How to Avoid Common Email Marketing Mistakes
Posted On: October 26
Email marketing mistakes

Oops, you did it again!

No, you didn’t play with a customer’s heart or get lost in the marketing game. Oh baby, you just made a common email marketing mistake that could have been easily avoided.

But don’t worry. When it comes to making mistakes in an email marketing campaign, we’re not that innocent, either. Sometimes you’re rushing to send an email to your subscriber list and lose all your senses—that’s just so typically you! And sometimes you could use a little guidance to point out errors you don’t even know you’re making.

Whatever mistakes you’re making, just know they can be fixed—or avoided entirely. But before you go off to correct your most recent slip-up, there’s something we want you to have: a list of common email marketing screw-ups and ways to avoid them.

We didn’t go down to the bottom of the ocean to find these mistakes, but we still think these pearls of wisdom are worth having. Read on to learn how to avoid making common mistakes in your email marketing campaigns so you can outshine your competition.

(And we promise we’re done with the Britney Spears references…for now.)

Want to make sure your email campaigns are error-free? Download our free email marketing repair checklist.

11 email marketing mistakes you can easily avoid (once you know how)

We’ve come up with eleven common mistakes you can now sidestep in your email marketing campaigns. Check them out and see how many mistakes you now know to avoid.

1. Failing to preview (and edit) your emails before sending them

Please, if you take nothing else away from this list, at least remember to preview your emails and check them for mistakes before you press send.

So many other mistakes—typos, broken links, display issues—could be avoided if you only viewed your emails in preview mode in your email marketing tool and checked all the content before sending them to subscribers. 

2. Sending from a “Do Not Reply” address

Did you know that 69% of people open emails based on the sender’s name? 

Did you know that 69% of people open emails based on the sender's name? Click To Tweet

Now you do. So stop sending emails from “” 

A generic address makes emails feel less personal. If you can, send emails that show an actual person as the sender. Or at least include your company’s name.

If, for some reason, you have to use a “Do Not Reply” address, provide a way readers can still get in touch with you if they need to. Include a link to a contact form or even a phone number where you can be reached for support. 

3. Not investing enough time in subject lines

After the sender’s name, 47% of people open emails based on the subject line. 

While you can easily change how your email address appears in a subscriber’s inbox, subject lines require a bit more effort. Sounding too sales-y can discourage readers from opening your emails. But using boring, generic language will guarantee that subscribers ignore your message.

Email marketing mistakes
Use a subject line analyzer if you want to write better email subject lines. (Source)

To make sure you’re grabbing readers’ attention without being too aggressive, use a tool like a subject line analyzer. They can score the strength of your subject lines and point out language that might be off putting to readers.

4. Failing to follow through on your promises

When people sign up for your email list, they expect to receive the content they were promised. If someone signed up for a downloadable template, for example, they’ll expect to receive that download in their inbox. 

Spamming those subscribers with unwanted content, like ads or a lengthy newsletter, breaks your subscribers’ trust. It’s also a really quick way to get people to press that “unsubscribe” button. Instead, send people only what they asked for, and ask them if they’d like to receive related content from your business later on. 

You should also email subscribers when you say you will. For example, if you offer a weekly newsletter, subscribers expect to receive a message every week. Emailing subscribers too much or too little is another way you’re just asking for people to send your emails to spam.

5. Selling too soon 

Most new subscribers won’t immediately be ready to make a purchase from you. Before you ask them to spend money on your products or services, you need to send them content that educates them about your industry, company, and product.

To help subscribers progress through the email marketing funnel, create nurture tracks for subscribers that help them see the value of your product. Start with a simple welcome email and send related, helpful content over time.

6. Not letting readers know what you want them to do

There is always a next best step subscribers should take, even if you’re not directly selling to them yet. Every email you send should include a call to action (CTA). 

Keep CTA’s short, simple, and direct so readers know exactly what you want them to do:

  • Buy Now
  • Claim Your Discount
  • Download Your Copy
  • Read More

Use buttons or bold text to make these calls to action pop and stand out from the rest of your email content.

7. Leaning too heavily on images

Repeat after me: a picture is not worth a thousand words when it comes to email.

I know, I know. I’m contradicting a time-tested adage here. But trust me, stuffing your email full of images is not a good idea.

Images often fail to load based on a reader’s device, browser or internet connection. Some people even choose to read emails with images turned off. Whatever the reason, you can’t rely solely on images to sell your product. 

That doesn’t mean you should avoid using images entirely. It just means that you have to pair them with text. As discussed above, always include a call to action in your content. Even if an image fails to load, readers will still know what you want them to do. And make sure to add alt text to images so readers know what you wanted them to see. 

8. Forgetting to optimize for mobile

Here’s a harsh truth for you: emails that aren’t formatted for mobile readers will be deleted within three seconds. And nearly half of all email opens are from mobile devices. 

So all the time you spent including a friendly email address, writing the perfect subject line, and crafting CTA’s is wasted when you fail to account for mobile email readers. 

Using preview mode in your email marketing tool—our first recommendation—will help you to avoid this mistake, as well. Most tools let you view how your email will look on desktop, mobile, and tablets. So be sure to toggle to mobile view to make sure those readers will be able to read your emails easily. 

9. Sending emails to everyone on your list 

More than half of the revenue generated by email marketing campaigns comes from emails sent to segmented lists of subscribers.

By sending generic emails to everyone on your list, you’re missing out on lucrative opportunities to send targeted content to subscribers who might actually be ready to make a purchase. 

Segment your subscriber list and craft targeted content to send to each segment so you don’t miss out on a chance to sell your product.

10. Failing to establish goals for your campaigns 

Maybe you’re sending emails to everyone on your list because you’re not sure why you’re sending emails in the first place. 

There are many reasons your company needs email marketing. But only you can decide what you’re actually trying to accomplish by building a list and sending emails. Are you trying to gain brand awareness? Are you trying to generate more leads? 

Email marketing mistakes
Create email marketing campaign goals so you know how to improve.

Without understanding your email marketing goals, you’re just sending emails into the void. You won’t know which metrics to check to see if your campaigns are working. And you won’t know how to make change when those metrics are subpar.

Before sending a single email or creating a single opt-in form, create some measurable, attainable goals for your marketing campaigns.

11. Not having an “oops” template on hand

Despite your best efforts, mistakes will happen. When they do, you should be prepared with—you guessed it—another email.

When you realize you’ve messed up, an “oops” template will help you quickly acknowledge (and hopefully correct) whatever mistake you’ve made. 

Make sure your email campaigns are error-free. Download our free email marketing repair checklist.

Stop driving subscribers crazy with email marketing mistakes

One little mistake isn’t going to make your customers cry, cry, cry. But too many mistakes over time can be toxic for your campaigns. (That’s the last Britney Spears reference, I swear!)

Keep this list of common mistakes in mind when drafting your emails, and hopefully your customers won’t hit that unsubscribe button.And if you feel like you need a second set of eyes to monitor your campaigns, we can help! Schedule a free consultation call to learn how we can work with your business to craft high-quality, mistake-free email campaigns.