5 Killer Email Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

5 Killer Email Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Post summary:

  • Email marketing is still the most effective marketing channel. Yet, far too many companies make the same email marketing mistakes over and over again.
  • Having sent millions of email campaigns and worked with thousands of businesses who use email marketing, we’ve outlined 5 key mistakes that every business makes.
  • These tips include best practices for sender name, device, email lists and more. Follow these tips, avoid the mistakes and make email marketing your best performing marketing channel.

Email marketing is the most effective marketing channel, bar none.

It’s why most businesses do email marketing.

But, it’s also why more than 294 billion emails are sent daily.

Therefore, it’s important to note that when your business sends an email to your customers, you need stand out from the other hundreds of emails that your customers will inevitably receive the same day you send yours.

Sending an email campaign requires an investment and it’s important that this time is not wasted on emails that aren’t being opened, read or acted on.

To help you avoid the pitfalls that many companies make when they start to use email to communicate with their customers, we’ve outlined the five most common email marketing mistakes.

Starting with the sender name.

1. Sending From donotreply@yourdomain.com

No-reply@ or DoNotReply@ sender email addresses are uninviting and unwelcome. If you send an email from one of those email addresses, don’t be surprised if your open rate is low.

In fact, the number one reason why an email is opened is based on sender name.

Top reasons for opening an email

Always send an email from an address your customers can reply to, and be sure to include phone numbers, and links to your social profiles in your email to help the customer contact you should they have any questions.

If you’re the Managing Director of a large corporation, you’re most likely not the one sending your emails out, however, you are the person that people in the industry will know. Whether or not they’re written by you or not, emails should be sent from a recognizable name.

In fact, sending an email from a person within your company could be a competitive advantage as 89% of email campaigns are sent from a company name.

2. Ignoring Mobile

According to a Constant Contact, 61% of all emails are opened on a mobile device.

Email open rates by device

But, that’s not all.

More than 40% of mobile users check their email four or more times per day, which means that having a mobile-friendly email design is not a nice to have. It’s a requirement!

And yet, in our own research of 1,000 B2B companies, we discovered that 1 in 5 email campaigns is not optimized for mobile devices.

Simply put:

If your email is not optimized for mobile devices, regardless of how relevant your message is, people will not be able to read it.

3. The ‘One Size Fits All’ Approach

The most effective form of marketing is relevance.

The one size fits all approach no longer works (did it really ever work?).

Your message needs to be relevant to the reader. CEO’s do not have the same challenges as end-users. This means that your message needs to change based on who the audience is.

The sad part?

Only 11% of email campaigns are segmented.

Segmentation can be basic, or it can get complex. If you segment your list into different groups and customize your messaging to each reader, you’ll see higher click-through rates —and more-engaged customers.

How can you segment your email?

Here’s a few suggestions:

  • Location
  • Job title
  • Industry
  • Company size
  • Interests

4. Making your emails complicated

One message, with one clear call to action, requires very little thought from the reader. They either take action on your email or they don’t.

If it’s relevant (and it should be, based on email mistake #3, above), then it’s more than likely that they will take action, helping you generate more website visits, sign ups and sales.

But, if you have several offers within an email, it requires more thought from the customer. And the more they think, the more stressed they become, and they’re less likely to buy. It’s what we call the paradox of choice.

Our own study found that the average number of call-to-actions within an email marketing campaign is 3.3.

One one hand, you have email campaigns with zero (!) call to actions and on the other, you have campaigns with more than 10.

Number of CTA's per email campaign

Keeping things simple really does apply to email marketing.

Have a clear and relevant message that links to a single landing page that makes it easy for customers to buy from you.

5. Hiding the unsubscribe link

It happens, but sometimes people sign up to your email, but after receiving 1 or 2, they decide to unsubscribe.

Now, there are two ways you can handle this:

  1. Make your unsubscribe link easy to find
  2. Hide the unsubscribe link in the footer

The first option makes it easy for customers to stop receiving emails from you, while the second option usually causes a lot of frustration.

Allowing your customers to unsubscribe should be as easy as possible. And if someone doesn’t want to receive your emails anymore, hiding the unsubscribe link isn’t going to make them suddenly want to purchase your product.

Don’t hide the unsubscribe link. And once they unsubscribe, respect it. Do not send them any more email campaigns. Otherwise, you risk failing to comply with GDPR.

Conclusion

Email marketing is still the most preferred communication channel for customers and is a strategy that will always out-perform all other marketing channels. Follow these tips, measure your performance and make email marketing your most successful channel.

One crucial email marketing mistake you could be making is to report on the wrong metrics. Download the email marketing KPI guide to learn what metrics to reports on and more importantly, how to improve them!

What are some email marketing mistakes I have missed in the list?

Please share in the comments below.

P.S. You can also download our free, proven email marketing templates here.

Email emplates for B2B marketing

Marketing

About Steven MacDonald

Steven MacDonald

Steven Macdonald is a digital marketer based in Tallinn, Estonia. Since working with SuperOffice, he has led the growth of the blog from 0 to 2.5 million visitors per year. You can connect with Steven on LinkedIn and Twitter.

23 Comments

Jose Argudo

about 6 years ago

Of all these the worst one, in my opinion is the first, as sending with do not reply, not only makes it impossible for your subscribers to ask anything, but nowadays ISPs usually give value to the fact that subscribers reply to your emails, so making it impossible will give some negative points that can add to your score and end up your newsletters out of the inbox.

Reply

Steven

about 6 years ago

I completely agree, Jose. If your subscribers cannot respond to your email, then they most likely won't shop with you either

Reply

Michaelwestv

about 6 years ago

Yes, I had similar mistakes last year, but now I'e been able to improve my email campaigns. It especially helped when I focused on being mobile friendly.

Reply

David

about 3 years ago

Completely agree with these email marketing mistakes. I also feel that these are the most common mistakes which most of the email marketers make. Sending emails with boring subject is very much common mistake. I never open any email which don't attract my eyes. I always ignore or delete such emails instantly. Email marketers should understand that nobody wants to waste their time in reading boring emails. If you really want to convert them then you must have to send emails with having eye catchy, attractive and promising subject line. Because It is the only line which readers read first. So taking care of it can improve your skills. I am glad that you have listed all the major email marketing mistakes here so that we can learn them and can avoid them. Thanks for sharing it with us!

Reply

Steven MacDonald

about 3 years ago

Thanks for the thoughtful comment, David. Really great point!

Reply

Alice Dylan

about 3 years ago

Well-written article on Email Marketing Mistakes. While all the pointers are important, the one that draws maximum attention is number four. That's because this mistake of ' One Size Fits All' causes the most damage to email marketing success. It is essential that marketers understand that email blasts are a thing of the past. To get the desired ROI out of the email marketing campaigns, personalized targeted messages need to be delivered to the subscribers. And this can only be possible when marketers understand customer preferences and purchase patterns and frame targeted messages that hit the bull's eye. Instead of investing in standalone email marketing platforms, it is prudent to invest in new-age CRM applications that manage sales, marketing and customer service collectively. Marketers can use the CRM to understand customer data, do easy and precise email list segmentation, schedule and run email campaigns and track the performance to improve the future ones.

Reply

Steven MacDonald

about 3 years ago

Great comment, Alice! CRM software is a huge advantage for marketers' that want to understand customer behavior across the entire journey.

Reply

Emma Swan

about 3 years ago

Well-written article on Email Marketing Mistakes. While all the pointers are important, the one that draws maximum attention is number four.

Reply

Laurel

about 3 years ago

These mistakes are still quite relevant... I really don't like the "do-not-reply" emails. It creates some kind of a barrier and an impression that the business of unwelcome. What I find very important is to make emails mobile friendly. That's where we read most of the messages these days. It's very annoying if an email is not mobile ready. Perhaps another important thing is a good content strategy. It's like a fuel to the whole strategy.

Reply

Steven MacDonald

about 3 years ago

That's a great point, Laurel.

Reply

Shivam Sahu

about 2 years ago

Hi Steven We all know that marketing is not a rocket science. But we must not shy away from using some of our Brain Cells. This is a very great post that covered all the good aspects of marketing. A very good marketing tactic must have the following ingredients: #1. Market only to Target Your Ideal Customer. #2. Marketing strategy must also cover how to keep in touch with the existing customer base and keeping your relations solid. I used these same tactics to consult my clients and wrote a few of them to tell their importance. I'm glad that I visited to this amazing article. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Reply

Steven MacDonald

about 2 years ago

Thank you, Shivam! I very much appreciate your kind words.

Reply

Usain Lockwood

about 1 year ago

Thanks for sharing your email marketing insight with some very practical tips and what to watch out for. Great tips!

Reply

rishabh shrivastava

about 1 year ago

Thanks very helpful article by your side.

Reply

Kiran Sahu

about 12 months ago

Hey! I am thankful to you for writing this article and making me improve all my email mistake. It's this kind of article that I was searching for to improve my email marketing strategy. Thanks a lot for such a great article!

Reply

Steven MacDonald

about 12 months ago

Thanks, Kiran! I'm glad you found it useful.

Reply

Winter Dominguez

about 9 months ago

Marketers need to ensure they do not make any mistake at the time of doing email marketing. I personally think not linking to the official website in emails is a huge mistake. I liked the fact that you identified these mistakes and made readers aware of them. I hope to read your next article soon!

Reply

Steven MacDonald

about 9 months ago

Thanks, Winter!

Reply

Joseph

about 5 months ago

Thanks for sharing nice information, can you please tell how to avoid email spamming?

Reply

Steven MacDonald

about 5 months ago

Hi Joseph! The best way to avoid spamming your subscribers is to send them relevant content.

Reply

Ali

about 3 months ago

Amazing tips, one should also look after the quality of an email list to keep hard and soft bounces within the specified limit

Reply

Alistar Scott

about 1 month ago

Hey Steve, great read! You’ve touched upon some important aspects of email marketing in a very crisp and simple way. I guess emails should be drafted that way too. Clear and concise and (like you’ve mentioned) with one message and one call to action. And the landing page it links to can elaborate on the offering and try to answer all questions that a prospective customer may have. Here’s a tip from me: using emojis increases the email open rate. Of course, you need to keep the target audience in mind and avoid overdoing it.

Reply

Steven MacDonald

about 3 weeks ago

That's a great tip, I think I'll test that! Thanks Alistar!

Reply

Leave a Comment

Sign up to a free SuperOffice CRM trial.

It’s free for 30 days. No credit card required.

Start Free Trial