57 common email marketing mistakes to avoid to boost click rate

Here’s an interesting fact you probably didn’t know: In 2022, there were 4.26 billion email users (more than half the population of earth!), and that number will grow to around 4.73 billion by 2026 (according to Statista).

Of course, not all of those billions of people are prospective customers for your business. But some of them certainly are, and even a small slice of a pie can be pretty substantial if the pie is as gargantuan as this one.

Email marketing is one of the most effective and profitable ways to connect with current and potential customers, but it’s also an area rife with potential pitfalls and easy-to-make mistakes. So how do you avoid these mistakes? Simple—just keep reading.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. What is email marketing and why is it important?
  2. 57 email marketing mistakes and how to avoid them

What is email marketing and why is it important?

Email marketing is exactly what it sounds like: a form of marketing that engages subscribers by delivering promotions and information directly to them through newsletters, product announcements, and other marketing materials.

Sending emails is powerful for marketers because it’s a versatile tool that can promote products and services, foster customer loyalty, and drive conversions.

Emails are great for engaging customers at every stage of the buyer journey. From initial awareness to consideration, and ultimately conversion, emails can nurture potential customers and guide them seamlessly toward making a purchase.

This tailored approach not only drives sales but also builds lasting customer relationships, enhancing brand awareness and loyalty over time. The beauty of the approach lies in its adaptability, delivering meaningful messages to your audience wherever they are in their journey.

Here’s a great example: Love Child Organics was looking to expand their presence in the baby food industry by growing their email marketing list. Working with a marketing studio, they leveraged their strong social media presence and boosted their email list from 2,000 to more than 16,000 subscribers—a leap of 800%!—and increased a coupon landing page’s conversion rate by an incredible 60%. (Check out the entire story here.)

57 email marketing mistakes and how to avoid them

Now let’s dive into the common mistakes that marketers can make and how to make sure you don’t make them. We’ve broken the list up into different stages of the email marketing journey so you can jump directly to the stage that you’re currently struggling with.

Animated gif of a woman saying she's going to make a lot of mistakes

Email planning mistakes

Email marketing can be a powerful driver of conversions, brand awareness, and customer relationships, but if you don’t set up a good plan then it can all go off the rails pretty darned fast. Here are some common email planning mistakes and strategies to prevent them.

1. Winging it without an overall strategy

We’ve all been there—a looming deadline, a blank email template, and a sinking feeling in your gut. But you need to resist the urge to freestyle your next campaign because, just like all great content, effective email marketing needs a roadmap.

How to do it right: Channel your inner architect and schedule a brainstorming session with your team to map out your email strategy. Outline key messages, campaign goals, and timelines. A solid plan will keep your emails focused and prevent them from veering off course.

2. Not creating a consistent experience from inbox to post-click

Surprises can be fun, but not when a potential customer clicks on an email CTA and gets taken to a webpage that doesn’t match their expectations.

How to do it right: While you’re planning your email campaign strategy, make sure your messaging, branding, and offers follow a consistent, easy-to-follow path. Check each part of the campaign including emails, ads, and landing pages.

3. Not defining your audience

Imagine offering your neighbor some freshly baked pecan pie, only to find out they have a serious nut allergy. Awkward, right? The same goes for email marketing. Without a clear understanding of your target audience, your messages will likely fall flat.

How to do it right: Go beyond demographics. Craft a detailed buyer persona that dives deep into your ideal customer’s psyche. What are their interests, challenges, and aspirations? The more you understand your audience, the more likely your emails will resonate.

4. Not having measurable goals

So, you want more clicks? Great, but how many more? Vague goals are like shooting arrows in the dark—you might hit something, but it’ll probably be by accident.

How to do it right: Get SMART with your goals. Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals will give your email marketing direction and focus. Track key metrics like open rates, click-through rates, and unsubscribes to measure success and identify areas for improvement.

5. Ignoring email marketing laws

Spam laws are a real thing and breaking them can land you in hot water, which could result in hefty fines or worse. Plus, you’ll end up with some pretty unhappy email recipients, who obviously won’t be inclined to buy from you.

How to do it right: Familiarize yourself with email marketing regulations in your target markets. Laws like CAN-SPAM (US), CASL (Canada), and GDPR (EU) all have specific requirements for things like consent, content, and unsubscribe options. Following the rules keeps your emails out of the spam folder and your sender reputation squeaky clean.

Animated gif of a woman saying she doesn't like spam

6. Not using website signups

Imagine a bustling marketplace overflowing with potential customers, but your brand has no storefront. That’s essentially what happens when you neglect website signups. An email list is your direct line to interested leads—without it, you’re missing out on a golden opportunity to nurture relationships and drive sales.

How to do it right: Make signing up for your email list a breeze by placing clear and enticing signup forms throughout your website, especially on high-traffic pages like your homepage and product listings. Offer valuable incentives like exclusive discounts or early access to new products to entice visitors to join your email family.

Here’s a great example of a simple, yet effective email signup page from Remote.co:

Screenshot of Remote.co email signup webpage

7. Focusing too much on sales and promos

Sure, discounts and promotions can be a sales magnet, but a steady diet of “Buy now!” emails will leave your subscribers feeling spammed and undervalued. Remember, email marketing is about building relationships, not just pushing transactions.

How to do it right: Craft a balanced email content mix. While promotions have their place, intersperse them with informative blog posts, industry news, or helpful tutorials that showcase your brand’s expertise and add value to your subscribers’ lives.

8. Not authenticating your IP address and sender domain

Imagine receiving a letter with no return address. A bit suspicious, right? The same goes for emails—without authentication, your emails might land straight in the spam folder, never to be seen again.

How to do it right: Bolster your email reputation with authentication. This process verifies your identity as the sender, ensuring your emails reach their intended destination—the subscriber’s inbox, not the spam graveyard.

Email list building mistakes

Building an email list is like building a dream house—you wouldn’t start construction without a blueprint, right? The same goes for email marketing. Without a solid plan, your efforts can crumble faster than a sandcastle in a storm. Here are some sneaky planning mistakes that could be hindering your email list’s growth.

9. Buying email lists

This one’s a recipe for disaster. Purchased lists can be full of outdated addresses and disinterested recipients, plus you’ll also risk violating anti-spam regulations like GDPR and CASL. There’s also a good chance your competitors are using the same list, rendering it even less effective.

How to do it right: Build your email list organically. Focus on capturing high-quality leads through website signups, lead magnets, and permission-based opt-ins. Respect your audience’s trust, and they’ll reward you with loyalty and engagement.

10. Skipping opt-in

Just because someone gave you a business card years ago doesn’t mean they want marketing emails. This is a common email marketing sin, especially for small businesses. Remember, it’s all about consent.

How to do it right: Be respectful. Instead of assuming someone wants your emails, invite them to opt in. Offer a clear value proposition, like exclusive content or discounts, to incentivize signups. Consider a double opt-in process (y’know, when the recipient is sent an email with a button, link, or code for verification) for extra security and to ensure you have valid email addresses.

11. Lazy list management

Whether you’re collecting bad data, not removing hard bounces or emailing inactive subscribers, lazy list management can affect your open rates. Ultimately, being lazy about managing your list results in one of two things: People receive emails they’re not interested in, and ISPs don’t deliver email messages. You guessed it—both of these are bad for open rates.

How to do it right: You can be more responsible about managing your list by creating a permission-based in-house list. Many email recipients click the spam button based on the “from” name or email address, so it’s important that recipients know who you are and expect to receive emails from you. And it’s extremely important that you have their permission.

Building a permission based in-house list isn’t difficult. Here are a few tips to get started:

  • Ask permission after a purchase by including a checkbox that encourages users to also opt in to your mailing list.
  • Implement an email sign up form that allows users who aren’t ready to purchase to still give you their email address. The form could be added to your homepage, landing pages or on social media.
  • Offer an incentive in return for their email address. This could be anything from a discount on their first purchase to a free piece of content.
  • Set expectations with email subscribers. Tell them the types of emails you will send and how often they will be emailed.

12. Overly-complex forms

Long, complex signup forms are conversion killers. People are busy, and they won’t jump through hoops to join your list.

How to do it right: Keep your forms simple. Ask for essential information like name and email address, and use checkboxes for optional preferences instead of requiring them all. The easier it is to sign up, the more leads you’ll capture. Consider a progressive opt-in where you collect more information later after a user has already established some trust with your brand.

13. Not offering lead magnets

People these days are bombarded with marketing messages. Their inboxes are overflowing, and their attention spans are shrinking. So, why on earth would they willingly hand over their precious email address to yet another brand? The answer: because you’re offering them something truly valuable in return.

This valuable incentive is called a lead magnet, and it’s the key that unlocks the door to building a high-quality email list. 

How to do it right: Entice them to sign up for your emails by offering a lead magnet like an ebook, a discount code, or access to exclusive content. Provide something that solves a pain point or offers genuine value, and tailor your lead magnet to the specific interests of your target audience for maximum impact.

Here’s how we at Unbounce offered a lead magnet—in this case, a free copy of our A/B testing ebook. We sent out emails that took readers to this landing page:

Screenshot of Unbounce A/B testing ebook lead magnet landing page

14. Not including a share button

If your subscribers enjoy reading your emails (which of course they do because your emails are awesome), why not make it easy for them to share the love? Encourage your readers to become brand ambassadors by including a share button in every email you send.

How to do it right: A share button makes it simple for happy customers to forward your emails to their networks. This organic list growth can be incredibly powerful. Also, consider offering an incentive for sharing, like bonus points in a loyalty program.  

Email content mistakes

Ever feel like your email marketing efforts are landing with a thud instead of a “wow”?  

Animated gif of man falling down with a thud

Maybe your open rates are crickets, or your click-through rates are a ghost town. If that sounds familiar, it might be time to take a closer look at your email content while keeping in mind these possible mistakes.

15. Poor subject line copy

It should come as no surprise that email subject lines impact open rate. In fact, nearly half (47%) of email recipients decide to open an email based solely on the subject line, while on the flip side 69% of email recipients report emails as spammy based just on the subject line (source: OptinMonster). 

We all receive tons of emails on a daily basis and many of them remain unopened. Subject lines have to be strong if they are going to jump out at you from the inbox. So how do you write an eye-catching subject line that entices subscribers to click?

How to do it right:

  • Be concise: With so many emails in your customers’ inbox competing for their attention, your subject line needs to be considered and well-crafted. Effective subject line copy is normally quite short in length (generally speaking under 50 characters), descriptive, and to the point.
  • Get personal: Adding the recipient’s name to the subject line is also something to be considered. According to Klenty, personalized subject lines have an average open rate of 35.69%.
  • Offer an incentive: Your subject line copy should give users a reason to open the email. This can be done by mentioning something relevant, giving them an incentive to open or by adding a sense of urgency. (Don’t get too carried away—copy that’s brash or salesy will turn subscribers off.)
  • Test, test, test: Although these are general rules, the best way to know what resonates with your audience is to start testing. No audience is the same, so find out what works well with your customers by conducting A/B tests.

16. Using the wrong style of copy

Your email copy style needs to align with its purpose. A sales email packed with informative details might bore your audience, while a welcome email overflowing with promotional jargon could feel pushy.

How to do it right: Tailor your email content to its specific goal.  Crafting a welcome email? Focus on warmth and introduce your brand. Need conversions? Craft compelling CTAs and highlight product benefits. Remember, your audience’s mindset will be different depending on where they are in the customer journey. Understanding these nuances is key to crafting copy that resonates and drives action.

If copywriting isn’t one of your strengths, we’ve got your back with an AI-powered copywriting solution that can produce high-quality, conversion-optimized copy for emails, landing pages, and more.

17. Not having a focus

Imagine receiving an email titled “Important Update!” that meanders through some new products, upcoming events, and a random inspirational quote. Confusing, right? That’s what happens with unfocused emails. Every element should have a clear purpose—to strengthen relationships, provide support, or offer value.

How to do it right: Focus like a laser. Before hitting compose, define a single, clear message for your email. Ask yourself, “What key takeaway do I want subscribers to remember?” Then, craft every element of your email—from subject line to call to action—to support that central message.

18. Not including a clear, strong CTA

Ever finish reading an email and wonder, “Wait, what am I supposed to do now?” That’s the result of a missing or unclear call to action (CTA). Your readers need a clear direction, whether it’s visiting a landing page, downloading a resource, or simply replying to your email.

Too often email campaigns have multiple offers, 10 different images to click, multiple links or different buttons that push readers down conflicting paths. 

How to do it right: Make your CTA button loud and proud. Use strong, clear messages like “Download your free ebook”, “Sign up for the webinar”, or “Shop now”. Place your CTA prominently in your email, ideally above the fold. Consider using contrasting colors or buttons to make it visually stand out.

As with landing pages, a clear, dedicated call-to-action is the most powerful way to maximize your conversions. Repeating this call to action throughout the email is even better.

19. Mis-using templates

Templates are a great way to save time and ensure consistent branding, but a one-size-fits-all approach can backfire. Imagine a law firm using a cutesy, cartoon-filled template—it wouldn’t exactly inspire trust, would it?

How to do it right: Match your template to your message and audience. A playful design might work for a children’s clothing brand, but a clean, professional template would be more suitable for a financial services company.

And templates don’t just apply to design and visuals. With Smart Copy templates you can harness the power of AI to easily create effective, professional copy for a variety of marketing scenarios.

20. Using all caps in copy

NO ONE LIKES TO BE SHOUTED AT, and that’s exactly what it feels like when you’re reading text in all caps. It comes across as aggressive and also triggers spam filters. Your important message might never reach its destination, leaving your subscribers none the wiser.

How to do it right: Respect your reader’s eyeballs. Use proper capitalization and focus on crafting compelling content that speaks for itself.

21. Trying to sell too hard

Most folks don’t like pushy salespeople, and the same goes for email marketing. Bombarding your subscribers with relentless sales pitches is a surefire way to get them hunting for the “unsubscribe” link.  Also, resending the same generic email with a copy-paste approach is spammy and ineffective.

How to do it right: Offer genuine value by focusing on educating, informing, and entertaining your audience. Include subtle CTAs that encourage engagement, not force sales. If you have a legitimate reason to resend an email, revamp the subject line to reflect the urgency and offer something new.

22. Straying away from your brand identity

Imagine your favorite yoga studio suddenly started sending emails filled with heavy metal lingo. Confusing, right? Consistency is key to building brand loyalty, and that applies to email marketing too.

How to do it right: Stay true to your brand voice. Maintain a consistent tone, style, and visual identity across all your email communications. This reinforces your brand image and builds trust with your audience.

23. Don’t use spammy language

Words like “free”, “guaranteed”, or “click here” might seem like attention-grabbers, but they’re actually spam triggers. These generic phrases can land your email in the junk folder and eventually erase your brand from your readers’ awareness. 

How to do it right: Embrace natural language. Write authentic emails that sound like you’re talking to a real person, not a robot trying to sell something. Focus on clear communication and avoid overly promotional language.

24. Not using a signature

Don’t leave your subscribers wondering who you are. Readers are accustomed to seeing identifying details at the bottom of emails, so make use of this valuable email real estate to create a clear sense of your identity in the minds of your readers.

How to do it right: Include a professional signature with elements like your name, title, headshot, and contact information. A signature can add a personal touch and build trust.

25. Not using inclusive language

Imagine receiving an email that uses outdated gendered language or references that exclude certain cultures. Not exactly a warm welcome, right? In today’s diverse world, it’s crucial to ensure your email marketing reflects the inclusivity of your brand values.

How to do it right: Embrace diversity and equity, and follow best practices for inclusive marketing in emails. This might involve using gender-neutral language, avoiding cultural stereotypes, and featuring a variety of people in your visuals. By representing your audience authentically, you build trust and foster deeper connections.

26. Loading too much content into the email

Nobody enjoys wading through a text-heavy email. Bombarding your subscribers with a wall of information is a surefire way to get them hitting “delete”. Remember, people are busy, and their inboxes are overflowing.

How to do it right: Prioritize clarity and focus. Craft concise emails that deliver a single, clear message. Use bullet points, visuals, and subheadings to break up the text and make your content easy to scan. Leave your subscribers wanting more—encourage them to visit your website or landing page for deeper dives on the topic.

Bonus tip: Consider segmenting your email list. This allows you to tailor your content to different audience segments, ensuring your emails are relevant and engaging for everyone. (We’ll dive deeper into segmentation later on.)

Email design mistakes

An email’s design goes a long way toward creating impressions, even before an email recipient reads the first word. Some designs can be more distracting than delightful, so here are some common design mistakes to avoid.

27. Making the design too graphics-heavy

Sure, visuals can be powerful tools in email marketing, but bombarding your subscribers with a barrage of images can backfire. Large file sizes lead to slow loading times, which can significantly decrease your open rates. Plus, too many images can overwhelm readers and make it difficult to focus on your message. 

If your readers have their images turned off, then instead of images all they’ll see is empty boxes and ALT tags. Having a single image with a poor ALT tag could literally mean you’re cutting out half of your audience. 

How to do it right: Focus on quality over quantity. Use a few, strategically placed images that are relevant, high-resolution, and optimized for email. Keep file sizes under 1MB to ensure fast loading across all devices, and don’t forget to include alt text for each image—this ensures your message gets through even if images are disabled.

28. Using poor quality images

A pixelated image is like a bad handshake—it makes a terrible first impression. Grainy or stretched visuals scream unprofessional and detract from your brand image.

How to do it right: Start with high-resolution images and resize them down if necessary. A crisp image shrunk down maintains its quality, while a low-resolution image will never sharpen up (despite what you see in detective TV shows—”Zoom and enhance!”). Consider investing in a professional stock photo subscription service, or even hiring a photographer to create unique visuals for your brand.

29. Using cheesy stock photos

Generic stock photos can make your email look outdated and impersonal. Avoid the cheesy handshake or the group of people staring intently at a laptop—they’ve been done a million times before.

How to do it right: Think outside the stock photo box. Consider using custom illustrations, creative product shots, or behind-the-scenes glimpses into your company culture. These unique visuals will grab attention and leave a lasting impression.

30. Using designs that are too busy

A cluttered design with clashing colors and too many images is a recipe for disaster. It makes your email difficult to read and understand, which ultimately leads to frustrated subscribers.

In this example of one of Foodtown’s marketing emails there’s an awful lot going on. And how are you supposed to read this on a phone screen? 

Screenshot of Foodtown marketing email example

How to do it right: Embrace simplicity. Use a clean layout with a clear hierarchy of information. Choose colors that complement your brand and ensure there’s enough contrast between the text and background for readability. Remember, KISS (Keep It Super Simple) is your mantra here.

Speaking of good design—if the thought of designing and building your own landing pages leaves you in a cold sweat, no problem—we just happen to know of a powerful and flexible landing page builder that doesn’t require a lick of code and has plenty of great templates to start with.

31. Not following accessibility guidelines

Not everyone experiences email the same way. People with visual impairments or other disabilities might struggle to access your message if you rely solely on images.

How to do it right: Make your emails accessible to as many people as possible by not relying too much on visuals. Use a clear and easy-to-read font size (minimum 16pt for body text, 18pt for headings) and ensure there’s sufficient color contrast between text and background. Most importantly, include alt text for all images, allowing screen readers to convey the image’s meaning.

32. Not making your emails responsive across different screen sizes

Remember the last time you opened a non-responsive email or website on your phone, and how you had to reverse-pinch and zoom to read the copy, or rotate between landscape and portrait orientations to see it properly? Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Meme of a woman saying ain't nobody got time for non-responsive design

How to do it right: Make sure your email design translates seamlessly across all screen sizes—desktop, tablet, and mobile. 

Email personalization mistakes

A wise person named Meredith Hill once wrote, “When you speak to everyone, you speak to no one.” Don’t dilute your email marketing by using generic messaging that, ultimately, speaks to nobody. Instead, make it personal(ized).

33. Lack of segmentation

If you can’t segment your audience based on interests, location or other factors, then you will not be able to craft messages that are relevant to them. This in turn affects your open rates.

How to do it right: The aim is to move away from mass email blasts (where the entire list receives the exact same message) in favor of a more segmented approach. This helps marketers send more relevant messages. Your email list could be segmented by:

  • Location
  • Language
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Past purchase behavior
  • Vertical type

There are many other ways to segment an email list and the key is to get started. If you don’t yet have any of the above data on your customers, you can start collecting it by asking customers what they are interested in your autoresponder welcome series.

34. Not using any personalization

Generic email blasts might have worked in the bygone era of dial-up internet, but today’s subscribers crave a more personal touch. Imagine receiving an email addressed to “Dear Valued Customer”—doesn’t exactly hit you in the feels, does it?

How to do it right: Personalize like a pro. Incorporate subscriber names into greetings, reference past purchases or browsing behavior, and tailor your content and calls to action accordingly. Consider including specific details or local references to make your message even more relevant, like birthday shout-outs or special offers relevant to someone’s recent website activity. These personalized touches show you care and go a long way in building relationships with your subscribers.

35. Using the same content across different segments

Treating all your subscribers the same is like serving pizza with just cheese—some people want pepperoni, others crave hot honey (which is something you need to try). Segmenting your email list allows you to tailor your message to different audience groups.

How to do it right: Embrace segmentation power. Go beyond basic demographics and segment your list based on marketing-specific details like website activity, purchase history, or engagement level. CRM tools can be lifesavers here, offering advanced segmentation features to help you group subscribers with similar interests. By sending targeted emails, you ensure your message resonates with each recipient, increasing engagement and driving results.

36. Not pruning your email lists on a regular basis

Your email list is a precious commodity, but it shouldn’t become a graveyard for inactive subscribers. Holding onto unengaged addresses does you (or them) no favors.

How to do it right: Clean your list with confidence. Regularly remove inactive subscribers who haven’t opened or interacted with your emails in a set timeframe. This not only improves your sender reputation (fewer bounces!), but also ensures you’re reaching a genuinely interested audience. Consider offering a re-engagement campaign before hitting delete, giving inactive subscribers a chance to opt back in or update their preferences.

Email sending mistakes

So you’ve assembled some value-packed, carefully-designed emails and they’re ready to go. Just hit send and presto—instant success, right? Well, only if you avoid the following pitfalls.

Animated gif of a woman hitting send on an email then crying

37. Lack of automation (triggered emails)

If you’re not using automated emails, you’re wasting a lot of time and opportunity. Check out these incredible stats from Omnisend: Automated emails saw an 84% increase in open rates, a 341% jump in click rates, and an astonishing 2,270% boost in conversion rates.

Triggered emails are not only segmented, but they are also sent in a timely manner. And that ensures that they are relevant to the subscriber.

How to do it right: Set up automated emails so they’re triggered by events such as a purchase or a download, or other factors including:

  • A visitor abandoning their cart with an item in it (triggering a cart abandon series)
  • A subscriber joining a community (triggering a welcome series)
  • A subscriber becoming dormant (triggering a reactivation series)
  • A subscriber purchasing a product that needs replenishment, such as contact lenses (triggering a replenishment series)

38. Poor deliverability and engagement

Another major factor which affects open rates is poor overall deliverability and low engagement with past campaigns.

Deliverability and list management are closely linked. Sending campaigns to a permission-based list is less likely to result in deliverability issues as recipients are expecting to receive emails and are more likely to engage.

ISPs will look at who you are sending to, how often, the number of abuse complaints from sends and whether email is opened or clicked on. All of these factors determine your reputation with your ISP and affect whether your emails are delivered to your subscribers’ inboxes.

How to do it right:

  • Implement a double opt-in: Asking email subscribers to confirm their email address before they are added to the list will ensure cleaner data and in turn improve delivery rates.
  • Only send to engaged users: Sending to recipients who have opened or clicked through to your campaigns within the last six months will increase the likelihood of emails landing in the inbox.
  • Give recipients access to a preference center: A preference center, where a user can select which type of emails they would like to receive, is a good alternative to only giving the option to unsubscribe. If you have many lists, this allows users to opt out from some emails but stay on the list for others.

39. Skipping the domain warm-up

Imagine sending thousands of emails only to have them disappear into the void (aka spam folders). That’s the risk you run by neglecting to warm up your domain. 

How to do it right: Take it slow and steady. Start by sending emails to a small, trusted group and gradually increase the number of recipients over time. This gentle approach builds a positive sending reputation with email providers, ensuring your future campaigns reach their intended audience.

40. Ignoring your sender score

Your sender reputation is like your email credit score—it reflects how trustworthy you are as a sender. Several factors influence this score, including bounce rates, complaint rates, and engagement levels. A low score translates to emails landing in spam folders, while a high score guarantees inbox placement.

How to do it right: Monitor your sender reputation and take steps to improve it. Reduce bounce rates by maintaining a clean email list and sending to verified addresses. You can minimize spam complaints by crafting engaging content and offering a clear unsubscribe option, and increase engagement by personalizing your emails and sending them at optimal times. By focusing on these factors, you’ll build a stellar sender reputation and ensure your emails reach the right eyes.

41. Skipping the welcome email

A welcome email is your chance to make a great first impression on new subscribers. A simple “hello” can go a long way in building a connection. Even better, personalize the welcome message by referencing the reason they signed up or offering a special introductory discount.

How to do it right: Craft a warm and engaging welcome email, which can set the tone for your future communications, showcase the value you offer, and make it easy for subscribers to engage further. Consider segmenting your welcome emails for an extra touch of personalization.

42. Not using autoresponders

Autoresponders are automated email sequences that allow you to nurture leads and deliver targeted messages at the right time. For example, you can send a welcome series to new subscribers, a re-engagement campaign to inactive ones, or a post-purchase follow-up to recent customers.

How to do it right: Embrace the power of autoresponders. Set up automated email sequences to nurture leads, segment your audience for targeted messaging, and deliver personalized content at key touchpoints in the customer journey.

43. Not asking to be put on the safelist

One way to avoid having your email campaign disappear into the spam abyss is by getting on your subscribers’ safelisted senders. This whitelist essentially tells their email provider: “Hey, these people are legit, let their emails through.”

How to do it right: Get permission to shine. While explicit requests to be whitelisted might seem a little forward, you can subtly encourage subscribers to add your email address to their contact list or safe senders list. Consider mentioning it in your welcome email or including clear instructions on how to do so.

44. Sending too many emails

Nobody likes a cluttered inbox, and bombarding subscribers with a constant barrage of emails is a surefire way to get yourself unsubscribed real quick. The key is to strike a balance between staying top-of-mind and respecting their inboxes.

How to do it right: Plan your content calendar. Before hitting send, create a timeline for your email blasts. Consolidate your news and announcements to avoid overwhelming subscribers. Remember, consistency is key—choose a sending frequency that works for you and your audience, whether it’s weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.

45. Sending too few emails

Yeah, it may sound like we’re contradicting the tip above, but we’re really not. (Trust us.) While swamping your readers with emails is a bad thing, it’s also not great if you send too few emails because you’re leaving some valuable conversions on the table.

A SaaS business that sends one welcome email? Missing out on conversions. An eCommerce store that sends just one cart abandonment email? Missing out on conversions. A blog that sends a single campaign to introduce their area of expertise? You guessed it—missing out on conversions.

If you have your customers’ permission and a focus on valuable content, you should embrace series campaigns to increase your conversions.

How to do it right: Send up to 3 emails per week, spaced a few days apart. Try to link your emails together to build momentum, and focus on education whenever you can. 

46. Not proofreading your copy

A single typo in your email can scream unprofessionalism and damage your brand image. Don’t let a careless mistake derail your entire campaign.

How to do it right: Proofread like a pro. Before hitting send, send test emails to yourself and others. This fresh set of eyes can help catch typos, broken links, or any accidental placeholder text that might have slipped through the cracks. Remember, double-checking is your best friend here.

47. Including attachments

Large attachments can clog up subscriber inboxes and make your email look spammy. In most cases, there’s a better alternative.

How to do it right: Lighten the load by avoiding attachments whenever possible. If you need to share a document or file, don’t attach it directly to your email. Instead, upload it to a cloud storage service like Dropbox or Google Drive and include a link in your email. This keeps your email light and user-friendly.

48. Not using an email verification service

An email list full of invalid addresses is a recipe for low engagement and wasted resources. Email list verification services help you identify and remove these bad apples from your list.

How to do it right: Clean your list with confidence. Invest in an email list verification service to remove invalid addresses, typos, and spam traps. Consider implementing a double opt-in process as well. While it might slightly reduce sign-ups, it ensures you’re reaching real people who are genuinely interested in your content.

49. Using your personal email address

Imagine receiving a business email from “unicornwhisperer@gmail.com”—not exactly confidence-inspiring, right? Using your personal email address for business communications screams amateur hour. (Unless you’re actually in the business of whispering to unicorns.)

How to do it right: Invest in professionalism. A branded email address (think “hello@unbounce.com”) is key. It establishes trust, looks polished, and makes it clear who’s behind the message.

50. Not making your identity transparent

Ever received an email with a vague sender name and no company information? It’s confusing and, frankly, a little suspicious. You probably wouldn’t read emails like that, so don’t expect your recipients to.

How to do it right: Be clear and upfront. Every email you send should include your company name and physical address. This transparency builds trust with subscribers and complies with government laws like the CAN-SPAM Act—those pesky regulations designed to keep your inbox free of unwanted junk.

51. Making it difficult for recipients to reply

Imagine reaching out to a business and getting an automated response that says, “No one is monitoring this email account.” Frustrating, right? Don’t subject your subscribers to the same fate.

How to do it right: Open the lines of communication. Use a real, monitored reply-to address in your emails. This allows subscribers to easily respond with questions or feedback. If managing replies becomes overwhelming, consider including a “Contact Us” link that directs them to a dedicated email landing page.

52. Making the unsubscribe link difficult to find

Hiding the unsubscribe button is like playing a game of email chicken with your subscribers—and you’re guaranteed to lose. A difficult-to-find unsubscribe option screams “We don’t want you to leave!”, which is pretty darned annoying.

How to do it right: Make unsubscribing a breeze. Include a clear, easy-to-find unsubscribe link at the bottom of every email. Remember, unsubscribes are a valuable source of feedback. Maybe your content isn’t relevant, or your sending frequency is too high. Use unsubscribes as an opportunity to improve your email marketing strategy. Plus, ignoring unsubscribe requests is a major turn-off and can even get you flagged as spam.

53. Sending emails at the wrong time

Ever get an email at 2 am? Yeah, not ideal. The time you send your emails can drastically impact their open rates. Blasting your list at odd hours ensures your message gets buried.

How to do it right: Get strategic with timing. Research the best times to send emails in your industry. (According to Moosend’s research Thursdays between 8-9am is the optimum time, in general.) Analyze your own email analytics to see when your subscribers are most engaged. A little planning goes a long way in ensuring your emails get seen and acted upon.

Post-delivery mistakes

Okay, you’ve sent off your emails, so now it’s just a matter of sitting back and waiting for the clicks to come pouring in, right? Oh, if it were only that easy. There are still plenty of potential gaffes that could sabotage your campaigns and cause problems down the road.

54. Ignoring your email analytics

Remember those ambitious goals you set for your email marketing? Analytics are your compass, guiding you towards those goals. Tracking metrics like open rates, click-through rates, and unsubscribe rates helps you understand what’s working and what’s not.

How to do it right: Become an analytics whiz, or turn to someone on your team who is. Don’t wait until it’s too late to adjust your course. Regularly monitor your email analytics to identify trends and optimize your future campaigns. Remember, what works today might not work tomorrow, so stay data-driven and keep testing new approaches.

55. Skipping A/B testing

Imagine sending out an email campaign only to discover the subject line is a flop. A/B testing helps you avoid these navigation errors. It allows you to compare two versions of an email element (subject line, call to action, etc.) to see which resonates best with your audience. You can also A/B test other essential elements of your overall campaign, including those oh-so important landing pages

How to do it right: Embrace the A/B testing life and don’t be afraid to experiment. A/B testing different elements of your emails and landing pages helps you identify what drives engagement and optimize your campaigns for maximum impact.

56. Being inconsistent with your email sending schedule

Life gets busy, but that’s no excuse to abandon ship and leave your subscribers high and dry. Even during slow periods, consistent communication is crucial for staying top-of-mind.

How to do it right: Chart a course for consistency. Develop an email marketing calendar and stick to it, even during off-seasons. You can offer valuable content, share industry news, or highlight special promotions—anything to keep your audience engaged and coming back for more.

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57. Not asking for feedback

Your subscribers are a treasure trove of valuable insights. Neglecting to ask for their feedback is like sailing without a map—a recipe for getting lost at sea.

How to do it right: Open the communication channels by including surveys, polls, or simple feedback requests in your emails. Understanding your audience’s preferences and pain points allows you to create more relevant and engaging content.

Start optimizing your email campaigns

By steering clear of these pitfalls and prioritizing data-driven decisions, you’ll be well on your way to crafting email campaigns that are smooth sailing and drive serious results.  Remember, a well-planned email marketing strategy is the anchor that keeps your campaigns on course.

Unbounce offers a treasure chest of resources to help you design high-converting landing pages that perfectly complement your email blasts. Get crafting, keep testing, and always keep your reader in mind.

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