10 Common Email Marketing Mistakes to Avoid for Small Businesses

Did you know that 3.9 billion people use email across the world?

When you consider that there are 7.8 billion people (and counting!) on the planet, that’s nothing to sneeze at.

Email marketing is one of the best ways you can reach your customers, increase engagement, and improve your sales.

That being said, there are a lot of errors you can make that can have the opposite effect. Let’s take a look at 10 common email marketing mistakes that you’ll want to avoid as a small business.

1. Sending Too Many Emails

When you start engaging in email marketing, you most likely have very structured and scheduled messages. As you start to see that your efforts are working, though, it’s easy to get tempted into ramping up the number of emails you send. This is a completely understandable urge, as you want to keep the traffic coming in and engagement high.

In reality, though, too many emails can make your target customers wary. At first, they might be highly engaged, but when too many emails start rolling in they’re likely to get overwhelmed. This will make them less likely to keep up and they could even feel resentful that they’re being inundated with messages.

As a part of your email marketing strategy, you want to keep the very real potential of email burnout in mind. People subscribed to your messages can get annoyed by the constant emails which will likely lead them to unsubscribe.

It’s fine to increase the frequency of your emails a little bit or send off an extra message every once in a while, but be careful not to overdo it. Watch your metrics and make sure you’re not pushing people away rather than bringing them onboard.

Speaking of which, do you receive too many emails yourself to handle on your own? You might consider looking for the best email client to help.

2. Failing to Write Compelling Subject Lines

Let’s face it, we spend a lot of time online. Some people are self-admittedly almost constantly online. Even though we spend countless hours on the internet every week, there are more things competing for our attention than we could ever dream of paying attention to.

Everyone’s inboxes are filled to the brim. That means that when they open up their email, they tend to just skim the subject lines before deleting everything they aren’t interested in.

Writing a compelling subject line is something that takes quite a bit of skill. If you make some kind of grandiose promise in the subject, it’ll come off as scammy and spammy. This could even get you marked as spam by your readers.

To write a subject line that will encourage your readers to open the message, you’ll want to:

  • Provide value, don’t try and trick them with some fantastical claim
  • Sound professional and not too sales-y or sensational
  • Keep them short and precise
  • Personalize them
  • Avoid filler words and fluff
  • Avoid using all caps

Take a look at your own inbox and scan the subjects. Which ones do you feel drawn to open and which ones repel you? This is a good way to get a sense of what type of subjects you should be writing. Once you’ve nailed the subject line, you could use some successful cold email templates to craft the perfect email that will keep the recipient reading and engaged with what it is you have to offer.

3. Coming Across as Sketchy

People are rightly defensive against things they think could be phishing scams. It isn’t the 90s anymore, and people are well aware of the dangers of getting tricked by messages that seem too good to be true.

This means you really want to avoid being too hyperbolic or sales-y. Make sure your tone remains courteous and professional. It’s a good idea to also include a privacy notice at the end of each email to let readers know how they can go about unsubscribing if they want to.

4. Overdoing the Stock Photos and Graphics

Load time isn’t as much of an issue as it used to be. A lot of consumers have computers that are perfectly capable of loading content with tons of images fairly quickly. That being said, you still don’t want to go crazy with images and graphics.

This is because messages with too many graphics make the correspondence seem irrelevant and can alienate your readers.

It’s totally fine to use some images and charts, you just don’t want to overdo it.

5. Neglecting to Tailor Emails For Mobile

People are increasingly using smartphones to navigate the web and check their emails. That means that if your email campaigns aren’t tailored to work on mobile phones, you’ll have a lot of potential readers bounce off.

Relatedly, you should also prioritize having a mobile-friendly website. This is important in terms of traffic, engagement, and your search rankings.

6. Not Tracking Campaigns

Running an email marketing campaign is great because you can get so much relevant data on what’s working and what isn’t. So why would you make the common mistake of failing to track your campaigns entirely?

Take the time to identify which messages are attracting customer engagements and which ones aren’t. This can help you bring those conversion rates even higher and improve your marketing measures.

7. Not Including an Effective Call to Action

The reader opened your email, they read it, and they got value out of it. Now what?

Every good email marketing message ends with an effective and appropriate call to action. Without this, the reader will simply move on to other things with no course of action presented to them.

Remember, though, a good call to action isn’t focused on the product, but on the customer. Appeal to them by focusing on their needs. What problem do they have that you’re able to solve?

8. Not Editing Your Emails

An awesome subject, great content, and a killer call to action aren’t going to get you that far if your emails are laden with spelling and grammar mistakes.

Nothing makes a brand look less professional than a lack of editing. People are quick to notice when you haven’t gone through your messages with a fine-tooth comb. Do yourself a favor and make sure your emails are absolutely 100% bombproof in this regard.

9. Sending Emails at the Wrong Time

Even though email is a form of communication that can be read and responded to at any time, the timing is actually very important. Depending on what time you send your emails, you might get a drastically higher or lower open rate.

The ideal time to send emails might vary for your particular business or industry. Some companies have success sending daily emails early in the morning, while others might have success sending them around 11 am. This is one of the ways all that data you’ve been collecting on your campaigns can be useful.

10. Forgetting to Personalize Emails

Personalizing emails doesn’t just mean including the person’s name in the subject of the email, but that’s a start. It’s also important to use segmented email tactics to send the right information to the right people every time.

It is absolutely vital to cater to the needs of each and every customer. People don’t want to feel like they’re one of hundreds or thousands of people subscribed to your list. They want to feel like they’re important and that at some level the message is specifically designed for them.

It’s a good idea to include personalized greetings within each message as well.

Avoiding These Email Marketing Mistakes Will Ensure That Your Next Campaign Is a Success!

Email marketing is one of the most accessible forms of marketing for small businesses. Even if you don’t have much in the way of a marketing budget, you can set up email marketing campaigns that reach out to your customers, keep them informed, and drive up your sales.

While you certainly can pay a digital marketing company to handle this for you, if you’re truly a tiny business, you don’t have to. Assuming you are one of the billions of people on this planet that uses email, look through your own email at the lists you’re subscribed to. When you look at the emails from the perspective of both a customer and a business, it can help you understand what tactics are effective and which ones are less so.

Email marketing is particularly necessary if you have a remote or online business. While some brick and mortar businesses might be able to stay in touch with a lot of their customers the old fashioned way, online businesses don’t have that luxury. When you aren’t interacting face to face with your clients, it’s that much more important to establish your brand identity and personality through email.

Did you find this article about some of the most common email marketing mistakes helpful? If so, be sure to check out the rest of our blog for more informative and interesting content!