Email Best Practices

5 mistakes any email marketer must avoid

While email marketing is highly actionable, some common mistakes could reduce the users’ engagement and emails open rate. Here are some of them.

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There are around 3.7 billion global email users according to Leighton Interactive. While this marketing channel remains highly actionable, making some common mistakes reduces the users’ engagement and emails open rate.

We’ve prepared a selection of some ugly mistakes each and every email marketer should make sure to get rid of. Let’s have an insight.

Mistake #1. Dealing with an old database

Normally emails get collected for years. Once a marketer decides to get started with newsletters (or other email promotions), using old email database will become one of your deadly sins. The most email marketing automation platforms and email providers require high quality of the database. Also, they set limits on the number of email returns and related complaints. This will certainly get your account suspended and take months to recover it.

What can be done to avoid this mistake?

Here are some tips to make sure you're sending to a healthy database:

  • Make sure to enable double opt-in subscriptions to avoid collecting any illegitimate email addresses.

  • Build your database gradually. This is a highly time-consuming yet effective technique, which requires you to deal with and test the latest emails, then delete inactive once, and move further to the older emails, and so on.

  • Try to use some email validation services.

Mistake #2. Email headline doesn’t correlate with its content

No news that the professional email marketers do the keywords research to make their emails better SEO optimized, as well as get to know what online surfers currently Google.

Such services as Ahrefs, or Serpstat, for instance, come in handy here, and allow finding hot topics and thus increase CTR. Normally the research is fast and easy. Thus, in Serpstat, you’d need to enter a keyword, jump to the Content Marketing tab, and click ‘Search Questions’.

Besides seeing the keyword difficulty and the competitors, you’ll be able to pick up the most popular words of your headlines, thus creating urgency and increasing the open rate.

Keyword DifficultyKeyword Difficulty

What can be done to avoid this mistake?

Writing a catchy and highly searchable headline is kind of art!!! BUT make sure emails content fully reflects what it promises the subscriber! Otherwise, high CTR is guaranteed, as well as the number of complaints and unsubscribed users.

Mistake #3. Sending out newsletters with no value

Emails that bring no extra value to the reader are useless. In the high-paced world and hundreds of daily inbox messages, there must be something more besides a catchy headline. Today, newsletters downgrade to the level of product/service promotion, or cold sales with no regard of and care for the reader and their interests. Email marketing creates long-term perspectives. So, make sure not to force the readers to ‘click the button’ or ‘follow the link’ right away!

What can be done to avoid this mistake?

Achieve your business goals based on what the readers care about. Start thinking like your customer base, study their fears, expectations, and doubts concerning your product. This will make the content useful, memorable and shareable.

Mistake #4. No regularity & scheduling

A plethora of companies run chaotic email campaigns. They send out emails with no system and no schedule. This would be especially irritating to receive no emails from a company for months and get a couple of emails within a week. Such situations often occur when there is suddenly no email marketer in the company for a few months. Emails stop being sent. Then comes a newbie and ‘kills’ the database.

What can be done to avoid this mistake?

Planning is critical for effective email marketing. The systematization helps get the users ready for your newsletters. Create a plan for the next few months. Ideally, send out newsletters on the same days of the week and at the same time. Emails can be sent daily, weekly, or monthly – all depends on your email marketing strategy and the products/services you offer – but regularly.

Mailjet, for instance, offers great scheduling options, and RSS feeds (which, in fact, enables you to easily add any website/blog post right in the Mailjet email builder). This comes in handy when dealing with bulk information and wishing to automate the process of informing the customers. The content gets easily imported in three easy steps.

Mistake #5. No personalization

You are right. Gone are the days when we didn’t address readers by name. But this mistake is not only about the reader, but it’s also about the author. The fact that you’re sending out newsletters to achieve specific marketing and sales goals doesn’t justify cliché emails that seem to be created by a bot (I am sure there is one).

What can be done to avoid this mistake?

Don’t be afraid to show who you are. I am not talking solely about the way you look, but also about your personality, your attitude and your personal writing style. This will make your emails memorable.

Wrap up

Email marketing is great when done right. This is a matter of experience. Thus, I’d strongly recommend not to be afraid to test your newsletters and creatives, collect feedback from your subscribers, and learn from the stats. This will let you create unique email campaigns and elbow the wait out of the competitors, get noticed and – yep! – opened and read.


This post was written by Inna Yatsyna. Inna's a Brand and Community Development Specialist at Serpstat.

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