11 Common Email Marketing Mistakes That Are Hurting Your Conversions

11 Common Email Marketing Mistakes That Are Hurting Your Conversions

A laptop with a lot of mail coming out of it

Mistakes happen, but when it comes to email marketing, a small misstep can prove to be detrimental to your brand’s reputation and undo all the hard work you’ve put in till now. Even a minor offense such as letting spelling or grammatical mistakes slip through could make you seem less trustworthy and compel your readers to unsubscribe, or worse yet, flag your business as spam.

If your email campaigns have been flopping, it’s time to consider whether you’ve been unknowingly committing some of the common email marketing mistakes we’ve shared below. Take note of the tips along the way to craft better emails that will resonate with your audience and result in conversions.

1. Not Sending a Welcome Email Immediately

First impressions matter even in the digital world. If someone has just subscribed to your newsletter and you’re not immediately sending them a welcome email, you’re losing out on a golden opportunity to engage them and prime them for opening your future emails.

Your email should begin with a heartfelt greeting followed by a brief introduction to your business. It should also define what the reader should expect to gain going forward—leaving this out is a very common email marketing mistake made by many beginners. New subscribers are more likely to take action when you’re fresh in their minds, so it’s the perfect time to end your email with a strong CTA asking them to explore your products and services, complete their profile or select preferences, make a purchase, or check out some valuable piece of content.

2. Failing to Deliver What Was Promised

If you’re implementing the marketing tips for welcome emails we’ve shared above, make sure to follow through on the expectations you set because nothing repels a potential customer faster than broken trust. This common email marketing mistake is the easiest way to lose your subscribers. In fact, a survey found that 10% of people unsubscribe from emails that don’t provide the content they expected to receive. 

If you’ve promised 3 value-packed emails a week, deliver. If you’ve promised digital freebies every month, give them that. No amount of appeasing words and strong CTAs will get your readers to stick around if you fail to meet the expectations you set yourself, and it won’t be a “see you later” either but a “goodbye”.

3. Lack of Personalization & Default Tokens Values

Sending one-size-fits-all emails is a common but undoubtedly one of the most damaging email marketing mistakes you can make as a business owner. According to Statista, more than 347 billion emails are exchanged daily, so unless you want to be yet another forgotten voice in an inbox, you need to stand out by personalizing your emails.

Segment your list based on factors such as interests, behavior, and demographics, and craft messages that are centered around the reader’s desires. Talk to them as you would to a friend and try to include personalization tokens in the subject and throughout the body of the email. While following these email marketing tips, remember to set natural-sounding default values that can replace missing data points such as a name. Leaving it empty is a common email marketing mistake that you should avoid making if you want your copy to seem professional.

4. Using Too Many Images & Graphics

Graphics and images are a fantastic way to make your emails more fun and engaging but relying on them too heavily can backfire. Oftentimes images fail to load when there’s limited connectivity or users themselves turn off images to save mobile data. So if you have a habit of putting important information on images and graphics, there’s always a chance it won’t reach your readers. See this example email from Adidas with the images disabled.

With Images:

Image-heavy Adidas email

Without Images:

Fortunately, this common email marketing mistake has some easy fixes:

  • Minimize the number of graphics and images.
  • Put your message in plain text so it will show up even when the images don’t. 
  • Add alt text wherever necessary to describe the contents of the image.
  • Use bulletproof buttons instead of graphical buttons to avoid your hyperlinked CTA being lost.

5. Forgetting Your Mobile Users

A person using a smartphone while sitting on a couch.

According to Litmus, over 49% of all emails are read on mobile devices, which means there’s no way you can afford to ignore your mobile users. Most savvy business owners read email marketing tips and use responsive email templates but a common mistake many of them make is not following mobile-friendly design best practices.

You don’t want to make your email a challenge to read so keep the content in a single column with a font size of 16px or 18px and images no wider than 600 pixels. Buttons should be 44px by 44px and larger with enough padding to prevent accidental taps.

6. Hiding Your CTA Between the Lines

The ultimate goal of all marketing copy is to persuade the reader to take action, but those new to email marketing make the common mistake of burying the CTA under lengthy paragraphs. Your readers don’t have the time to decode your message to figure out what you want them to do and this isn’t a creative writing competition, so keep the message to the point and put your CTA where it’s easy to spot. Highlight it using bright colors, bold text, or large buttons. Don’t be vague about what needs to be done and don’t confuse the reader with multiple CTAs either.

7. Not Double-Checking for Errors

There’s nothing worse than hitting the “Send” button and then noticing a mistake that slipped through afterward. This is a common, and very much irreversible, email marketing mistake. 

Follow these tips to avoid making it: Be wary of issues such as broken or incorrect images and links, spelling and grammar mistakes, factual inaccuracies, and rendering errors. Always double-check the content for inaccuracies and preview your emails using a tool such as Email on Acid or Litmus to see how they will look in different inboxes. Also, send test emails to yourself and your team members and ask them to review the content.

Man making a common email marketing mistake

8. Using a No-Reply Email Address

Email is a two-way communication channel and it should be used as such but using a no-reply address is an all too common email marketing mistake made by many. Not allowing your subscribers to respond to you is the easiest way to make the conversation one-sided and alienate them from your business. 

Don’t make them feel as if their opinions don’t matter to you. Keep the conversation open and find out what they have to say. Use a customer support software like Zendesk to filter emails and auto-reply with a ticket number which can then be solved by a real human. You might gain valuable feedback or even potential leads and sales this way.

That said, there are some instances in which a no-reply email address may be the way to go. Some of those instances include:

  • Order/Purchase Confirmation 
  • Password Resets
  • Subscription/Unsubscribe Confirmation
  • RSVP Confirmation
  • Account Creation & Deactivation
  • And more…

9. Not A/B Testing Your Campaigns

A/B testing is the most effective way of finding out what resonates best with your readers but it is a very common email marketing mistake to neglect this powerful technique. Tips will help you to an extent, but it’s only by knowing your subscribers that you can achieve success with your email marketing efforts. 

Always A/B test various elements such as subject lines, email copy, images, and CTAs in both your broadcast and automated campaigns to understand what works best for your audience. A/B testing can also be used to find out whether there’s a delay in triggering an automated campaign, whether a series of emails performs better than a single triggered email, and the best send time optimization for emails in a series.

10. Failing to Optimize for Dark Mode

34% of people use dark mode while viewing their emails. However, not optimizing for dark mode is still a very common email marketing mistake made by rookies and experts alike. Making your email dark-mode friendly will pose some challenges and restrictions but it’s essential for maximizing your campaign’s full potential. 

A good practice is to use light-colored text on dark backgrounds to maintain readability. Avoid images with embedded text, as these might not render well in dark mode, and use transparent PNGs instead of solid background colors so they can easily adapt to different modes. After implementing these email marketing tips, make sure to test your emails across various devices and email clients.

See this example of a great dark-mode optimized email from Paperlike:

An email from Paperlike in dark mode

11. Not Leveraging Send Time Optimization

Send Time Optimization (STO) is a feature that allows you to send your emails at a time when your subscribers are most likely to interact with them and not leveraging this email marketing is a mistake that’s all too common. STO takes each individual recipient’s past activity into consideration and determines the most optimal time for sending them emails to ensure that the message lands in their inbox when they’re likely to read it and also take action on the CTA. It’s without a doubt an effective tool for boosting your campaign’s performance.

Email Marketing Success With Coalition Technologies

There’s no reason for you to let your campaigns tank because of common email marketing mistakes that can be easily avoided and hopefully, the tips shared in this post have prepared you for that. If you need further help in optimizing your email marketing strategy, feel free to contact the email marketing experts at Coalition Technologies for guidance and support. We proudly provide metrics-driven marketing services that exceed the goals our clients set.

Related Posts That May Help