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Common Email Marketing Mistakes & How to Avoid Them

Updated on by in Email

Without a doubt, the widespread developments in technology and the usage of the internet seen over the past decade has revolutionized the way that companies do business. From communication within the organization to managing customer relationships after a sale, connectivity has allowed companies to operate much more effectively and efficiently than ever before. Perhaps the aspect of business which has seen the most prevalent gains has been marketing.


The internet allows businesses to reach out and grab new customers more easily than ever before. One of the most popular and affordable ways for them to do so right now is through e-mail marketing. As powerful of a tool as it is, e-mail marketing can show little results when used improperly. Luckily, developing the strategies for a strong e-mail marketing campaign is not that difficult when you take a look at the most common mistakes and make plans to avoid them.

Here are seven common e-mail marketing mistakes and how you can stop them from hurting your campaigns:

1. Not Outlining Your Goals

Before even beginning your e-mail marketing campaign, it is important to identify the results that you’re hoping to achieve. By outlining these goals, you’re able to direct your marketing efforts towards the specified outcome. Coupled with the usage of modern analytics and the application of marketing funnels, guiding users from signup to conversion can be very direct and require the minimum amount of time and resources. Even a large, highly-targeted list is effectively useless if you are simply sending random sales messages and have no clear-cut goals in mind.

2. Not Taking Advantage of Analytical Tools

Over the past couple of years, significant advances have been made in customer relationship management and the technology needed to gain more control over your e-mail marketing campaigns. Analytical tools are available to be implemented into your e-mails which can track everything from which recipients open your e-mail to the specific links that are being followed to your website. With complete integration, you can follow every aspect of the relationship between your business and your e-mail list from sign-up to converting leads into customers.

3. Trying Too Hard To Convert

Frequently, marketers who are new to e-mail marketing treat each and every message like it is an opportunity to hard sell their products or services. E-mail marketing, especially with the integration of analytics, is a powerful tool to gain customers over the long term. If everything that you’re sending the addresses on your e-mail list is “overly sales-ish”, you’re likely to do more harm than good. It is very rare that e-mail marketing should remind recipients of walking onto a used car lot.

4. Buying Used E-mail Lists

It is tempting for many businesses and internet marketers who are new to e-mail marketing to purchase already established lists. These may consist of thousands of users who have willingly signed up to receive e-mails from the list’s owner and related offers, but what has happened between the initial signup and you purchasing the list? If the e-mail addresses are previously used, they likely have seen a barrage of messages promoting countless different offers – in other words, tons of e-mails that they view as spam. Even if the seller claims to be offering you a “fresh list”, recipients will likely have no prior interactions with your business and may see your messages as unwanted spam anyways. Building your own list, over time, will yield much better results for your company’s e-mail marketing campaigns.

5. Using a Boring Subject
If your inbox is anything like most people’s, you probably wake up to dozens of new messages each morning. When determining how to allocate their limited amount of time, e-mail users generally only pay attention to messages from senders they feel are important (such as work contacts, family members and friends), or messages whose subject piques their interest. Unless you’ve spent significant amounts of time building a solid relationship with your e-mail list, the only way you’re even going to get users to open your messages is through the use of an attention-grabbing subject line. Using a boring subject will likely mean a one-way trip to the trash folder.

6. Having Frequency Problems

You could have the most interesting subject lines on the internet, but if you’re sending your list multiple e-mails per day, they’re likely going to get tired of your messages unless you’re providing top-notch content that has a true benefit to them. The frequency that you send e-mails for your e-mail marketing campaign will have a lot to do with how users respond to your efforts. Mailing too frequently will cause consumers to become annoyed by the volume of messages they receive from your company. At the same time, internet users encounter a plethora of marketing efforts every day, and not mailing frequently enough will give them time to forget about your business and why they even signed up for your list in the first place. Most experts recommend sending out 2-3 marketing e-mails per week, although this can vary depending on the circumstances.

7. Not Being Ready For Mobile Users

As we move further towards mobile devices dominating web usage, it becomes more important than ever to ensure that e-mail marketing campaigns are designed with mobile users in mind. E-mails that are created to display elaborate images and blocks of text on a laptop may not appear quite so user-friendly on an iPhone or Android. More often than not, users trying to open a marketing e-mail which won’t properly display are going to delete it rather than deal with it later on when they’re at a full-sized computer. Responsive e-mail design is beginning to gain popularity as it allows messages to be formatted correctly for whatever device, e-mail client or platform they are opened up on.

E-mail marketing can provide your business with the customer base that it needs to grow and increase profits if used correctly, but without proper oversight it can require too much time and effort with too few results. Luckily, by taking these seven tips into consideration, your marketing department can avoid many of the pitfalls that novices to internet marketing commonly incur. With a proper strategy and effective messages, e-mail marketing is one of the highest return-generating methods in use today.

Author: Jessalyn Metelka

Jessalyn Metelka has years of experience designing and implementing e-mail marketing campaigns through the assistance of Jessalyn uses her e-mail marketing experience to help others create their own successful campaigns.

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