8 email marketing mistakes to avoid

We all make mistakes. When it comes to email marketing there are quite a few email marketing mistakes that you can easily avoid. That is, if you know what to look out for. Although some of these mistakes may seem obvious, ignorance truly is bliss and you may be making these mistakes without knowing that they can impact your email marketing performance negatively. Here’s our round up of 8 email marketing mistakes to avoid.

1. Not sending frequently

All relationships require that you engage and interact with the person on a frequent basis. This keeps the connection alive. The same applies to your sending frequency. The more time that passes between email campaign sends, the less impactful they become. When people subscribe to an email list, they do so expecting to receive communication from a business. When they don’t get contacted frequently, more often than not people forget that they have signed up to your list which means your unsubscribe rate will most likely be higher. Not sending to your list frequently can also lead to list deterioration as your list ages over time.

Make sure that you send to your audience on a frequent basis to ensure that:

  • your list stays relevant and healthy
  • your subscribers keep you top of mind
  • you are actively engaging with an audience who indicated they are interested in your products or services

2. You don’t have a defined brand

One of the common mistakes beginners make when they start their email marketing journey is to not have a clearly defined brand. When you don’t have a defined brand, it can affect the effectiveness of your campaigns.

Why? Well when your brand isn’t well defined it isn’t really memorable. This can lead to people forgetting who you are, what you offer and being more likely to unsubscribe from your mailing lists because they don’t remember ever signing up to receive emails from you.

Not having a defined brand can also impact how you design your emails. Using strong branding elements in your campaigns help you to establish credibility as well as familiarity when you send out campaigns. This is why you will see that big brands often use campaigns that are template based and just switch out their content. It’s not because they are lazy, it’s because it helps their subscribers at a glance to identify that the email comes from them.

3. Your content is all over the place

You may have heard the phrase “content is key”, but do you believe it? Content has become one of the most valuable tools in a business’s toolkit. Content has the ability to make your brand and product stand out from your competitors and offers you the ability to add extra perceived value to your items.

One of the common mistakes we see people make is not actually focusing on creating quality, valuable content. Your content needs to align with your business and add value to a subscriber’s life. Recycled content that isn’t really unique or valuable doesn’t generally have the staying power to keep your subscribers interested in your newsletters. What often happens is that email marketers don’t plan out their campaign content and then scramble to put email campaigns together using content that isn’t really well thought out.

Your content should always align with your brand, its values, personality and overall messaging strategy.

4. Not adding any calls to action

If you send an email without a call to action, can you really expect any action? The answer is no. When you’re creating your email campaigns you absolutely HAVE to include calls to action in your campaign.

A call to action tells your subscriber exactly what action you want them to take next. This doesn’t mean all your calls to action need to relate to buying or sales, but could simply mean that you direct them to another piece of content like a blog post on your website.

5. You haven’t verified your domain(s)

Not verifying your domain is an extremely common email marketing mistake we see. Often it’s simply a step people put off making because it sounds or appears to be complicated. It really isn’t. Domain verification is a way to verify to email clients that you have permission to send emails on behalf of a domain/business.

The reason why domain verification is so important is that:

  • It adds credibility to your sends
  • It tells email clients that you have permission to send emails from your domain/business (basically it tells them that you are who you say you are)
  • It adds a layer of protection which helps your audience know you aren’t phishing or scamming them

6. There isn’t any planning behind what you do

If you haven’t created an email marketing plan you could be making the mistake of reaching out to your audience haphazardly. Not having a clear plan means you’ll be sending email campaigns out on the fly and not with careful consideration of what your audience wants.

Email marketing is all about creating and cultivating strong connections with your audience as it’s such a personal form of communication. When you don’t have a plan for your email marketing campaigns, you run the risk of only engaging with your audience when it suits you, which means your content might be geared towards your goals but not towards what your audience finds valuable. Keep this in mind when you’re deciding how you’ll manage your email marketing efforts.

7. Your campaigns are focused on you, not your audience

As mentioned above, email is a very personal form of communication and as such it’s really important to keep your audience in mind. As much as email marketing, as a channel, is well suited to help you reach your marketing and business goals - it’s not purely a tool to make sales.

Email campaigns should ALWAYS focus on your audience. Even if you’re communicating your latest promotion, you need to ensure that you communicate the value of the promotion or product to your subscribers. To this end, it’s important to ask yourself the following questions before you hit send: What’s in it for my audience? (basically: How does my campaign add value to their life?) Is this campaign aligned to what I have told my audience I will communicate to them? Is my message clear?

8. You’re not actively marketing your email list

Having a sign up form to collect email addresses and build your list is great, but not telling people about it isn’t. We often find that people who start with email marketing forget to actively market that they have a newsletter that people can sign up to.

This means they miss out on opportunities to grow their list and connect with their audience. If you already have established communities in other marketing channels, you can use these to tell people that they can now receive information for you via email. This is really important as more people actively check their inboxes and you also don’t have to compete with algorithms for your message to be seen. Learn more about social media marketing vs email marketing.

Are you making any of these email marketing mistakes? Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter to get weekly tips and tricks from our team.


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