7 Deadly Sins of Email Marketing and How to Avoid Them

By 2020, over 3 billion people will use email. Where else can you reach so many people in one medium?

You have the audience in email marketing. And you have good ROI as well: A study from Campaign Monitor shows that you stand to get as much as $44 (USD) for every $1 spent on emails.

Overall, you get a lot when focusing on emails: A large audience and high ROI.

But you must be careful with how your email campaign works. Even a few mistakes could lead to big problems – or wasted money – for your business.

Take a look at 5 of the “deadliest sins” in email marketing campaigns. We’ll show you how these problems can happen — and what you can do to avoid them.

7 Common Email Marketing Mistakes — And How You Can Avoid Them

1. Having No Clear Plan (Or Any Plan at All!)

Ask any email marketer, and they’ll tell you the same thing: planning is everything.

A successful email campaign won’t just have a “Great Sale!” or “Save 15% Now” message here and there. Without a solid plan, your emails will lack structure — resulting in a campaign that makes zero sense at all.

Do This Instead:

  • Plan Out Your Content…

Like any campaign, email marketing starts with a goal. Do you want to welcome new subscribers — or is your campaign looking to nurture existing ones? To give your emails more direction, you can also set up a campaign that meets customers at every stage of the buyer’s journey.

  • Target your Customers…

Your emails should give your audience something that has value – put simply, send content they actually want to read.

Take for example you’re a Financial Advisor looking to build a relationship with new subscribers. During this stage, your goal is to educate with free, valuable content.

A great way to achieve this is by starting a 30-day challenge to improve finances. For 30 days straight, subscribers who opted in will receive a motivational email with a written description. This allows you to showcase the value of your product through free content.

  • REMEMBER to adjust as needed: Your email campaign should be organic and changeable. Make sure you keep up with current events. You don’t want your funny email to auto-send right after a major news event or natural disaster!

2. Not Timing Your Email Blasts

Timing is a big deal in who sees your emails. If you send out an email blast on Friday afternoon, fewer people will see it. It will then get buried under other messages. And this means a lot of wasted dollars in your ad budget.

Why waste money on emails that your audience will never see?

Do This Instead:

Send out your messages on weekdays, midday (not too early or late in the day). Research shows that you get better response rates from your customers during this period.

Of course, this will vary based on the nature of your business and your target audience. Take some extra time to test it out. Use A/B tests in your email campaigns to figure out the best time – and day – to reach your targets.

3. Sending Too Many Emails

There’s a fine line between “too many” and “not enough” promo emails. You don’t ever want to cross the line into “too many.” That’s a sure-fire way to lose subscribers.

A TechnologyAdvice study polled nearly 500 people on this topic. Almost half of the respondents marked emails as spam because they received too many emails.

Do This Instead:

Today’s emails are about less, not more. You can’t just blast all your targets with the same generic message.

Follow these tips:

  • Target your customers. Personalization is important in email marketing as it increases your click through and open rates. This could mean a lot of things — from addressing your customers by name to targeting your audience by gender.
  • Create value in the message. Make your emails worth reading with high-quality content and images.

4. Making it Hard to Unsubscribe

Aside from allowing customers to adjust the number of emails they receive, you also want to give them an easy way to unsubscribe.

Sure, you don’t want anyone to unsubscribe. But that does not mean you should make it hard (or impossible) to do it.

Recipients find it extremely annoying when brands make unsubscribing difficult. In the end, they could end up marking your emails as spam or blocking your email address for good.

Do This Instead:

Unsubscribing should be easy. Don’t trick people in your emails (more on this in the next tip). You should make the unsubscribe process clear and easy.

Here are a few more tips:

  • Always include an unsubscribe option in emails
  • Make sure the option is clear and visible (even if it’s small and at the bottom)
  • Don’t keep bugging recipients with too many “Are you sure?” messages
  • Include an option to lower how often targets receive emails from you

5. Tricking Your Targets

Making it difficult to unsubscribe is one thing. But what about other types of tricks some marketers use in emails?

We’ve all seen these crazy sounding email titles:

  • FREE PRODUCT! WHAT A SURPRISE!
  • YOU WIN SOMETHING! HOW GREAT!
  • CONGRATULATIONS YOU WON SOME CONTEST!
  • ACT NOW OR MISS OUT FOREVER!

First off, we’re in a marketing world where we know better than to click through on these emails. And most email clients now flag these as spam before your targets even see them.

The lesson here comes down to how much your audience trusts what you say. You don’t want to trick them or mislead them. That’s a quick recipe for losing customers.

Do This Instead:

Stay direct and to the point in your emails – both subject and body. Don’t try to lure in targets with false promises. Don’t “bait and switch” between what the email subject says and what the message offers.

In short, remember the age-old saying “honesty is the best policy.” Relevant, value-driven emails that are honest will keep your targets engaged.

6. Ruining an Email with Bad Images

Yes, images help sell your campaign if you use them tastefully. However, many people make the mistake of using poor-quality or inappropriate images — or overload their emails with them.

These are the type of emails that land on Trash folders.

Do This Instead:

Go easy with the images. Use only the necessary images and scatter them throughout your email. Make sure they’re clear, crisp and tasteful.

Optimize your images by adding the alt tag right into your image’s code. This will display a substitute text for your image if the latter loads too slow.

7. Forgetting to Optimise for Mobile

Mobile browsing is here to stay. By 2020, it’s projected that there will be over 2.87 billion smartphone users around the world.

This means that a good bit of your readers will be using their smartphones to read emails.

Forgetting to optimise your emails for mobile can severely limit your reach. If readers can’t open it or see your content quickly and easily, they’ll discard it.

Do This Instead:

You want to create simple and clean campaigns that feature content text and images that are optimized for smaller screens.

Place your content in a single column.

You should have single- column content with images that are around 600 pixels and smaller. This streamlines the loading process and makes it easier for your subscribers to view.

Get Email Hosting to Maximize Your Campaigns

If starting an email marketing campaign is part of your marketing goals this year, its best to secure a custom email address first.

Using free email addresses — like a Yahoo mail or Google mail account — does nothing to validate your brand’s credibility. A custom email address, on the other hand, gives your brand a more professional look — all while keeping your business information secure.

To learn more Email Hosting with Vodien, check us out today.