Top 5 Mistakes Marketers Make When Emailing Their Subscribers

Email seems to be every marketer’s focus these days. With the high ROI that it promises, it’s no surprise that 9 out of 10 websites you visit ask you to join their mailing list. However, the industry hasn’t yet perfected the art of email marketing. There are poor practices that still hurt organizations and prevent them from getting the results they expect. Let’s take a close look at the top 5 mistakes marketers can make when emailing their subscribers.


They go overboard with self-promotion

This may sound counterintuitive: after all, you invest time and effort in your email marketing because you want to increase your sales. That’s true, but the way organizations sell has changed so much in the past decade. Inbound marketing has gained incredible momentum, as it proves its efficiency again and again.

If you’re in doubt about how many of your emails should be promotional, there’s a famous rule you can stick to for best results: the 80/20 rule. Based on a concept by Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, the 80/20 rule in marketing means that only 20% of your content should promote your business. What about the rest of 80%? Strive to make it educational and entertaining. For example, you can send your subscribers:

  • an interesting blog post
  • a branded infographic
  • a useful study
  • your own insight on a topic that matters to them.

Stay on top of what’s relevant in your field and try to come up with solutions to people’s problems. They will remember you for that, and in time, this tactic will help you build a strong voice and be seen as an authority in your sphere.

While many business owners still operate under a more traditional marketing model, inbound marketing is less expensive and has undisputable benefits. Switching to this technique may prove to be the best thing you’ve done for your business in a long time.


They don’t use an email verifier

As companies struggle with high bounce rates, email verification is rapidly being integrated into email marketing strategies. However, I still see marketers who hardly pay any attention to the quality of their email lists, and all they care about is its size. Don’t be one of those marketers!

Yes, when it comes to your audience, size does matter. The more people you have on your mailing list, the greater your chances to convert. But what if some of the email addresses you’ve gathered are bots and dead ends? What if, instead of emailing real people, you’re emailing spam traps and temporary addresses? The consequences aren’t going to make you happy:

  • you’re throwing money out the window by paying your Email Service Provider (ESP) to email fake, risky addresses
  • poor email hygiene will affect your sender reputation – that’s the way Internet Service Providers (ISPs) see you.
  • a bad sender reputation attracts a decrease in your email deliverability, which means less people will receive your emails

Fortunately, there are systems that can help prevent such issues, or fix them when they happen. An email verifier removes unwanted addresses from you list, thus helping you save money and focus your efforts on genuine leads. Such a system is usually easy to use, it doesn’t require any downloads, and does the job fast. You upload your email list on the platform, and the email verifier gets it back to you duds-free.

Misspelled email addresses, spam traps, temporary, catch-all, or abuse emails – these are all risky contacts and it’s best to part with them. On average, 2.5 % of your list becomes obsolete within a month, so using an email verifier should be part of your monthly routine.


Their subject lines aren’t catchy enough

Writing a good subject line can be tricky. How long should it be? What should it say? How do you convey your message and pique your subscribers’ curiosity, all in just a few characters? Not all marketers master this skill. The good news is it can be learned.

But first, let’s establish the basics:

  • run a few A/B/ tests to see what type of subject line does best for your audience
  • many studies show it’s best to keep it short. You don’t necessarily have to do that, but keep it short enough where it renders well on mobile screens.
  • stay away from spammy words, as ISPs can filter you out and deliver your email in the Spam folder because of them.

Now let’s think about how to write a good subject line. There are three tricks to keep in mind for your next email:

  • write down several versions of your subject line, until you find the best one
  • make sure it reflects the content of your email, but also leaves room for a little bit of mystery
  • ask yourself if you would click on it if you saw it in your inbox

There are countless articles online on this topic, but these three tips should help you raise your game and increase your open rates.


They email inconsistently

In the list of email marketing sins, this one holds a special place. Inconsistency tends to hurt us in every aspect of our life. When it comes to email, things are no different. For two reasons:

  • whether you like it or not, your subscribers forget about you. People get lots of emails. If they don’t hear from you for a while, they may not even remember they signed up for your emails. As a result, some subscribers may mark you as spam and tarnish your sender reputation.
  • it’s important for your IP to stay warm, and the best way to ensure that is to email consistently. Take a look at your reports and see on which day your emails perform best. Stick to the same day and time, and don’t break this rule.

Also, think of your email list the same way you think of your social media followers. When you show up every day, people start to engage with you. In time, they even expect you to be there, inform and entertain them. That’s how strong relationships develop – through constant communication. Make that a priority in your email marketing.


They overlook their grammar mistakes

Not all of us care so much about grammar, but most people do. And even those who don’t still consider it unprofessional when they get a poorly-written email. No matter how good your visuals are, the core of your email is your copy – words are the ones that communicate the most.

While we’re all allowed to make mistakes, try not to make them when you email everybody on your list. How? By:

  • setting aside enough time to write and edit your copy
  • sending a few test emails to several people in your company, or friends
  • going over your email one last time right before you send it

Of course, grammar is not the only aspect that matters in your email. The way you word your message can also make a difference in your conversion rates. Writing copy that converts is a talent in itself. If you don’t feel confident in your copywriting skills, look for a course that can inspire you. Or, hire a talented email copywriter – they’re specialized in this kind of work and know exactly how to boost your ROI.

Which of these email marketing mistakes are you guilty of? No judgement, we’re all here to learn from them and do a better job next time!