Tips & Advice

The 7 Deadly E-mail Marketing Sins

Johnny McKenna

While email can be a noisy and crowded market, it’s easily forgotten that email has an average ROI of $38 for each $1 spent. That’s a 3,800% ROAS. Not many other channels can offer that kind of return. But so many of us make the same mistakes when it comes to sending out effective email marketing campaigns. Here are 7 deadly sins I’m confessing to and am choosing to move forward in a better direction.

1. Click bait-y subject lines

We all want to see that high open rate, don’t we? So how do we get people to peek our content? We tell them that “you’ll never guess what the number 1 fashion trend is this year” or something just as desperate. Look, we’re past this. If you’re sending quality content, your opens will increase like crazy. But if you’re just trying to get an open, you’ll quickly find unsubscribe rate being a lot higher than your opens.

Write subject lines that offer value. Stop trying to trick people into opening your email.

2. “Do Not Reply” is the name of the sender

Is your from address “Marketing Department?” People don’t want emails from someone they can’t talk to. It makes them feel less connected to your brand when they feel like they’re not talking to an actual person.

Always provide your readers a way of getting in touch with you. You can also use a contact us link leading to a landing page where readers can get in contact with you.

3. Not optimizing for mobile users

If you’re not optimizing for the mobile experience, you’re telling most people their reading experience doesn’t matter to you. Make sure you beta test campaigns across a variety of devices for quality checks and load time issues. 

4. Forgetting the call to action

What’s the point of even sending an email if you’re not giving your readers some kind of action to take? Yet it’s the sin we’re guilty of and see the most often.

Remember, an effective call to action is centered around the customer, not the brand. Create CTAs around the readers needs, and offer solutions with real value. 

5. Neglecting the 2X strategy

If you spend a lot of time on a great email, it’s hard to see it only get a few opens and an abysmal click-through-rate. A strategy that’s often proven effective is sending the same email to non-openers a few days later with an updated subject line and tweaked content. It’s an easy automation that allows you to get your content in front of your audience!

6. Skipping segmentation

If you’re guilty of committing this sin, first, confess it. Second, we have great news for you. Here’s the thing, 94% of email marketing gurus say it is an important part of their email marketing strategy, but only 5% of companies personalize extensively. At this point, email marketing software has made list segmentation relatively easy. Work smarter, not harder. You’ll be able to send fewer emails to the right people at the right time and see better success.

7. Sending too many emails

We know this sin is a slippery slope. You send on extra email and you see a huge bump in traffic. You think, one more can’t hurt, right? Then another… then another. All of a sudden you’re hitting up customers multiple times a day with emails they don’t want and aren’t opening. Most people want less emails, but they want their emails to have higher value. Every brand and business has different needs, so it’s important to find the balance between high-value content emails and slowly becoming ignored and eventually getting an unsubscribe.

Now that we’ve confessed, take action. Renounce those sins and move into the light with a renewed sense of focus on how to take your email marketing game to the next level!

Last updated January 5, 2021.