8 Common Email Marketing Mistakes to Avoid in 2021


Incorporating email campaigns into your marketing strategy is an essential step, regardless of your business type or industry. Despite the misconception that email marketing is a thing of the past, it’s important to debunk this myth.

If you find yourself grappling with your email strategy, don’t be disheartened. Rather, consider this a positive sign that minor adjustments can lead to significant improvements.

The beauty of email marketing lies in its remarkable ROI. On average, for every dollar spent on email campaigns, you can expect an impressive return of $32. This fact alone emphasizes the value of this strategy.

In fact, a staggering 81% of small business owners acknowledge that email stands as their primary approach to acquiring customers. Moreover, a striking 80% of small businesses consider email marketing to be their foremost method of retaining customers.

Even if your past email marketing efforts have yielded decent results, there’s always room for enhancement. Unintentionally, there might be mistakes you’re making that are holding you back. So, if you’re eager to elevate your email strategy, delve into this guide to uncover and rectify eight common errors that should be diligently avoided.

Top five mistake to avoid:

Not welcoming your subscribers
Forgetting a call-to-action
Sending too many emails
Not segmenting subscribers
Delaying campaigns

Table of Contents

1. Not welcoming your subscribers

Congratulations on gaining a new addition to your email list – a brand-new subscriber! What fantastic news!


This individual navigated their way through your website, eventually landing on a captivating page, where your email value proposition caught their attention. With enthusiasm, they completed the required form fields, officially joining your list. It’s evident that they hold a genuine interest in your brand and what your website has to offer.


But what’s the next step?


Now, if you’re thinking of reaching out only when your next newsletter or coupon is due, you might want to reconsider. Timing is crucial, and welcome emails should take the spotlight immediately following a sign-up. After all, statistics show that welcome emails have the highest open rates across all email categories.


Speaking of statistics, take a moment to ponder this: why did this individual sign up in the first place?


Perhaps your ecommerce shop caught their eye, and the promise of exclusive discounts or special offers for email subscribers sealed the deal. It’s evident that this visitor is primed for a potential purchase.


The browser is still open, they’re on your site, and the desire for what you’re offering is at its peak. Delaying the welcome email by a day or week would only add unnecessary steps for them to return and make that purchase. By seizing the moment now, you’re capitalizing on their interest, ensuring that your offerings remain fresh in their mind.


Now, let’s delve into the numbers – welcome emails outperform other marketing messages by a whopping 320% in terms of revenue generated per email. If this intrigues you, consider delving into my comprehensive guide on utilizing welcome emails to boost sales.


But that’s not all. Welcome messages boast an impressive 336% higher transaction rate and a remarkable 196% higher click-through rate compared to any other emails you send.


This is a golden opportunity you simply can’t overlook. Of course, the ideal scenario is to keep this subscriber engaged with your future emails. However, there’s no need to wait. By promptly triggering a welcome email as the first message in a drip campaign upon their sign-up, you’re increasing the chances of converting their interest into action. Remember, timing is key, and the potential for conversion is at its peak now. Don’t hesitate – capitalize on this powerful strategy and watch your engagement and conversion rates soar.

2. Forgetting a call-to-action

Your business occupies your thoughts day and night—weekdays, weekends, even holidays. But expecting your customers to share the same level of enthusiasm is unrealistic. Sending them a casual “hello” or “just checking in” message without a clear purpose doesn’t offer any value to their lives.


Every email you send should serve a purpose and feature a distinct call to action (CTA) that directly aligns with your goals.


Without a clear CTA, what action do you anticipate the recipient will take? Even if you’re sending out a newsletter or an urgent news update, there should always be an element in the message that entices conversions.


Yet, CTA mistakes come in different forms. Some site owners, in their eagerness, bombard a single message with four or five CTAs. These may include prompts like:


  • Explore our store
  • Join our loyalty program
  • Share this with a friend
  • Connect with us on social media
  • Register for our upcoming event


While each CTA is individually valid, overloading a message with all of them can overwhelm the reader. A multitude of competing CTAs can confuse your subscribers and negatively impact your conversion rates.


In crafting your message, ensure that its content primes and seamlessly leads to the CTA. For instance, if you’re introducing a new product, the CTA should focus on making a purchase. Similarly, if you’re organizing an event, the CTA should encourage sign-ups. If both these aspects need promotion, it’s best to have them in separate email campaigns for better clarity and effectiveness.

3. Sending too many emails

While it’s wonderful that someone has subscribed to your email list, it’s essential to remember that this privilege shouldn’t be abused by bombarding them incessantly with messages.


Consider this: an individual working in an office receives an average of 121 emails daily, tallying up to a staggering 44,000 emails annually! Unsurprisingly, the primary reason people opt to unsubscribe from email lists is the overwhelming influx of messages.


Understanding the Unsubscribe Trend Let’s step into the shoes of a consumer for a moment. Have you ever felt that sense of irritation when sifting through a cluttered inbox? I know I have, and it’s a feeling we’d rather not associate with any website or brand.


The aim is for recipients to welcome your emails with a sense of delight, not exasperation. Keep in mind that they voluntarily subscribed to receive communications from your platform, indicating a genuine interest in your content.


Let’s be realistic here—people don’t make purchases or visit websites on a daily basis. This is a fact we should acknowledge.


Hence, it’s prudent to limit your email promotions to a frequency of once per week at most. Better yet, consider allowing subscribers to customize their communication preferences during the sign-up process. Inquire about their desired frequency of messages and their preferred message type. By doing so, you can effectively segment your subscriber base based on their responses.


In essence, it’s all about finding the equilibrium between maintaining engagement and avoiding saturation. Ensuring your subscribers genuinely look forward to your emails can foster a more positive relationship between your brand and your audience.

4. Not segmenting subscribers

If you possess a single extensive master email list where each subscriber is receiving identical content simultaneously, then there’s a misstep in your approach. This constitutes a significant blunder.


As highlighted earlier, individuals may differ in their desired frequency of receiving messages. Some might prefer more frequent updates, while others less. Some subscribers may be inclined solely towards promotions and coupons, while others prioritize your newsletter. It’s clear that individual needs and preferences diverge significantly.


Consider this scenario: you manage an ecommerce store. The product preferences of a 20-year-old male subscriber differ widely from those of a female subscriber in her 50s. Sending them identical messages doesn’t yield favorable outcomes.


Notice how these marketing metrics experience an upsurge as a result of email segmentation.


Email Segmentation This approach leads to heightened opens, revenue, and leads. Simultaneously, it enhances customer retention, acquisition, and transaction rates.


Additionally, research reveals that 60% of individuals will delete emails that they find irrelevant. About 27% of recipients unsubscribe from such emails, and approximately 23% label them as spam.


Indeed, even if your email frequency is moderate, subscribers might still opt out. However, segmenting subscribers reduces the risk of your content being perceived as irrelevant.


Geographical Location Age Bracket Sales Cycle Language Preference Customer Lifetime Value Interests and Hobbies Browsing Patterns Past Purchases


These categories serve as conventional entry points for segmenting your email lists. Mastery in delivering pertinent content through subscriber segmentation is of utmost importance.

5. Delaying campaigns

n my regular consultations with various website owners and businesses, one common misconception about email marketing often arises. Let me illustrate this with a straightforward scenario, using round numbers to simplify things.


Imagine you currently have a subscriber list of 1,000 email recipients. In the previous week, you dispatched a message to the entire list. Now, in the present week, you’re considering launching a new campaign. However, you’ve only managed to acquire ten new subscribers since the last campaign.


Now, here’s the crucial point: this isn’t a valid reason to postpone your new campaign.


Yet, it’s a prevalent trend for business proprietors to delay campaigns until their subscriber count significantly increases. Here’s the catch: provided your messages aren’t bombarding your audience too frequently, you can, in fact, launch a fresh campaign to the same recipients, regardless of whether your subscriber count has risen or dipped between messages.


Your existing subscribers are already acquainted with your brand. Notably, the likelihood of making a sale to an existing customer ranges between 60% and 70%. In stark contrast, the probability of converting a new customer is a mere 5% to 20%.


Considering these statistics, there’s genuinely no rationale for holding back. Moreover, any new subscriber should be immediately greeted with a welcome email – a strategy we’ve delved into earlier in this guide. Consequently, you can promptly target them with an enticing offer. For all other aspects, establish a consistent schedule and adhere to it rigorously. Abandon the habit of concocting excuses to procrastinate new campaigns.

6. Neglecting mobile users

Assuming that most of you are crafting your email marketing messages on a computer, the presentation likely appears impeccable on these devices.


Now, it’s time to send it to your subscribers, right? Hold on a moment.


Before you hit that send button, it’s crucial to assess how your message appears on mobile devices. While the majority of email marketing software includes mobile-optimized features, the most effective way to confirm is by sending a test email to yourself. Personally, I’ve created a specific category within my email marketing list for the office and executive purposes. Essentially, this category comprises a selection of my email addresses. I consistently send content to this group as a preliminary check before broadcasting it to a larger audience.


Take note of the devices most frequently used by people to access their emails.


Devices: Smartphones indisputably stand out as the most favored devices across all age groups.


However, even if your message appears technically mobile-friendly following the trial run on your email software, there are additional considerations to bear in mind.


Steer clear of lengthy blocks of text. What may seem as a concise two or three lines on a desktop computer could translate into a daunting ten lines on a compact 4-inch smartphone screen.


While visuals can enhance your email, it’s important not to overly depend on images. The reason being, certain email applications don’t automatically display images. If your entire message hinges on the context of an image, you could potentially encounter some setbacks.


To rectify this oversight, it’s imperative to grasp the art of augmenting sales by catering to the preferences of mobile users.

7. Sending unprofessional messages

In my earlier discussion, I emphasized the importance of avoiding campaign delays. However, it’s equally essential to recognize that sending emails hastily isn’t the solution either. Adopt a strategy akin to the approach you’d take when launching a new blog post or introducing a fresh landing page to your website.


Begin by devising a well-thought-out plan. Craft a clear outline that guides your content creation process. Pen down the copy meticulously. Utilize editing software to refine your work. Conduct thorough proofreading, and then proofread it once more for good measure. Disregarding slang, spelling inaccuracies, and improper formatting is a misstep that can cast an unfavorable light on your business.


Imagine receiving an email from a luxury brand attempting to entice you with a $2,500 watch. Yet, the message is riddled with typographical errors and grammar blunders. Would you consider purchasing that watch?


Chances are, you wouldn’t. Such flaws convey a negative impression of the entire company.


People tend to ponder – if a business can’t invest the effort in crafting a well-composed email, what other corners are they cutting?


Your email’s reply-to address should reflect your business identity. Steer clear of using an old screen name like @hotmail.com. Additionally, subject all your emails to A/B testing to ensure optimal formatting. By adhering to these practices, you can guarantee that your communications exude the utmost professionalism.

8. Not prioritizing sign-ups

The effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns hinges on the quality of your subscriber list.


Even if your mobile-optimized message boasts exceptional content, the perfect CTA, and a polished design, it will fall short if it’s only reaching a mere 30 recipients. Impressive results demand a solid foundation.


I understand that building an email list is a gradual process, but it’s a pursuit that demands constant attention. No number is ever truly sufficient.


A passive approach like tucking away a “sign up for our emails” link in a remote corner of your website won’t entice subscribers.


Remember, people are inundated with nearly 1,000 emails every week. They won’t opt for more unless there’s a compelling reason to do so.


Take a look at this innovative popup featured on the homepage of Blenders Eyewear, blenders eyewear It’s a creative method for gathering emails.


One can’t possibly overlook it—it virtually occupies the entire screen while users browse. Considering they operate an ecommerce site, it’s reasonable to assume that visitors are intrigued by their products.


By offering a discount in exchange for an email sign-up, they’re effectively achieving two goals.


Provide an incentive for purchases Amass email subscribers Recall our earlier conversation about welcome messages. In a scenario like this, when a visitor signs up, it’s crucial to instantly greet them with the promised discount.


Even if your business isn’t an ecommerce store, the importance of sign-ups and adding value for potential subscribers remains unchanged. Extend offers like free downloads, video tutorials, or exclusive content to incentivize email opt-ins.


Email marketing is still alive and thriving. Everyone needs to make this a priority.


But some people are doing email marketing wrong. After reviewing this guide, you might have just realized that you fall into that category.


Don’t worry. These common mistakes are fairly easy to correct.


Identifying them is the hardest step. But now that you know what needs to be done, you can make those adjustments and apply the changes to your email marketing strategy moving forward.


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