Email Marketing Mistakes That Could Scare Away Your Customers


In the digital age, email marketing plays a key role in any promotional strategy. According to Backlinko, one recent study found that email has a return on investment of 28.5% – whereas direct mail has an ROI of only 7%.

That said, your marketing emails may not be hitting the mark every time. In fact, you could be making mistakes that will end up driving your customers away

If you want to improve web traffic and sales conversions for your business, take note of the following email marketing mishaps and avoid them at all costs.

Lack of Personalization

Because most consumers and business owners receive dozens (or even hundreds) of emails a day, you need to make yours stand out from the crowd.

And if you’re sending out generic emails to everyone on your subscriber list, you’ll have a tough time setting yourself apart.

Personalization in email marketing can make the difference between an opened message and one that’s sent straight to the trash. In fact, Backlinko reports that emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be read than those without, while personalized emails result in revenue and conversion rates that are higher than generic ones.

Not only should you be customizing your subject lines for each subscriber, but you’ll also want to segment your lists and tailor your emails to each group. That way, you can utilize the data you collect to send the messages that will be most likely to result in a desired outcome. For instance, if you know that millennial customers are more likely to click on an email link when a coupon code is included, your emails to customers in their 20s and 30s will be more successful.

Personalized emails allow you to find out more about your customers and use that information to provide them with the information they really want. In contrast, sending the same exact email to everyone on your list won’t show that you care about the customer experience. 

Since it’s easier than ever to personalize marketing emails, there’s really no excuse not to make that connection with your customers. If you fail to do so, they’ll think they don’t matter – and they’ll probably unsubscribe as a result. 

Too Many Messages

Consistency is key with any kind of marketing. But that doesn’t mean that more is always better.

When it comes to your marketing emails, you’ll need to be careful about how many you send and when you send them.

The reality is that our inboxes are already full. Adding another email subscription to the list shouldn’t put an unnecessary burden on the recipient.

That means that sending emails daily – or even every other day – will be too much. One of the biggest reasons for unsubscribing from a list (aside from never signing up in the first place) is a high frequency of emails.

While you do want to make sure customers don’t forget about your brand, that doesn’t mean you should spam them every morning with a new message. 

Some businesses stick to a monthly newsletter. For many business owners, a weekly email is probably enough to maintain relevance without causing friction. A twice-weekly email isn’t unheard of, especially if you’re selling products directly to customers. If you’re sending out emails three times a week, you’ll definitely want to segment your email list to avoid overwhelm.

Note that you’ll also want to be mindful about the time of day when sending out emails. Make sure that the timezone makes sense for your customers and that you’re targeting an optimal hour for conversions. Many experts suggest the 10 AM to 11 AM block or the time just after lunch (around 1 PM) for best results.

No Clear Value

As a rule, you should think about quality over quantity when sending out marketing emails. Bombarding your subscribers with messages won’t work in your favor – especially if there’s nothing in it for the customer.

Remember, it’s really not about you or your business. Every time you send out an email, you should ask yourself: “how will this message help the recipient?” 

This can help you to determine whether your emails provide real value. For instance, a welcome email should provide something more than a message that thanks the recipient for subscribing. Provide them with an insider tip, a discount, or some useful information about your brand that builds a connection. 

This isn’t to suggest that your marketing emails shouldn’t promote your products or services. But you’ll want to show your recipients why they should care and how those offerings can benefit their lives. 

If your emails don’t show any kind of value, they’ll go unread. Focus your topics on problem-solving, educating, and entertaining if you want to make sure your message is heard.

Poor Grammar and Spelling

Like it or not, customers care about proper use of language in marketing emails.

Something as small as a misplaced punctuation mark can hurt your efforts.

It may not seem fair, but the rules of writing do matter. Emails that contain typos, grammatical errors, and spelling mistakes look unprofessional and can reflect poorly on your brand.

Some recipients might even mark your emails as spam if the errors are egregious enough.

You should always edit your marketing emails before sending them out. Consider having a trusted colleague proofread them first or using a software program to check your work.

If you don’t personally feel comfortable drafting your marketing emails, you may want to hire a content writing agencies or look into outsourcing your content. 

Don’t let small issues like this detract from your marketing message. Always spell-check your emails and when in doubt, ask an expert.

Broken or Incorrect Links

Checking your work also applies to the links you place in your marketing emails.

Since click-through rates are often a key performance indicator (KPI) for marketing, you’ll want to include clickable elements in your emails. Links to your blog posts, webinar sign-ups, product landing pages, or contact pages are common.

When you don’t take the time to test your links prior to sending them out, you’re asking for trouble.

It would put you in an embarrassing situation. You can avoid this scenario by taking the time to test each link before you hit “send.”

Make sure that the URLs are typed correctly and that the pages on your site are running as intended. If you’re including older links in your emails, make sure that they’re still live at the URL you have saved (especially if you’ve made any changes to your website). 

An email that contains a broken or mistyped link may not be a total disaster, but it won’t do any favors for your brand reputation. A customer might think twice before they make a purchase from you if they feel your attention to detail is lacking. 

You can prevent this scenario by clicking on each link in your test emails and in the template you use to create your messages. You may also want to send the email to a colleague or two before you give the official go-ahead. They can help you catch those mistakes before they become clear to your entire list.

Desktop-Only Design

One last issue that could scare customers away? Ignoring the need for mobile-friendly marketing emails.

With more than half of all web traffic now coming from mobile devices, according to Think With Google, it’s more important than ever to remember your mobile customers. 

When your customers are reading your marketing emails on their smartphones or tablets, they’ll want to have just as great an experience as desktop users do. That means you’ll want to pay attention to font size, color contrast, responsiveness, and other formatting issues. 

Data shows that if an email doesn’t display properly on a mobile device, approximately 75% of recipients will delete the message within a few seconds. Don’t let this happen to your emails! Test them out on mobile devices beforehand and make any necessary changes to make for a better user experience.

Avoid These Mistakes For More Effective Marketing Emails

It’s not easy to craft the perfect email blast. But by recognizing these common mistakes and eliminating them from your processes, you’ll be able to remove unnecessary barriers and create more meaningful connections with your customers.

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