Calibrating your email marketing strategy: Nine mistakes to avoid

If you think email marketing is outdated and effective, you’re probably doing it wrong. As unbelievable as it seems, people still read and love getting valuable emails. However, your email marketing strategy could be a hit or a miss, depending on how it is tailored.

Mistakes to avoid in your email marketing campaign

You want to avoid your email ending up in the recycle bin or being marked as spam when you spend days curating valuable content. If you’re thinking of dipping your proverbial toe in the email marketing tool to grow your business, you should steer clear of these top 10 mistakes.

Skipping the ‘welcome email’

If there were ever a time to milk the attention of a new subscriber, it would be when they’ve just subscribed to your email newsletter. With all the mass consumption happening in a user’s brain simultaneously, getting them to subscribe to your newsletter is difficult, especially now.

So, once a new user subscribes to your newsletter, give yourself a pat on the back, send them that personalized welcome email, and pack it with information. Why? Because this is when their curiosity is piqued. In the email, you can tell them more about your company or brand, how regularly they should expect these emails, and what they will be about.

Having a vague call to action

At the end of the day, you’re sending your subscribers a daily, weekly or monthly email to sell a product or a service. Yes, you also want to provide valuable information to your users through your services or products. So, when drafting your email, make sure the call to action is clear, compelling and in their face (don’t hide it somewhere your user may not see).

Tip: Make sure the call to action is in bold letters, in a bright, eye-catching color and in a different font size from the rest of the email so users won’t miss it.

Too many cooks spoil the broth

When writing your scheduled email, focus on one theme at a time. You want to talk about only a few things, so users can remember the first sentence they read. Also, have only one call to action per email. For instance, if you run a skincare brand, you can focus on the top causes of acne.  In your call to action, you can encourage them to book an appointment to determine the cause of their acne. The mistake would be to give them too many options.


Suffering from acne, you can try out these products, change your lifestyle or book a consultation with us!

If I read such an email, I would be overwhelmed by the number of options and probably put off deciding.

Not meeting your users’ expectations

If there’s anything any audience hates, it’s dishonesty. In addition, if there’s any allegation that’s hard to beat, it’s the one where you’re labeled a liar. Strengthening your reputation as a transparent, consistent and valuable brand would be best. How? By following through on your promises. For example, if you promised to publish a weekly newsletter, stick to that.

Do not bombard your subscribers with daily nagging emails. Similarly, do not ghost your subscribers by only sending a newsletter when you like it. Both these scenarios will cause your subscribers to opt out of your email list. In addition, stick to your guns when it comes to the theme of your emails. If you promised to email your users about fitness, follow through. If you divest from this, chances are, they will hit that unsubscribe button with haste.

Being too salesy in the subject line

We all know it is crucial to capture the reader’s attention in the first couple of seconds. One way to do this is by using enticing subject lines that pique the user’s interest. However, some email marketers take it too far by being unrealistic and downright dishonest.

Hear me out; if I opened my mailbox asking if I wanted to lose 50 pounds in two weeks, I would roll my eyes and delete it without even opening it. Why? Because unless you’re a modern-day genie offering me three wishes, there’s no way I’m dropping all that weight without surgery. Instead, try to be honest yet optimistic and solution-oriented.

Ignoring the message preview trick

The subject line is one of many opportunities to grab your user’s attention. You can also capitalize on the message preview users see before fully opening your email. You must ensure that this sentence compels the reader to know what else you have to say.

For example, ‘After a year of celibacy, here are ten lessons that completely changed how I viewed dating.’ This sentence grabs your attention without giving anything away. If I were someone thinking of trying celibacy, this is an email I would open.

Ignoring mobile optimization

Mobile phone usage is at an all-time high and will get even higher in the coming years. A recent study showed that over 70% of people today use smartphones to check their emails.

This means that your email strategy must support mobile phones. Try your email layout on a mobile phone and see how it tests on different subjects. If it looks too long on a mobile phone, try to reduce the word count and keep the paragraphs short. Avoid using too many images because, in some cases, they take too long to load, which increases the bounce rate.

You should remember that people have a low attention span, so their experience must be seamless. While high-quality images are essential, they make load times longer than necessary, especially if the user has a slow or unstable network.

Not practicing segmentation

With email marketing, segmentation is the name of the game. Subscribers want to feel prioritized and valued. One way to do this is by segmenting your users into different categories to get information directly related to their interests, problems and values.

You can segment subscribers into different groups depending on their age, sex, income bracket, active users vs. dormant users, cart abandonment level, new subscribers, etc. The more targeted the emails, the higher the click-through rates, open rates, etc.

Ignoring analytics

Most people think email marketing starts and ends at churning out emails consistently and waiting for results. But the real work starts after you send out those emails. To ensure the long-term success of your email marketing campaign, you need to study analytics regularly.

Finding an email marketing tool that gives you a wide array of statistics is crucial. For instance, click-through rates, open rates, bounce rates, number of subscribers gained and lost monthly, conversion levels, etc. This will show you what part of your email marketing strategy needs to be tweaked for better results. If done correctly, email marketing can be a game-changer for your small business. Not to mention, pretty cheap!

Gerald Ainomugisha is a freelance Content Solutions Provider (CSP) offering both content and copy writing services for businesses of all kinds, especially in the niches of management, marketing and technology.