10 Common Email Mistakes (And Likely Reactions) [GIFs]

When it comes to email marketing, it seems like marketers are having trouble learning from their mistakes.

Search the internet for “Worst Email Marketing Mistakes” and you’ll find content from over 10 years ago admonishing some of the practices you still see happening everyday.

What makes it so hard for marketers to fix these problems? One reason may be that it is so easy to forget the people on the other end of your message. Tucked away in your office or cubicle, it’s hard to put yourself in the shoes of recipients that could be halfway across the world.

This lack of empathy, this disconnect, is what leads to many of the email mistakes that persistently plague your inbox. So to help you remember the human element in your next campaign, we’ve not only put together a list of mistakes to avoid, but also included a GIF of the reaction your email is likely to receive. Oh, and as an added bonus, we’ve pointed out how automation can help you fix each problem too. Enjoy!

Mistake #1: When You Don’t Proof Your Emails

email marketing- no proofing

An email that hasn’t been properly proofed can severely degrade your credibility. You should also test your emails to make sure they display correctly in all email clients and formats. How automation helps: Automatically give all your emails a “preflight check” to make sure they are pixel perfect.

Mistake #2: When Your Subject Line is Terrible

email marketing- bad subject

Your subject line is your first impression. It should be clear, catchy, and concise. You want to stand out from the hundreds of other emails flooding inboxes every day How automation helps: Detailed email reports allow you to see which subject lines are working best.

Mistake #3: When You Don’t Personalize

email marketing- not personal

The age of batch-and-blast emails is over. Your emails should feel like a personal 1-to-1 communication. How automation helps: Automatically segment incoming leads and easily include dynamic content in emails.

Mistake #4: When You Don’t Have a CTA

email marketing- no cta

Once you have your audience’s attention, make good use of it! Always include a clear CTA or a next step for them to take. How automation helps: Easily include tracked links to your content or landing pages with a few clicks.

Mistake #5: When You Don’t Provide Any Value

email marketing- no value

Email marketing is an exchange. You need to provide your audience with real value in order to build a relationship. How automation helps: Quickly link to a piece of content or landing page in your existing inventory.

Mistake #6: When Your Message is Too Long

email marketing- boring

Show your readers that you value their time. Keep your messages concise and to the point. It’s much better to be brief than too long. How automation helps: You’re on your own here. Just use some self-control.

Mistake #7: When You Don’t Have Opt-Outs

email marketing- opt outs

Never spam your readers. Every email needs to have a clear unsubscribe option to be compliant with regulations. How automation helps: An unsubscribe or opt-out option will be automatically appended to every email sent via Pardot. No exceptions.

Mistake #8: When Your Links Aren’t Tracked

email marketing- not tracking

You should always be tracking the links within your emails to understand what your readers are interested in and when they take action. How automation helps: Emails sent from automation platforms automatically track email links for you.

Mistake #9: When Your Timing is Off

email marketing- timing

Your emails not only need to be delivering the right message, but delivering it at the right time. How automation helps: Drip nurturing campaigns automatically send emails based on a user’s action or set time period to ensure relevance.

Mistake #10: When You’re Spamming

email marketing- spamming

You should build your database by allowing readers to opt in. Never buy lists or spam people who have not signed up. How automation helps: Build your database the right way with easy-to-build landing pages and progressive profiling forms.

Want to learn even more about email marketing? Check out our free eBook “The Four T’s of Effective Email.”