11 Deadly Email Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

email marketing

Table of Contents

This is the guest post by Marvin Arciniega.

As an email marketer, your goal is to reach as many people on your mailing list and have them actually open your emails. From then on, you want your click-through rates to be high so people actually click on your offers and links to products and services.

However, if you are reading this, maybe you are finding yourself making some mistakes along the way. Fear not, for you are not alone! We will review some of the most common email marketing mistakes you should avoid.

If you avoid these mistakes, you will be on a better path towards success for your email marketing campaigns and for your business overall.

1. Not Testing Email Campaigns

This is a rather big mistakes many email marketers make. You are always going with your best instinct and that “gut feeling”. However, you never take into consideration trying different alternatives to your strategy.

You do not take note of what exactly you did last time so you can change one thing and see if it had a significant difference or not. Your email campaigns should always have some sort of measure to them.

You must always be testing something! Whether it be your subject line, the length of your body text, the sender name or whether you put images in the email or not. Those are only a few things to test.

There are many different little changes you can make, and you will never know the impact those small changes make if you are not watching out for them.

There is something known as the A/B test. You can do this with any email software service such as Mail Chimp. Basically, you write two versions of your email and label one Version A and the other Version B.

You choose the percentage of your mailing list that will get these test samples. The most commonly used percentage is 20% taking into consideration that your list is large enough.

So of that 20% of your mailing list, half will receive version A and the other half Version B. You can also state how long to allow the test to run.

Make sure you give enough time! We recommend at least 24 hours. So when you send these test emails, wait 24 hours to allow time for your readers to open the email.

Then depending on which version gets best results, the remaining 80% of your list will get the winning version. Do this repeatedly every single time you send an email!

Change things up and always know why one campaign performed better than another. Testing is key and with the A/B testing technique you will be able to figure out what works and what doesn’t.

2. No Call to Action

You’ve collected your email addresses and have begun your email campaigns. You got your subscribers to open up your email. They read your entire email text.

Now what?

Here is where you are supposed to have your call to action. Remember that every single email should have a purpose! If it doesn’t, then you are only informing but not instructing.

You must tell your reader what your product or service is, why they should invest in it, and you should actually tell them to invest in it.

A call to action is sort of like that little nudge or push you give the reader to take the next step. It is simply not enough to only inform.

Why do you think all those TV and radio commercials always end their commercial with “Call Now” or “Buy now”? Because without that last little nudge, your campaign will simply not go as far as you’d like it to.

3. “No Reply” Emails

Having “no reply” emails isn’t necessarily a bad technique. However, sending every single automated email as “no reply” can definitely cause you some problems.

The main problem will be that you lose all contact with your customers. If for instance, you automate an email explaining a product you offer as “no reply”, then if a customer has a question regarding the product, they won’t be able to reach you.

Imagine this in a broader spectrum. Imagine 50% of your subscribers are interested in your product but none can get their question answered.

How will they buy if there is a concern in their minds? Especially if they can’t get a simple question answered? Very little to none of those customers with questions will purchase your product because no one is going to buy anything they don’t fully comprehend or accept.

So in the future, please don’t make every single email a “no reply” email.

4. Massive Image Files

Sure you may have a nice infographic or some enticing image you can use for your email campaign. You feel it will definitely help sell your product or message.

However, keep in mind the size of those images. If you are able to get your subscriber to open your email then you’ve accomplished one small step of the overall goal.

However, as soon as they open it, the email begins to buffer and takes very long to begin to display. What will your subscriber do? If you think they are going to happily wait for it to load, you are very wrong!

Majority are just going to click back and erase your email. Now you scared away your reader all because of a large image file that took too long to load.

If you must use an image, try compressing it so the load time is faster. You can also simply resize it to a smaller image file size.

5. Grammatical Mistakes

Grammatical mistakes can do you so much harm. Especially if the reader spots the mistake that you were too careless to notice yourself.

What does that tell the reader? You are a careless person and thus a careless business. Your credibility will be thrown out the window with grammatical mistakes.

You want to give off a trustworthy impression of yourself and typos are one quick way to lose that trust.

If people question your email, they will question your products and your service and most likely will not purchase from you as you seem to lack professionalism and lack care for your own image.

Always proofread your emails before sending them out. This is a necessary step you simply cannot afford to skip because you will regret it in the long run.

6. Broken Web Links

Always Always test your links within your email campaigns. How bad would it look if you convince your customer to buy a product and they click on the link you have attached only to find a broken web link?

That’s like Honda telling their clients that their car will literally fly. It comes off as a lie. You have just offered a product that to the customer now appears to be non-existent.

This is a mistake just like the grammatical one. You lose the trust you have built for your customers.

What will your customer do when coming across this broken web link? Well, if they clicked on it, they were for sure at least convinced to look into purchasing this product.

They will not sit around and wait until you fix the link, if you ever do that is. If they clicked on your link, their mind is set on purchasing. So the first thing they will do is search for a competitor offering a similar product you failed to offer to them.

They will most likely find a competitor and you will most likely lose a customer. Make sure all your links are in good standing and they actually work!

7. Where is the Unsubscribe button?

If you have your unsubscribe button in a place that is easy to find across every email, then you come off as an honest person and business.

This is greatly appreciated! What it says is basically that you are offering your customer this new product or idea but if they do not want to receive any more emails, they can do so by clicking the easy to find unsubscribe button.

However, if you make it difficult for your readers to find the unsubscribe button, then it feels like you are force feeding your readers all of your campaigns.

No one likes to be forced to do or see anything! If you are offering great products and great service, there is no need to hide the unsubscribe button. Make sure you don’t take that away from your reader.

Let them know that if they wish to unsubscribe, they can do so at any time. This will build that trust you seek from your customers and they will be happy to receive emails from you knowing that it is their choice to accept them or stop them at any time.

8. Emailing too often

There is no magical number as to how often to send email to your list. However, sending emails on a daily basis is way too much regardless of the business you are in.

We can’t really give you a specific formula as to arriving to the number of emails. Only you will know how often to send out your campaigns. Depends on the demand and supply your business asks for.

For instance, if you have a coffee shop, you may want to understand the flow of your business. What time do your customers mostly buy coffee?

Most of times is just before work or just before they start their day in general. As a coffee shop, a good amount of email would be once a week.

Preferably Monday mornings when everyone starts out their weekly grind. You send out a coupon code they cannot refuse and your customer will highly consider buying that first cup of coffee of the week.

Emailing every single morning will definitely wear out your subscribers and they are most likely going to unsubscribe.

Moderation is key depending on your business. Make sure you understand your business and your customer needs and you will know how often to email your list.

9. Check Auto Responder Stats

It is smart to have automation for your email marketing strategy. However, the auto responder should not be seen as a robotic tool for you to ignore knowing the job is getting done.

Always go back and review those stats! Every piece of information is crucial. Always have the mentality that you should learn more and more of your customers with every email campaign you arrange.

The purpose of your email campaigns is not only to get sales out of your list. The purpose is to become one with your customers and truly know what it is that makes them love your business so much!

What makes your subscribers read your email? what makes them open it? What makes them want to buy and what makes them unsubscribe to you?

Your auto responder stats contain this information and it is crucial for you to pay attention to them.

10. Don’t Sell in Every Single Email!

If you try to sell in all of your emails, then this is no different than Spam! Nobody likes spam. Nobody likes to be shoved a sign in their face to buy something every single day.

So don’t do it! You always want to add value to your readers.

Make your subscribers feel that they actually gain something by being subscribed to you. If you are a tool business, sending out “How to” emails such as building a birdhouse or a tree house for kids will add value to your readers.

Depending on what you think your customers will gain value from. This does two things: Educate your readers, and they also will know that you don’t expect them to buy from you all the time.

You are like their best friend who inspires them to learn more from you alongside your business. Treat them as a friend and they will appreciate your email every time they receive it.

11. Sending the same email to everyone

Segmentation, Segmentation, Segmentation! If you haven’t heard of this then you should listen now. It doesn’t matter how small of a niche you believe your business or audience is.

Your subscribers can be broken down into segments. What do you achieve by segmenting your audience? You will send those segments emails that are best suited for their specific needs.

You will also create a sense that you care for them and they will know this. A subscriber will be happier to read an email that seems that it was constructed just for them!

When an email sounds vague or it seems like it was sent to masses, then they lose that personal touch you could have attained if you segmented your audience.

Study your audience and understand what makes them different and unique from one another. When your customers first subscribe to your email, send them a small questionnaire.

A 3 question survey will do! Ask them 3 questions that you feel will create those segments within your audience. It could be something as simple as location, age and sex.

Depending on your business, you can ask more specific questions. Just remember to try to dissect your customers as much as you can.

Make them feel that you are speaking to each and everyone one of them specifically. There is nothing more pleasing than when an email sounds like it was meant just for you!

Wrapping things up!

Remember that your email strategy is everything! The way you reach out to your customers and the way you study their behavior. Don’t make these email marketing mistakes when creating your campaigns.

The ultimate goal should be to truly understand your customers so you can better suit their needs. Don’t overwhelm and always add value.

You want to make sure they build trust in you and that they can rely on you whether they have questions or concerns. Be fair, be honest and always be ethical and you will get the most out of your email campaigns!

Author Bio!

author profile
Marvin Arciniega is a graduate from California State University of Los Angeles with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing Management. An avid blogger on Email Marketing and contributor to helping small businesses achieve proper Email Marketing strategies. Follow him on Twitter here: @EmailSkills1
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Umesh Singh
Umesh is blogger by heart and digital marketer by profession. He helps small companies to grow their revenue as well as online presence.

12 thoughts on “11 Deadly Email Marketing Mistakes to Avoid”

  1. Hey Umesh,

    In new era world of eCommerce marketing, Email marketing is really effective marketing practice throughout globe for better outcome. This significant practice makes huge customer engagement.

    Today it is considered as part of our marketing strategy and plans, it shows positive magnitude to meet our goals. You have shared great facts regarding Email marketing and they really sounds as productive keys in game of online marketing. Eventually, thanks for sharing your thought with us.

    With best wishes,

    Amar kumar

  2. Hi Marvin,
    All your points are really good and Worthy to be implemented. And I must say that we should provide our subscribers an easy way to unsubscribe for sure.
    I really enjoyed the post.
    thanks for sharing.
    have a great year ahead.

  3. Hello,

    Well I must say email marketing is really powerful strategy to reach more audience and get leads. I’ll surely try to implement your tips and avoid mistakes.


  4. Awesome post I guess, I haven’t done any email marketing hence this would be wonderful opportunity to start an email campaign by following these awesome tips.


  5. Hey Marvin,

    Indeed a great Post.

    Email marketing is big aspect, but not yet fully utilized by marketers, and the reason behind is that they do not experiment much.

    I always believe that in email marketing, a thing that works for one person, doesn’t really works for the other, so we need to find out what works for our campaign.

    Although, you have put in some great points. Very Informative.

    ~ Jenny

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