Heavy Reliance on Images

    Many people do not open emails with the images displayed. Some networks don’t allow it, some people have blocked images from automatically downloading in their settings, etc. 

    Your email should still provide value without the images displayed. If your entire email is an image, many people won’t see your content and may even unsubscribe. 

    Make sure your emails work in both scenarios, those who automatically display images and those who don’t.

    Email Marketing Mistake #9 – Not Segmenting Your Email List

    Sending the same emails to every person on your list is usually not the best strategy. Not all of your email subscribers are interested in the same products, categories, industry news, or frequency of email. 

    You can segment subscribers by interest, email frequency, job title, industry, etc. It’s easier to do than you think, and it will make your subscribers happy and engaged.

    Email Marketing Mistake #10 – Not Using Automation

    Email automations/drips/flows (whichever you refer to them as) save you time and money, keep you top of mind with subscribers without additional work after set up, and keep subscribers engaged.

    Is there set up on the front end? Yes. But it will pay you dividends in the long run. 

    Popular automations are:

    Email Marketing Mistake #11 – Waiting too long to get started. 

    If you are starting from zero with a list, it can be tempting to wait until you have a certain number of subscribers or to repeatedly put email marketing on the back burner. 

    Email is the top performing channel for revenue for a large majority of marketers. Because it works. Make the time to get started today, no matter the size of your email list. 

    Need help growing your list? Here are 38 Unique Ways to Grow Your List.

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    The RAEK Team

    RAEK was built by a group of digital marketers on a mission to help small businesses grow and easily utilize their first-party customer data.