8 Email Marketing Mistakes – And How to Avoid Them

Mistakes can happen from time-to-time, even for email marketers. An invalid link, a misspelled word or even a broken image. The important thing to do when this happens is to take a breath and try not to panic. Let's discover in this post what you should do when email marketing mistakes happen.
October 08, 2018

Mistakes can happen from time-to-time, even for email marketers. An invalid link, a misspelled word or even a broken image. The important thing to do when this happens is to take a breath and try not to panic.

What should you do when email marketing mistakes happen?

First of all you have to take action. Find out what was the impact of the mistake by asking the following questions:

  • What was the email list size?
  • How many people opened and clicked through the email?
  • How big was the mistake?

By being proactive you will help the relationship between you and your subscribers on the long run.

If you need to send a follow-up email, keep in mind that you have to:

  1. Be quick - there is no point in sending a follow up a week later
  2. Be clear - subject and pre-header should be comprehensible about the purpose
  3. Apologize - let them know you messed up and how you will fix it

What are the worst mistakes you can make in an email?

1. You wrote the wrong recipient name
This is a huge mistake - especially when the person’s name was written previously. This kind of mistake shows lack of interest and attention to details, which can be a deal breaker. The best thing you can do in this situation is to apologize as soon as possible - even if it means to send another email straight afterwards.

2. You send the email too soon
This has happened to all of us at some point: you were over-excited about that new feature, made the email announcing it and you hit “send” before officially launching it. What should you do now? First of all, send an email explaining what happened and make sure that the subject line is clear.

3. You insert misspelling words
According to an analysis made by Grammarly, misspelled words were by far the most common email mistake people made last year. To make sure your email is 100% correct, I would suggest you to use a tool that checks your spelling in real time and corrects the errors without slowing you down.

4. You have broken links
Repeat after me: Always double-check your links before sending!
If you think “What’s the big deal? It was just a broken link…”, then let me explain it: when you are sending out a broken link to that super-landing page you made especially for this email campaign, your campaign will most likely fail and all your effort and time will be for nothing.
Now repeat again: Always double-check your links before sending!

5. You forget to format
In a face to face meeting, your body language and voice tone will highlight the important points of a conversation. How do you highlight the important info in an email? By formatting your email, you can make sure it catches your prospect eye and that the most important informations will be noticed.

6. You put too much information
Having a long email, with a lot of information might be hard to read and extract the important points. Email should now be a blog post. :) Save your subscriber some time by staying to the point - they will appreciate that.

7. You don’t send emails at all
Here you could be in one of these two situations:

  • Having a list and not sending any email at all
  • Not having an email list (and not gathering any emails)

In the first case it’s easier to get started. You should email them and remind them who you are, why they subscribed to your email list and how frequent they will receive an email from you. Something like that:
“Hey there!
You signed-up for our mailing list a long time ago, but we weren’t quite ready to send great emails back then. We’ve finally got some great stuff for you – information to help you do your job better and to make your work much easier.
So here’s your first email. Expect to hear from us about once a week from now on.
See you next week!”

The second situation might take some to “get on track”, but it’s never too late to start. To start gathering emails for your list, you should add opt-in boxes to:

  • The top of the navigation column on your website (and blog).
  • The footer area of your website.
  • A “pop-up” or overlay that appears after people have been on your site for two minutes or more. You can set it to show only once a week, for example.
  • Your social media profiles.
  • The close of blog posts.
  • A possible “feature box” – a full-width opt-in box that fills the first screen when someone comes to the home page of your website.

8. You send emails to a purchased list
I get straight to the point: never-ever purchase an email list. Buying an email list and sending them emails is one of the worst business decisions you can make.The foundation of a successful email marketing campaign is represented by how you choose to build your email list. So take a deep breath and start building your OWN email list, with valuable subscribers. You might think that you don’t have time for that, but ask yourself: “Do I want a big email list an low engagement, low open rates and poor results overall? Or do I want a smaller, engaged email list, with a positive ROI and good open rate?”.

One thing that will help you prevent mistakes is having a system – a planned-out workflow that doesn’t change. So if you don’t have one of those, then you should consider making one. Here are a few things to get you started:

  • Double-check the list segment
  • Suppress whatever is needed
  • Check the sender email address
  • Check the receiver email address
  • Check subject line
  • Personalize it
  • Check all links
  • Check copy for typos
  • A/B test the CTA
  • Check any tracking code
  • Add physical address
  • Add and check the unsubscribe link

And then, check your emails before you send. By “check”, I mean:

  • Read them carefully (preferably out loud)
  • Click all the links
  • See how they look on a smartphone
  • Have at least two other people check the email before you send it

The best way to avoid making a mistake is to test, proofread and never send anything out until is 100% correct. But sometimes that is easier said than done. :)
Everyone makes mistakes, the important thing is to learn from them.

Bonus tip: A quick and easy way to improve your email marketing campaigns and increase your ROI is by validating your email lists at least once every 2-3 months.

Sign up now and see for yourself!

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