5 Common Email Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

September 20, 2017 / Danielle Dean

Breaking: Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to engage your target audience, but simple mistakes and oversights can derail your efforts.

Read time: 3 minutes, 25 seconds

Email marketing is widely regarded as one of the most effective ways to engage your target audience, but it’s far from being a “set and forget” activity. Running a successful email marketing campaign requires earnest attention to detail and a willingness to correct mistakes as soon as they are discovered. You would be surprised at how many email marketing campaigns are derailed by very simple miscues and oversights, most of which are completely within the marketer’s control. Below are five of the most common email marketing blunders, along with some handy tips to help you avoid them.

1. Not Optimizing Your Subject Line

Discerning marketers understand that subject lines are the foundation of every successful email marketing campaign. Countless studies have shown a strong link between subject lines and open rates; in fact, one study published by Convince and Convert revealed that 33% of email recipients choose whether or not to open an email based on the subject line alone! Keep in mind that your subject line is the first thing your recipient will see, so if it’s not compelling enough to grab their attention, they might decide to skip over it or just delete the email altogether. Here are some tried-and-true tips to help you create engaging subject lines:

  • Address the recipient by their name if possible.
  • Try to use dynamic wording that will prompt the recipient to act – for example, words like “Get,” “See,” “Snag,” “Download,” “Discover,” “Watch,” etc., all have an action-oriented element that inspires users to click and find out more.
  • Try to keep your subject lines under 50 total characters so that your text won’t get truncated. This is especially important when marketing to mobile users.
  • Inspire curiosity, but do not mislead. Make sure that your subject line is consistent with the content of your email.

2. Not Practicing Good Email List Hygiene

Practicing good email list hygiene is a major key to running effective email marketing campaigns. If your list is cluttered with invalid, duplicate or non-responsive email addresses, it can negatively impact your delivery rates and give you an inaccurate picture of your performance in terms of metrics. Reviewing and purging your list every six months can save you lots of time, money and frustration, and it will ensure a much better return on your marketing efforts.

3. Not Optimizing Your Emails for Mobile Devices

Well over half of all email messages are now opened and read on mobile devices. If your emails are not optimized for mobile-friendly display, it can frustrate end-users and put a damper on engagement levels.

4. Not Segmenting Your Email List

While all of your email subscribers are valuable, they are not all in the same phase of your sales funnel, and they will not all respond to your communications in the same way. This is why segmenting your list is such a valuable practice – it helps you group your recipients in a manner that increases the relevance of your message to each particular group. There are dozens of different criteria you could use to help you segment your list, including customer type, ZIP code, sign-up date, interests, subscriber activity, etc. The more specific you can get with your segmenting efforts, the more likely you’ll see an increase in user response levels.

5. Not Checking Links Before Sending

So you’ve managed to craft a highly engaging subject line, and you’ve created an irresistible call to action in the body of your email. All that’s left is for your recipient to click the link in your email, and conversions are practically guaranteed. But there’s just one (major) problem – the link is broken, and it sends your excited prospect to an error page. Talk about a conversion killer! Always check and then re-check all of the links in your email copy to make sure that they will send users to the desired destination.

To err is human, but to fix those mistakes is good marketing sense. Keep the above tips in mind to help you avoid these common email marketing mishaps.

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