Fact time: I love email marketing. For a few reasons. Mainly, it’s because I’m just your average gal on a budget, and I enjoy seeing the latest offers and discounts from my favorite brands. Hey, who doesn’t like to save money? Secondly, I think it’s because I have a mild to moderate case of FOMO (fear of missing out), and I love to be up to date. So, the minute I see something like this in my inbox: “Here’s what everyone’s watching on YouTube this week,” I’m there. And lastly, because I work in the industry, I’ve grown to truly appreciate email marketing. I love seeing a well-thought-out campaign appear in my inbox, and I cringe when I see preventable mistakes. I’ve just about seen it all, and I’ve come up with 8 of the most common email marketing mistakes I’ve encountered in my experience.

Related content: 3 ways to increase your email engagement

1. Sending the same email to everyone

Everyone in your subscriber list does not share the same needs, so why send them all the same exact message? Show your readers that you care about their different interests, wants, and needs by segmenting your subscriber list. Doing so will ensure you’re sending relevant messages to the right people at the right time.

2. Sending image only emails

One common pitfall we see is when marketers send one big image as the body of their email. The problem, here, is that some email providers will send the email directly to the junk or spam folder. If the email happens to get past spam filters, some email providers automatically block images, leaving the recipient with something that looks like this:

3. Adding too many links or buttons

While it may seem like the more links you add, the more clicks you’ll get, you could actually be causing the opposite effect. Lots of links in an email are distracting and confusing. Generally, emails with one call to action (CTA) are most successful and generate more clicks. When creating your email, ask yourself one key question: What am I trying to accomplish? The answer to that question becomes your single CTA. Promoting your next webinar? Your CTA should be simple and clear, like “Register Now” or “Reserve Your Spot.”

4. Linking only to your home page

Have you ever clicked on an ad for a pair of shoes, special sale, event tickets, etc., only to find yourself on the company’s home page? Yeah, me too, and it’s frustrating. Leaving your customers to do the legwork in searching your website for the offer they clicked on only gives them an opportunity to change their minds. Instead, make your customers’ experience as seamless as possible by directing them to a landing page dedicated to your email marketing campaign. Your landing page should be a continuation of the message in your email, not an interruption.

5. Not providing an opt-out option

Believe it or not, this continues to be an issue in 2018. While no marketer likes to be unsubscribed by a reader, you should always give them the option. Not only is it respectful to give your readers the choice, but it’s also a violation of the CAN-SPAM Act if you don’t. Most marketers choose to add their unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email, but you can add it anywhere, so long as it is visible.

6. Ignoring email analytics

Analytics offer key insights into how people react to your email marketing efforts, yet many marketers don’t give them the attention they need. Are emails getting opened? When opened, are readers clicking your links? How is your unsubscribe rate? These are just a few key metrics that will provide clues as to how your campaigns are going and what steps you could take to improve them. For example: If your open rates are low, this is an opportunity to evaluate your subject lines, send times, frequency, and look for ways to re-engage subscribers.

7. Neglecting your subscriber list

It’s important to go through your subscriber list regularly and remove or edit bad email addresses. The main reason is to avoid those pesky bounces (when your email does not go through). A bounce occurs for several reasons, including simple typos or misspellings in the outgoing email address, outdated domains, or abandoned email addresses. This is especially important in the B2B space as a person’s professional email address will change as they move on to different jobs or roles.

8. Using poor preheader text

A great subject line is crucial and can sometimes make or break your open rate. You probably already knew that, right? However, a lesser known fact is just how important your preheader or preview text is. If your subject line didn’t do the trick, your preheader text is key and offers a second opportunity to encourage your subscribers to open your email. Let’s look at these two springtime emails that I recently received:

This example tells me nothing about what might be inside. A spring greeting card, maybe? The email was actually promoting some great new products, but you wouldn’t know it by the subject line or preheader text.

Email marketing mistakes-1

This example is engaging, and I had a good idea of what would be inside the email and what I would get out of it: 7 tips to burn calories this spring. Yes, please, I’ll take those. Which example would you open in your inbox?

There you have it! Some of the 8 most common email marketing mistakes I’ve encountered for you to avoid. Hungry for some more great marketing advice? Check out what our other Two Rivers Marketing associates have to say!

About Laura Reuter

Laura works in marketing insights at Two Rivers Marketing and has a background in print and digital advertising. Outside of work she’s watching episodes of The Office or spending time with her family. If you want to talk insights or Dunder Mifflin, email her at laurar@2rm.com.