Sales & Marketing Tech

Top 7 Email Marketing Mistakes to Avoid in 2017

Published by in Sales & Marketing Tech

In the beginning of each New Year we craft our resolutions to become better, healthier and more successful people. If email marketing is one of your daily work instruments, you have every chance to make 2017 a rocking success! That is – if you avoid these 7 email marketing mistakes that can cost you your reputation, deliverability, and leads.  

 email marketing mistakes

#1 Misusing the Signup Form

Some people think that most mistakes happen during the campaign creation and sending stage. In fact, it all starts with your signup form. A common (and grave) mistake is adding a non-functional signup form to your website or not adding one at all.

Your signup form has to be visible and attractive – in fact, pop-ups still show the highest conversion rates.

Setting up and customizing a signup form is easy. Also, you can add a sign-up form to your company’s Facebook page. Do not underestimate website signup forms as they allow you to grow a permission-based email list swiftly and efficiently.

Tip: Be careful with popups on mobile! Google has just changed its algorithms and pop-ups on mobile devices will leave a negative impact on your SEO.

#2 Giving away discounts too easily

In 2017 content marketing will continue its triumph, so do not make your email marketing strategy all about sales. In this age personalized content is king and knowing your audience well gives you a tremendous advantage. When building your subscribers list or creating campaigns, you can appeal to their emotions and motivate them to take the desired action without even offering a discount.

Let’s imagine a pop-up form like this on a clothes and accessories store website. If they know their target audience are young girls who want to be up-to-date with all the latest trends, they can appeal to these emotions in their invitation to subscribe.  

#3 Sending one-size-fits-all campaigns

ReturnPath – email data solutions provider – goes even further claiming that Hyper-Personalization is the future of email marketing. Their State of the Inbox: Quarterly Snapshot research claims that the average consumer receives more than 500 marketing messages in a given month, yet opens fewer than 1 in 15. Be among the smart marketers who use data to craft more targeted products, services, and content within email marketing messages.

There is no doubt among leading marketers – segmentation is the future of email marketing. The advantages of sending relevant emails over broadcast emails are shown in this infographic. Make the most of segmentation by age, gender, geographical location, purchase behavior or even favorite color – literally, any information that is available.

Address your active customers differently from the ones who are less engaged. You can also run follow-up campaigns targeted at those who have abandoned their shopping carts. Create an irresistible offer with a compelling subject line to engage non-openers and non-clickers of your email campaigns.

#4 Making email body one big image

2016 showed that still too many marketers fall into this trap. Note that email providers cannot read this type of email so it is very likely to fall in spam. Even if the email manages to escape the SPAM filters, email provider may block images, so the recipient will only see a white page.

It is advisable to keep a 50/50 or 60/40 ratio between text and images – this way your email will be visually appealing and will also display some parts if the images get blocked. Furthermore, it will not attract the attention of SPAM filters.

#5 Ignoring mobile

Roughly two-thirds of email opens happen on a smartphone or tablet – and this tendency will keep thriving in 2017. If your emails are not optimized for mobile devices, it can cause serious harm to your campaigns as many users will instantly delete a message if they cannot view it properly.

Tip: single-column templates usually perform best on mobile, but make sure you test each campaign several times to be positive.

#6 Sending without testing

Many leading marketers believe that “Testing” is the magic keyword to email marketing success. Some even claim – if you send campaigns without A/B split testing, you are using your customer database in a non-efficient way.

So what can you test? Almost everything about your email marketing campaigns starting from colors, content, images, layout, CTA button, etc. It will not only help you reach your goals in a more cost-effective way – it will also give you in-depth information about your audience.

How does it work? A/B testing lets you compare results of two different parameters – you can choose to test Subject line (try a formal and informal one), Email body (content, layout, design), Email headline, Sender name and Sending time.

Here is an easy example how simply changing the color of CTA button increased the campaign’s click-through rate by 21%.

#7 Not seeing the big picture

A wise marketer looks at email marketing holistically – it’s not just about the email, but about the whole customer experience. We strongly recommend setting an automated welcome message when a new subscriber joins your list to start off your communication on the right foot.

Also do not forget about optimizing other details that surround your email – landing pages, sign-up confirmation pages, etc. Make sure your CTA leads to a compelling landing page that matches your email message or directly to the purchase page to convince your subscribers that they are in the right place. On the other hand – sending them to your homepage or a random spot on your website could give them time to change their mind.

A bright conclusion

According to digital marketing masterminds, the future of email is optimistic. Litmus Email Analytics report Email Marketing in 2020 concludes that marketing emails will become increasingly smarter together with our inboxes becoming more organized and relevant. Return Path predicts that subscriber engagement will become more and more important for inbox placement as mailbox providers will develop personalized algorithms for deliverability. So let’s make the most of 2017 – the year of targeted, personalized and valuable email marketing!

Looking for Email Marketing software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Email Marketing software solutions.

About the Author

Marina Jemeljanova

Marina Jemeljanova

Marina is Head of Marketing at Mailigen. Marina has a degree in marketing, a master's in finance, and 10 years experience in marketing. In her free time, Marina likes to read, cook or play volleyball.


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