Fatal Mistakes You’re Making As An Email Marketer


We’ve all been there – you draft out an email to your list carefully for hours and hours, promoting your new deal, and writhing in excitement knowing that you’ll wake up the next morning with tons of sales and positive feedback. Next morning you wake up, and you’re horrified to see your poorest open record till date, virtually no click through rate to speak of – and to add insult to injury, 10 people hit the Unsubscribe button, and one person had the audacity to mark your email as Spam!

Before you go into analysis-paralysis mode and are scared to death of sending a single email ever again, you can quickly go through this article and find out where exactly you went wrong, and what are the common mistakes that ruin email lists and destroy email marketing campaigns (Warning! They’re more common than you would think, and yes, you have done this in the past!)

  1. You’re not branding yourself

Remember when you were checking your email, and you saw an email from a loved one? Remember that pang in your stomach as you excitedly clicked the email, unable to wait to read it? That’s exactly the feeling your emails should create for your list!

We understand your skepticism, but our business, as well as that of our clients, has consistently experienced this in our email marketing campaigns – where customers message us back and thank us for the emails!

Your emails are something that your list should look forward to eagerly, and should “make their day” consistently. This is easy to preach but very hard to practice – it takes serious effort to build a relationship with your list. The attitude to adopt here is not the “sleazy salesman” who deluges them with a barrage of pseudo-discounts – instead, you are the authority figure in their lives who helps them with their marketing! Once you’re building an email from the attitude of helping your customers, instead of making a quick buck – subconsciously, the tone of your emails will become more attractive, more relatable and a much more pleasant read.

Now, you need to anchor these good feelings into your emails. Make sure you brand yourself well. Usually, seeing your name (and maybe even your company) on the “From” field will trigger whatever feelings you elicit in your customers, thus – always send your emails from the same name every time. Another quick work – make sure your email is coming from [email protected] and not from [email protected] or [email protected]! Branding is everything.

2. You’re Not Keeping Mobile Users In Mind

The stats are pouring in and its official – close to half the emails sent out nowadays are opened on mobile devices. When half your customers are all viewing your emails on their mobiles, you need to seriously consider making your email campaign 100% responsive and accommodating towards smaller screens – so that nothing slips through the cracks.

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  • Are your emails mobile friendly?
  • Do users need to zoom in to read the text on your emails?
  • If you’re selling something in your email, can that process be completed as quickly as possible, preferably through a single click on your email?
  • Screen real estate is very valuable on mobile devices – keep your emails short and concise as much as possible.
  • Do you have a very prominent clear Call To Action?
  • Consider that iPhones load email messages, while Android devices don’t, by default. Plan accordingly!

3. You’re Not Nurturing Your Open Rates


Perhaps the most important part of your email which directly influences your open rate is your Subject line. 33% of email recepients open emails based on the subject line alone. Yes, we’ve all read the articles about building Subject Lines along the lines of “OMG! This cat just came out of nowhere….” or “FirstName, I am GIVING you my business for FREE…”.

Please, don’t. The average user is inundated with clickbait-ey titles all over the Internet, on Facebook and usually experiences slight shame after having being forced to click something so inane that completely mismanaged their expectations and delivered subpar content. Please don’t insult the intelligence of your customers by sending them clickbait Subject lines, most people will see through it and hit the Unsubscibe button.

That being said, boring Subject lines also absolutely kill open rates. An email titled “Special Discount” will be lost to the deep oblivions of your users’ massive inboxes for eternity. On the other hand, a subject line like “If you are still contemplating Infusionsoft you WILL NOT want to miss this..” find the sweet spot on the delicate balance between clickbait and boring, and will likely have great opening rates.

  • First of all, you understand the user has been wanting to buy from you for a long time
  • You acknowledge that in the subject line
  • You add a title that builds suspense
  • You finally deliver (within the email) a great discount to push customers over the fence.

This is email marketing done right.

A couple more helpful tips about skyrocketing your email rates:

  • Build concise subject lines
  • Don’t use buzzwords like “free, reminder, % off, help” – these are likely to be ignored.
  • Make relevant titles, congruent to subject matter
  • Give them an incentive to open your mail – “$100 off, for the next 17 hours!”, “deals inside”, “insane promotion of the week”, “the top 4 reasons why your business is losing customers” etc.

4. Your Emails Are Simply Too Long

Remember, you’re sending them an email and not a blog post. While we understand that you sometimes need to convey a lot of information in your emails – especially if you’re an expert in your niche – it’s important to remember that half your subscribers are going to be looking at this email on their mobiles. You have precious few seconds to capture their attention.

It’s a great idea to redirect users to your blog when you want them to read extensive content. For your emails, it’s important to be concise, to the point and brisk. It should be easy for your readers to “scan” through your content and get the gist.

If needed, embed appropriate “Read More” links into your email.

5. Your Call To Action Isn’t Prominent Enough

The whole point of your email marketing campaign is to Educate your customers about your services and close the deal. Yet, most marketers forget to add clear Calls To Action in their email that stand out from the rest of their content. A common mistake is putting the call to action ONLY at the bottom of your email. A better way to handle this is to put your call to action in the front and center of your email, and once finally at the bottom.

Never put your call to action as an image – for reasons discussed above, it might not even show up on some screens! Make your text do the talking, not your graphics.

6. You’re not Testing and Tracking Enough

If you’re not tracking everything, you’re losing. Why risk the success of your campaigns if you can simply send a test email to yourself before you send it to your list, and open it on different devices? By doing this, you’re eliminating the possibilities of errors (formatting or typographic) coming in. It’s also a wise move to consult a third party person – it could be your wife, friend, or another marketing consultant have a look at your email campaigns, and open yourself up to criticism. There is no use going lone wolf on your campaigns – it doesn’t hurt to take advice from people who’re already doing it right.

  • You need to also comprehensively track your email stats. Always keep an eye on your Open Rate, Click Through Rate, the % of people who unsubscribe for each broadcast, and whether people are marking your emails as Spam or not.
  • Use A/B testing on two small parts of your list, and send out the best converting one to your remaining list.
  • Over time, your CTR should rise, and unsubscriptions need to fall.
  • Measure every single email, work out what people seem to respond to, and simply scale that up! Take the least common denominator of what you’ve been pitching when people unsubscribe or mark as Spam – did you sell too hard? Did you send way too many emails in the week? Did the last 3 emails of yours say the same thing? That would definitely cause people to hit opt out buttons.

7. You’re Not Segmenting Your List 

Amateur marketers send the same email blast to their entire list. Expert marketers segment! Imagine you’re launching a new line of clothes – for men and women. You have a list, of which roughly 50% are men and 50% are women. Imagine sending out an email blast to your whole list announcing your new EStore and invite people to buy from you.

Now consider segmenting your list into two halves, and writing different emails for men and women, with amazing copy describing the new additions to the store respectively, and hypertarget towards that particular gender. You will notice better open rates, better engagement and more sales.

Segmentation is one of the most powerful techniques to improve and skyrocket your email campaign success. It allows you to laser target the demographic of customers, create amazing rapport with them, and streamline the sales process. Here are some segmentation metrics you need to divide your list into:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Spending Habits
  • Responsiveness
  • Previous Purchases (if any) – to offer similar items

Using Email Marketing campaign managers like Infusionsoft, you can “Tag” your list with personal and specific details, and send out mail campaigns that are hyper targeted to that demographic. This alone will boost conversion rates, open rates and CTR by unbelievable scale. We strongly encourage you start your segmentation tests, today.

8. You’re Not Harnessing The Power Of Triggered Emails

Emails that are triggered from specific events have more than double open rates. A couple of quick examples of this are:


  • Visitor leaves a cart on your website, immediately gets sent an invitation to come back with a 10% off coupon.
  • Visitor comes to your website to watch a video, but doesn’t watch it. An email gets sent out to them reminding them to watch the video.
  • Visitor clicks your special Christmas deal link, but doesn’t buy. An email gets sent out offering a Buy Together deal that they can’t resist.
  • And so on….

9. You’re Not Keeping An Eye On Deliverability & Engagement 

Deliverability and Engagement go hand in hand. Deliverability is a measure of your “trustworthiness” in the eyes of your ISP – in other words, if your emails aren’t getting delivered, they aren’t getting opened. If your emails aren’t getting delivered, there’s an 83% chance that your ISP doesn’t trust you all that much. The golden rule is to send relevant emails to people who are interested – and that’s really it. To increase the deliverability of your emails, consider the following steps:

  • Only send your emails to users who engage with your website and emails frequently.
  • Provide your customers with a Preference centre where they can choose what type of emails they receive and how frequently they want to be contacted (hint: you can also add a Snooze button on their campaign, if they wish!)
  • Use double opt-in to make sure only the right people are in your list, and so that less interested people get weeded out in the first step.

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10. You’re Not Using A Great Email Marketing System

You need a service that can actively and efficiently micromanage your email campaigns, as we’ve talked above. Systems that can implement Segmentation, Stat Tracking, Split Testing will boost the success of your email campaigns virtually overnight. We strongly recommend services like Infusionsoft’s Campaign Builder to micromanage your email campaigns to maximize revenue and to ensure that nothing slips through the cracks, and every single user behaviour is tracked, recorded and reused – in order to take intelligent decisions in how to market to them. If emails account for a major source of your company’s revenue, then the time is right to switch to a tested email management system like Infusionsoft. Click here to watch a demo of how Infusionsoft can supercharge your email campaign for you!

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About the author 

Tanay Mishra

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