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The 5 Biggest Email Marketing Mistakes

Amanda Johnson
February 1, 2022
biggest email marketing mistakes

During our many years of experience helping thousands of clients grow their business and name recognition, we’ve also seen more than a few businesses making the same mistakes. Here are a few of the biggest email marketing mistakes businesses should avoid.

1. Not embracing mobile

Everyone is on their phones all the time. One study found Americans check their phones 80 times a day! The exact percentage changes from year to year, but roughly half of all emails are now opened on mobile devices. Here’s a breakdown from Litmus using their internal data:

Takeaway: Mobile email use is only growing. Ignoring that reality is absolutely one of the biggest email marketing mistakes; if your emails aren’t optimized for reading and tapping on small screens, your message will be lost on the majority of your audience.

2. Getting stuck in a rut

What’s that saying about insanity? Something along the lines of “doing the same action repeatedly and hoping for a different outcome.” This applies to your email campaigns as well. If you send the same exact email month over month to the same people, your email marketing will not benefit your business. Testing something new doesn’t have to be a massive undertaking. Try some new subject lines, add an extra image or two, or send your emails on a different day. For a bigger test, try varying up your layout or what content you include.

Takeaway: Change can be good. Make small changes and see what helps increase engagement.

3. Not measuring your efforts

You got your email newsletter put together, looked it over, and sent it out to your subscribers. Great job! But what did you do next? Do you know your open rates? Did anyone respond to your call to action? Without this information, you’re basically spinning your wheels. (This also applies to testing – did your change accomplish what you hoped?)

Takeaway: If you’re going to make an effort with email marketing (and you absolutely should), make sure you know how your audience is responding to the content and use that information to guide future efforts.

4. Not considering what the reader wants

You know what YOU want to get out of email marketing: a sale, a referral, etc. But what do your readers want from your emails? The answer depends on your specific business, but most likely they’re looking for helpful information, entertainment, a relevant promotion, or some combination of those things. If you’re sending the same boring sales pitch over and over, you’re wasting your effort and eroding the goodwill you have with your contacts. Consider what THEY want and you’ll be more likely to get what you want.

Takeaway: Fulfill the reader’s needs first. Try sending a regular cadence of helpful, relevant content that your clients will actually want to read.

5. Not sending them!

Most of all, not having an email marketing strategy is at the top of the list of the biggest email marketing mistakes you could make. 72% of people choose email as their preferred form of communication. If you don’t send emails, you’re missing the mark for 3/4 of your audience.

Many businesses give up on sending email campaigns because it just takes too much time and effort, and hiring a marketing specialist is out of their budget. That’s why we created OutboundEngine—to give small businesses a consistent, professional way to stay top of mind with clients. If you’re ready to take email off your plate, check out a free demo.



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