Stop Getting Trashed: 11 Email Mistakes Marketers Have to Avoid

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Email marketing is a tricky thing. Something as minor as the punctuation in your subject line or a single broken link can get you sent right to the trash — never to be trusted again. And when you’re hyper-focused on creating the perfect marketing campaign, it can be even easier to make these mistakes.  Mistakes are part of being human, so it’s ok. But making that mistake over and over is not. 

Here are 11 mistakes you may be making in your email advertising campaigns and how avoiding these campaign killers can help you reach more people and get better results.  

1)     Accessibility

According to the WHO, over 2.2 billion people suffer from near or distant vision impairment, and by 2050, one in every 10 people will have disabling hearing loss. So if your online campaigns aren’t accessible, you’re ignoring a massive demographic. Not every person will read your email the same way, so there are important things to consider when it comes to providing a positive experience for everyone. There are simple strategies to make sure you’re being inclusive.

Choose an accessible typeface that makes distinguishing between letters and words easier and use a minimum of 14-16 pt. font size for all body copy. Keep a healthy color contrast between the foreground and the background and make links more prominent. And if you’re using images, include an alt text so that they’re screen reader ready. 

2)     Lacking Authentication

If your company messages are getting sent to spam, you’re basically sending emails for no reason. Email authentication confirms a genuine person is sending your email versus a spammer. In order for people to know that you’re real and can be trusted, you have to confirm your identity. This should be done in three ways:

  •       Authenticate your sender server with SPF (Sender Policy Framework) 
  •       Protect your emails from being tampered with using DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail)
  •       Verify your email and safeguard it against spoofing through DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication) *you’ll have to pass SPF & DKIM first

 No one is interested in hearing from a robot. Make sure that your audience knows that a trusted and genuine sender is on the other end.

3)     Not Letting Your Domain Warm Up

You have a great big list of emails you’ve just acquired from a networking event and decide to shoot out an email to all of them in one shot. It’s wildly unsuccessful. Why? Because your domain needs to warm-up first! Start by sending out small batches of creative emails. Ramp it up daily until you hit your ideal mark of sends. This process helps you build a good domain reputation which will better ensure your digital messages find their way to your recipients’ inboxes. 

4)     Using No Reply Emails 

Is there anything more aggravating than wanting to actually reply to a business’ email and realizing it’s a donotreply@ address? You’re basically sending your customers the message that you DON’T want to engage with them. Not to mention, the number one reason why a customer opens an email is based on the sender’s name. If you’re not trying to use your personal email address, create an email marketing-specific company email ID with a friendly vibe, such as:

5)     Not Personalizing Your Emails 

Having a strategy for your email marketing is just as important as it is to any other campaign. Taking a one-size-fits-all approach is a great way to lose your customers’ interest. People want custom content that’s relevant to their needs and interests, and they want to feel that their experience is catered to them. In fact, 60% of consumers said they are more likely to buy from a brand when they’ve had a personalized shopping experience. The same applies to email, so plan your marketing tactics accordingly. 

Segment your emails into smaller categories based on your audience data or behaviors (how they found you, whether they already contacted you, what pages of yours they’ve visited online, etc.) to tailor their message to that specific audience. You can also focus on categories like interests, location, gender, and age to make every reader feel like you’re talking to them directly. Even something as simple as having their name in the email can have a huge impact on the personalization they feel. 

6)     Jumping In Too Quickly 

Don’t ignore your newbies! A welcome email is a great way to show your gratitude to new email subscribers and introduce your branding or your products. If you don’t, there’s a good chance these people won’t remember even signing up — which will increase the changes they’ll unsubscribe not long after. It’ll also ensure that recipients keep your marketing emails viewable when the sign-up is fresh in their minds. Welcome them, introduce yourself, and prepare them for what’s to come. This method is also very helpful in allowing you to weed out incorrect or spam emails from the get-go. 

7)     Forgetting to Be Consistent

Consistency is key if you want to stay relevant and build brand awareness in digital advertising. Sending emails at random without cohesive messaging and branding doesn’t build a relationship with your customers – it keeps them off kilter. Sending on a specific cadence with messaging that follows a specific pattern based on send times or their engagement will build trust with your audience. If they know when they can expect something from your company, you’ll have a better chance that they’ll actually look forward to it.

8)     Skipping the Proofreading Part 

Don’t ruin your reputation with errors that can be easily fixed. Grammar and spelling errors or even broken internet links are extremely distracting and can make your brand look bad or unqualified. And the worst part of that is they’re so easy to avoid! Put a second pair of eyes on your digital campaign before you send it, or use a free tool like Grammarly to keep your writing on point.

9)     Making Your Subject Line an Afterthought 

You have to get readers to open an email before you can get them to engage with you. A subject line is a recipient’s first impression with your email, so if it isn’t compelling, creative, or relevant, why would they ever click? Keep your subject line concise and catchy. In a single line, tell them the value your services will offer them. Try personalizing it with the subscriber’s name, add a call to action, or use emojis to get their attention and cause them to click. Keep it short though – 25-30 characters for those mobile app users and 60 characters for desktop, or 6-8 words.

10)  Not A/B Testing

Experiment with a few creative marketing emails before you pick the winner. The idea with A/B testing is to send slightly different versions of the same email to smaller groups. The best way to figure out what works and what doesn’t is keeping everything but one element the same, so you can identify what specifically performs best — whether it’s the subject line, header image, or body copy.  Then compare the results to decide which is the top advertising email to send to your larger audience. 

11)  Missing a Call to Action

Without clear call-to-actions, readers are left on their own to figure out what to do next. All good marketing content needs a strong CTA to guide customers to the desired next step and create some urgency; maybe that’s visiting you online, reading a blog, viewing a product. Don’t leave them in the dark — use bold text, large buttons, and bright colors to make your CTA unignorable.

Before you send your next digital marketing campaign, consider this your checklist. With these 11 tips in mind, you can improve your email advertising performance and establish stronger relationships with your customers. For more advice on your email marketing journey, contact shyft to discuss your goals today with one of our helpful email marketing consultants/specialists.


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