Email Marketing Mistakes – 5 Most Common Mistakes To Avoid

Email Marketing Mistakes

Before designing an email strategy, you need to know what email marketing mistakes to avoid!  A successful email marketing strategy is one of the best tried and tested ways to get you new customers, increase revenue, and grow your business. If you’re not hugely familiar with email marketing yet, you can read our beginners guide here.

Even with powerful email marketing tools and platforms, it’s all too easy to make a mistake that can waste the potential email marketing holds.  Read our top 5 email marketing mistakes to avoid below:

Not welcoming your subscribers

Someone just signed up to your email list, well done – you’re doing something right!

If you’re not following up this declaration of interest with an immediate welcome email, then you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. Welcome emails should be automatically sent out as soon as someone subscribes, you don’t want to keep them waiting.

Welcome emails have the highest open rates of all email categories.  Here are some other key statistics that highlight their potential:

  • Per email basis, welcome emails generate 320% more revenue than other email messages
  • Welcome emails have a 336% higher transaction rate than any other email
  • You can expect a 196% higher click-through rate from a welcome email than any other email you send

Use the welcome email to introduce your brand and set the tone for all future emails.  If you’ve promised something in exchange for the sign up e.g. a discount code or template, be sure to include that in email no.1!

If someone has just signed up to your list, they’re probably still on your site browsing when the welcome email comes through.  A surprise 10% off code could be all they need to make that purchase they’re eyeing up! This creates a fantastic first impression and helps you build an ongoing relationship.

Naturally, this won’t be suitable for every brand, but you’ll know best what a subscriber will appreciate from your specific business.

Sending too many emails, or not enough!

The correct email frequency can make or break your email marketing strategy! If you send too few emails, then your audience won’t feel engaged with your brand.  On the other hand, too many emails and you risk annoying your audience until they unsubscribe.

Finding the right frequency often takes time to test, and it will be different for every business.  As with most forms of marketing, there’s no rules set in stone!

As a rule of thumb, if you don’t have anything interesting to say you shouldn’t be creating an email.  While some businesses may have ongoing content that makes a daily email suitable, this isn’t the case for most.  If you’re starting to see your open rate fall, and unsubscribes rising, it can often be the case that you’re sending too many emails.

At a bare minimum, you should aim to send out a monthly email to make sure your list remembers your brand.  Whatever schedule you find suits your business; high quality content is key.  Your aim is to keep engagement levels high and subscribers happy to be part of your list.

Not segmenting your subscribers

Receiving emails from companies that don’t apply to you is irritating and usually leads to an unsubscribe.  These email marketing mistakes are usually caused by a non-segmented email list.

Email list segmentation is an email marketing technique where you segment your subscriber list, based on any relevant conditions. Segmentation is used to ensure that your subscribers receive appropriate communications.

Splitting up your list of subscribers into smaller, categorised lists allows you to send relevant and timely information.  For example, new subscribers will no doubt need to receive different communications to current customers.

Depending on the size of your email list, email marketing automation tool like HubSpot can help you to segment and organise your subscribers.  Once your lists are segmented, you can set up automated emails to be sent at different stages of the buying cycle.

A study by Lenskold and Pedowitz Groups found that businesses who send automated emails are 133% more likely to send relevant messages that correspond with a customer’s purchase cycle.

You can make segmentation as basic or complicated as you like!  Here’s a few suggestions on how to segment your email lists:

  • Location
  • Sales funnel stage
  • Job title
  • Industry
  • Company size
  • Interests

Put some time aside to decide what categories mean the most to your business and your subscribers.  Your audience and marketing goals will thank you for it!

Neglecting mobile users

70% of your readers will be reading your emails on a mobile device.

The importance of being mobile friendly in 2020 cannot be overstated as 46% of all email opens are done on a mobile device.   Do you want to give nearly half of your readers a bad experience?  No?  Then use these tips to optimise for mobile:

  • Be aware of different subject line lengths. A desktop inbox displays approximately 60 characters of a subject line, while mobile devices show just 25-30 characters.
  • Avoid using large images and files. They will take a lot of time and data to download, and download speed is often slower on older mobile devices.
  • Keep your copy short so as not to overload the smaller screens. Make the text as short and efficient as possible so it’s easy to scan.
  • Make sure that your emails still make sense if the images aren’t showing, as not all mobile devices display images by default.
  • Test your email design across a variety of devices to ensure they look the way you want them to. Sometimes what looks good on one phone model, will look terrible on another.

Not including a call to action

An email marketing call to action is a button or line of text with a link that takes the user somewhere else.  This could be a website, landing page, blog post or social media platform to name a few.  The point of a CTA is to drive consumers to action as opposed to just passive reading.

Without a call to action, you’re leaving the reader to guess what they should do with the information you’ve sent.  Without a call to action, you’re leaving it up to your audience to figure out what you want them to do. And when left to decide for themselves, this will probably mean no action at all!

When deciding what call to action to include, decide what the point in your communication is.  What outcome do you want?  Link for that!

Focus your email’s text, images, and design to guide your readers toward this outcome. Then, before you send the email, make sure your call to action is clear, enticing, and points the reader towards the outcome you hope to achieve.

Make sure not to bury your CTA in the copy – it should be impossible to miss!  Use bright colours, bold text, or large buttons. Display it prominently so that it stands out from the rest of your email.

Now you know what email marketing mistakes to avoid, you can design your email strategy with confidence!

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