6 Major Things to Avoid When Email Marketing

Email accouncement

A successful email marketing campaign can be a huge difference maker for your online business, potentially even more so than a blog post. Play your cards right, and you can amass a huge database of leads and simultaneously enhance your client or customer retention.

The problem is, there are so many ways for emails to go wrong. Your emails could end up caught in spam folders, be written off as harmful marketing messages, or be bounced for any other reason.

And that isn’t without warrant. Think of how many emails you get in a day. Our inboxes are constantly flooded with new messages. If you want your email marketing campaigns to work, you need to stand apart from the rest. Keep reading to find out what many email campaigns get wrong, and how to fix it for yourself.

General Email Marketing Rules

Email Rules

Before we dive deep into the email marketing things to avoid, let’s cover some ground rules of what works in an email campaign.

1. Build a Solid List

You need to figure out what potential customers you can send emails to before you even start drafting. And it’s not enough just to build a list, you need to have a list with good sources.

For instance, if you run a digital marketing agency, and you target real estate agents with your marketing emails, you’re inevitably going to fail. Thankfully, there are some tools like OptinMonster, that you can use for building your email list.

2. Optimize for Mobile

It’s not just internet traffic that’s leaning more toward phones these days. Any online message is going to be read on a mobile device, including emails. So, you want to make sure your emails cater to mobile users.

That means using responsive dimensions, having a light file size, and more vertical spacing to account for a tall screen.

3. Hook People Right Away

The attention span of the general public drops day by day. In fact, current estimates place the average attention span at 8.25 seconds, lower than a goldfish at 9 seconds.

You need your email to have an impact as quickly as possible for your email marketing to succeed.

With that out of the way, let’s get into the email marketing mistakes you should be avoiding.

Poor Subject Lines

Man writing email

A subject line is your first impression on the reader. Mess this up, and nothing else you do in your email matters. That’s what makes bad subject lines the top of our common email marketing mistakes.

As we noted before, the average person’s inbox is overfilled. Most people will only give a subject line a quick glance before they mark it to delete. The trick is to make a subject line that’s compelling without being a grand sell.

People can recognize the telltale signs of a sale. They’re overly exposed to advertisements wherever they go. A subject line screaming a crazy claim will immediately be red-flagged and sent to the trash.

Follow these guidelines for subject lines in your future campaigns for the best results:

  • Provide real, valuable content – no tricks
  • Be concise
  • Be professional, not loud
  • Avoid all caps at all cost
  • Personalize your subject line where possible

If you abide by these rules for your subject lines, you’ll successfully dodge spam filters and be read by email recipients who matter.

Not Using Message Previews

You know those little sentences that pop up below the subject line in an email? That’s what’s called preview text. One of the common email marketing mistakes is not using preview text to your advantage.

You have the opportunity to customize your preview text, and a second opportunity to give an impression to readers before they open your email. Successful email campaigns take full advantage of this opportunity.

Elaborate slightly on what makes your marketing emails valuable, and include a call to action if you can. That way, you can naturally invite prospective customers to read your marketing email.

Looking Like a Scam

Scam written on paper

On top of being guarded against potential advertisements, the average consumer is also on the lookout for scams in their inboxes. Your email marketing campaigns won’t be successful if people register them as a scam.

The telltale signs of scams include huge exaggerations you have no way to live up to, an overly eager tone, and the lack of a security or privacy notice to instill trust in email recipients.

Overall, you want to come across as professional and trustworthy. If that means sacrificing some of your selling prowess, it’s necessary to establish your credibility. After all, if no one trusts you, it won’t matter how persuasive the rest of your email is.

Too Many Images

Images on computer

Just like on websites, having a huge amount of large images will be a hindrance to your email marketing campaign. For one thing, large images will be a huge burden to loading times.

Now that most people are reading emails from mobile devices, they’re loading from cell networks that are notoriously slow. If you have five full HD images in your email, it’s going to take a long time to load. People aren’t going to be willing to wait for them.

This can in turn mess with your email metrics. If people want to open your email, but bail because it won’t load, your open and clickthrough rates are going to be drastically different. For better synergy, make sure your images are properly optimized.

Disconnecting from Your Audience

Audience in stadium

Another in our list of common email marketing mistakes is falling out of touch with your existing customers and site visitors. Essentially, marketers will send out a huge amount of unsolicited emails or send them far too infrequently.

Push too hard and you’ll end up shoving people away. Don’t push hard enough and you won’t bring in any loyal customers. It’s a tricky balance to make with your promotional emails, but it’s one that can be sorted out.

Your best course of action is to use an automated email system like Hubspot. That way, you can schedule your emails at regular intervals. You’ll know you’re emailing the right amount, and you can save the stress of managing the emails yourself.

Improper Tracking

You won’t get results from email marketing if you aren’t keeping tabs on everything that’s happening. Are you getting a particularly good response to one email, while another one is floundering? You won’t know if you can’t accurately see the results these emails are getting.

On top of that, there are plenty of small email campaign issues you could be missing. Maybe your welcome email has broken links, hurting its performance. Common email marketing mistakes add up when there’s no accountability for them.

Professional email marketing tools often offer good tools for tracking. For instance, Hubspot has a huge amount of tools for tracking email campaigns at your disposal. You’ll be able to spot that troublesome welcome email in no time.

Transform Your Marketing Emails

Woman sitting in front of computer

Now that we’ve covered the six most common email marketing mistakes, you’re one step closer to your spectacular email campaign. Make sure that your subject lines matter, use message previews, and avoid the clutter that could lose your audience along the way.

And above all, be sure that you’re tracking everything. A majority of email marketing mistakes arise because creators aren’t paying attention. The remainder is likely related to poor optimization on mobile devices.

So, make sure that you run a tight ship for your email campaigns, and always use responsive design.

If that sounds daunting, you can always reach out to LeadAdvisors for additional help. We offer Content Marketing Strategies that will be sure to get you results. Chat with us and learn how to revolutionize your marketing efforts!


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