7 Email Marketing Mistakes You Should Avoid

Ever receive a marketing email that made you shake your head? Maybe even laugh (but not in a good way)? Plenty of companies use email marketing to grow their brand, but they don’t always choose tactics that are likely to get them what they really want. We’re referring to responses and new business. Here are our top seven (7) email marketing mistakes you should steer clear of when drafting your next campaign.

Mistake #1: Not Warming Up Your Email Domain

We’ve talked before about why it’s important that your emails don’t look like spam. That all starts with protecting the domain you’re sending from. Don’t load a new email list into a CRM and then immediately send a mass blast to everyone on it. That can risk your sender reputation — especially if those email addresses aren’t verified.

Cold leads need to be emailed in small batches. This allows you to verify that their addresses are accurate, while avoiding hard bounce rates and protecting your core domain from blacklisting. 

Once you have contacts that have been warmed up, and you decide to market to them using a different email automation platform, you’ll still need to repeat this small-batch process. 

While this can take some time depending on how many contacts we’re talking about, it’s well worth the effort to protect your digital reputation.

Marketing teams can either handle list building and CRMs internally by using tools like HubSpot and Constant Contact, or through a third-party marketing agency.

Mistake #2: Sending Sales Pitches to Cold Leads

You have a product or service. You know customers need that product or service. Therefore, it’s easy to assume that when you email a given group of contacts, a percentage of them will want what you offer. But if you’re emailing those contacts for the first time, don’t expect an immediate sales pitch to be enough to close those deals.

Cold leads need time to learn more about who you are and why they should trust you, especially if they’ve never heard of you before. This is where conversational marketing comes into play.

Instead: Focus on your leads and what they’re looking for, so that relationships can be established and nurtured until those leads are ready to buy from you. Your initial emails to cold leads will perform better when asking who the best person is to talk to about a problem that your product or service solves.

Mistake #3: Using Too Many Graphics

While photos, videos, and animations are widely popular on social media, they’re not as appropriate for email. The problem is that these visual media can be flagged by inbox security features as potential spam. This is especially true when emailing cold leads, but also relevant when marketing to larger groups of engaged contacts.

Instead: Limit your emails to a few images at most. You may find that your deliverability is highest when you use none at all. Photos and videos will serve you better when used on your website and social channels. You can still link back to them from your emails if you want to share them with your leads.

Mistake #4: Sending Too Many Emails

Have you ever been on a marketing list that sent you something every day? After a while, you probably found yourself ignoring those messages or actively deleting them.

That’s the risk you take when you email your leads too many times. There’s a fine line between being persistent and being pushy. 

Instead: Email your leads a couple of times a week at most. That gives them at least twenty-four hours to think about the last thing that you asked or shared, and take the time to respond to you.

Mistake #5: Not Sending Mobile-Friendly Emails

One of the easiest email marketing mistakes to make is to forget to optimize your messages for mobile. They may look correct when you’re creating them in an email automation tool, but don’t assume they’re good to go without testing.

Even if the font size you choose doesn’t change much across devices, other factors can make your email look off-putting on a phone versus a computer. Paragraphs that initially looked fine as two or three sentences may appear as a massive wall of text on mobile devices. Email signatures may not align properly. Images may suddenly be too large or too small, or formatted incorrectly around your text.

Instead: Always send yourself test copies of your emails. This allows you to check for appropriate spacing, image size, and font style, as well confirm that any backlinks are working correctly. 

Mistake #6: Not Guiding Your Leads to the Next Step

Your emails should end by telling your leads what you’d like them to do. That could be answering a question, checking out information on your website, downloading a lead magnet, attending a webinar or class, or some other goal that pushes them toward business discussions with your team.

In other words, make sure to include a call to action (CTA). 

There are three main reasons for doing this. First, if someone takes the time to read your email, don’t just leave them hanging if they want to learn more. Second, plenty of people will skim your emails, and you want to make sure that they know what you’re asking of them. Third, not asking for something makes your email look like generic advertising, which becomes impersonal and easy to ignore.

Mistake #7: Using No-Reply Email Addresses

Common email marketing mistakes can apply to established customers, too. We’re willing to bet that you’ve been the recipient of at least one marketing email that came from a no-reply address, which may or may not have also been noted in the email body. 

These emails are usually sent to contacts who have already opted in to a marketing list. Instead of encouraging direct responses, they’re designed to push customers to landing pages that have company contact information or contact forms that those customers can fill out.

This tactic can be problematic for a few reasons. For starters, it’s about as impersonal as you can get in an email, whether or not your recipients are already active customers. Second, it can lower your email’s deliverability. Third, it limits how your customers can contact you. 

Instead: Always send emails with a name (either an individual or company) that’s attached to an actively monitored email account. Make it as easy as possible for potential and current customers to contact you. 

Have You Seen Email Marketing Mistakes That We Missed?

Whether you’re trying to avoid common mistakes in your email marketing campaigns, or you’d like to share ones you’ve seen that we didn’t cover, we’d love to hear from you! Contact us to learn about our available programs by clicking the link below.

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