Email best practices

Common email mistakes that will haunt most professionals

Navigating your emails into your customer’s inbox can be a scary process. If you dare to read on, we'll identify these email mistakes and how to avoid them.

God with a letter in his hand



This article was first published in The Next Web.

Navigating your email campaigns into your customer’s inbox can be a scary process. Broken links, wrong subject lines, using spam words – these spooky mistakes that can haunt an email marketer for weeks. If you dare continue to read on, we’ll identify these common errors, how to avoid them and maybe, just maybe you’ll come out of the process in one piece.

1) Broken links

It’s always helpful to have a second or third pair eyes help screen over your work before sending (you can ask your friend that’s standing in the corner right behind you).

A lot of detail goes into these email campaigns and like any type of content, it’s harder to spot mistakes in something you’ve been working on and are really familiar with. You’ll want to ask colleagues to check for spelling and click links to ensure they’re not broken, are linking properly and that all call-to-actions make sense.

If you have the resources, using testing tools such as Litmus can be a huge time saver. Litmus tests for responsiveness, spam score and more!

2) Low open rate

There’s nothing worse than checking your email campaign stats to see that very few of your customers actually opened the campaign to read the content. Did they get caught by zombies or was the subject line just that bad? Either way, it’s concerning.

Brainstorming a strong subject line should be top priority since that’s the key to cutting through the inbox clutter. When brainstorming, refer to past data to see which words your customers respond best to and also read up on spam words (especially the lesser known ones) to ensure you’re not using any words that will hurt the performance of your email campaign.

3) Non-responsive design

Another terrifying sight for email marketers is an email with white space where the images are suppose to render. While your images may display properly on your computer before sending your campaign, image requirements vary between email clients and devices. It may not be displaying on other devices as you’d like it to. And considering how a recent study showed 65% of emails are opened first on mobile devices and 3 out of 4 users are “highly likely” to delete an email if it isn’t optimized for viewing on a mobile device, being third screen-responsive has become increasingly important.

Again, this is something that can be checked manually by a few team members or by using Litmus. If you do choose to check it manually, with the help of a few friends, you’ll want to check across browsers (Chrome, Explorer, Safari), email clients (Gmail, Yahoo!, AOL) and mobile device platforms (iOS and Android).

You’ll also want to work closely with your Design and Tech teams to design buttons and images of various sizes. At the very least, something you can easily implement yourself is ALT text. If an email client blocks images by default, your customers will see this ALT text with a description of the image and also be prompted by their email client to confirm that the images are safe. Another lesser known fact is that ALT text is picked up by screen readers, which helps impaired readers visualize these images.

We hope you have a hauntingly good time implementing these tricks into your next campaign! Let us know which other tricks you’ve used in the past and the results you’ve been treated with as a result.

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