22 Email Marketing Mistakes You Could Be Making Right Now

22 Email Marketing Mistakes You Could Be Making Right Now
22 Email Marketing Mistakes You Could Be Making Right Now

22 Email Marketing Mistakes You Could Be Making Right Now

Here’s some great news: a recent study found that an impressive 77% of marketers saw an increase in engagement with their email marketing from 2023 to 2024!

Looks like brands and businesses around the globe are getting into email marketing to connect more directly with their customers. But keep in mind, even with higher open rates, it’s still easy to slip up with common email marketing mistakes. Let’s stay on top of our email game!


1. Forgetting To Optimize for Mobile

Forgetting To Optimize for Mobile

With more people using their phones and tablets instead of desktops, one big email marketing mistake you’ll want to avoid is not making your emails mobile-friendly.

A survey even found that nearly 55% of all web traffic now comes from mobile devices. If your emails aren’t looking good on a smaller screen, you might find subscribers quickly hitting the unsubscribe button.

Here’s how to fix this:

  • Make Images Smaller: This helps your emails load faster on mobile devices.
  • Add Alt Text to Images: This is a text description for images, just in case they don’t load.
  • Use Mobile-Friendly Email Templates: Choose templates that are designed to look great on mobile devices.
  • Test on All Devices: Always check how your email looks on both a computer and a mobile device before sending it.


By making these changes, you can keep your subscribers happy and engaged, no matter what device they’re using!

2. Sending On a Whim, Not a Schedule

Sending emails at random times might seem okay, but having a consistent schedule is the key to getting people engaged with your content.

When you send emails regularly, your readers start to look forward to them. It’s a great way to build relationships and establish yourself as an expert they can trust.

Campaign Monitor suggests that Monday is the best day to send emails, while Sunday is not so great. Think about it: on Sundays, most folks are chilling with their families and gearing up for the week. Come Monday, they’re back to business, and sorting through their inbox is likely part of their routine.

On the flip side, sending emails randomly can annoy your subscribers to the point where they might unsubscribe. That’s a big email marketing no-no!

So, how do you fix this? Pick a day and time that you think will work best for your audience and stick to that schedule. Remember, what works for others might not work for you. It’s a bit of trial and error. Start by choosing a day and time, then adjust as needed based on how your audience responds.

3. Avoiding Automation

Avoiding Automation

Automation can step up your email marketing game. Sticking to manual methods means you might be missing out on being more efficient. Plus, we all know that we humans can make mistakes. If you’re serious about your email list, automation is the way to go.

With automation, you can do some cool things like:

  • Welcome New Subscribers: Set up a sequence of emails that automatically welcomes new people to your list and introduces them to your brand.
  • Recover Abandoned Carts: Send emails to nudge visitors who left items in their cart to return and complete their purchase.
  • Schedule Emails Smartly: Plan your emails to go out at the best times without having to hit ‘send’ yourself.


So, how can you make this happen? Email distribution software is the answer. There are lots of options out there, from Mailchimp to ConvertKit. The trick is finding the one that fits your business best. Once you do, you’ll be amazed at how much smoother and more effective your email marketing can be!

4. Ignoring How Your Campaigns Have Performed In the Past

Email marketing is all about focusing on what your audience needs, not just what you want. To avoid common mistakes, it’s key to review your past emails and see where you can do better.

Here’s a simple way to improve:

  • Keep an Eye on Key Metrics: Pay attention to important numbers like click-through rates, conversion rates, bounce rates, list growth, email sharing rates, open rates, unsubscribe rates, and overall ROI.
  • Focus on What Matters: With changes in online tracking, put less emphasis on open rates and more on conversion rates to get the real picture.
  • Use Your Email Tools: Most email platforms automatically track these metrics for you. Just remember to regularly check them!


By monitoring these metrics, you can fine-tune your email marketing to better meet your audience’s needs. Remember, it’s all about connecting with and understanding your audience.

5. Acting Spammy

Sending emails that seem like spam can easily land you on a blacklist. In fact, about 15.8% of emails get caught by spam filters. Once you’re on that list, it’s hard to get off.

Spammy emails are often sent too frequently, come from suspicious sources, or lack clear purpose.

To fix this:

  • Balance Your Email Frequency: Don’t overdo it with too many emails.
  • Improve Your Subject Lines: Make them friendly yet genuine.
  • Make Unsubscribing Simple: Ensure your unsubscribe link is easy to find to avoid being marked as spam.


These steps will help keep your emails out of the spam folder and maintain a good connection with your readers.

6. Failing To Personalize, from Both Ends

Not personalizing your emails is a big mistake in email marketing. It’s important to make your subscribers feel valued, not just like another number.

Here’s a quick fix:

  • Use Their Names: Start emails with the subscriber’s first name.
  • Segment Your List: Group subscribers by interests or demographics to tailor your messages.
  • Personalize the ‘From’ Field: Use your name or your blog’s name to be more relatable.
  • Understand Your Audience: Keep your customer personas up-to-date.


These simple steps can make your emails more engaging and personal for your subscribers.

7. Excluding a Sign-Up or Opt-In Offer

Want to bring in new subscribers and customers? Make sure you’re not making this common email marketing mistake: overlooking the importance of a clear sign-up or opt-in offer.

If your sign-up box is hard to find or if you don’t have an attractive opt-in offer, you’re missing out on potential subscribers.

Here’s how to fix this:

  • Make Your Sign-Up Box Visible: Place it somewhere easy to spot.
  • Create a Simple Opt-In Offer: Offer something that solves a problem your audience has.
  • Add Multiple Opt-In Options: If your email service provider allows it, use more than one opt-in for a personalized touch.


These steps will help make it easier for people to subscribe to your emails and connect with your brand.

8. Forgetting To Keep It Simple

Remember, an email isn’t a blog post or a sales page. You want your content to be engaging enough that it encourages customers to read more or take action when they can.

With lots of people checking emails on their phones, a long and complicated email is likely to get deleted.

Here’s a simple fix:

  • Keep it Short and Sweet: Use short sentences and paragraphs.
  • Limit Images: Don’t overload your email with too many pictures.
  • Self-Check: Ask yourself, “Would I feel overwhelmed if I received this email?”


By making these changes, your emails will be more reader-friendly, especially for those checking on mobile devices.

9. Forgetting About Email Confirmation (Bye, Bots)

Using a double opt-in for your emails is super important, yet it’s still a common mistake in email marketing. Double opt-in is easy to set up and it’s a game-changer.

Why is it so great? It helps keep spammers away and ensures your email list is filled with real people who are interested in your products or services.

Here’s something interesting: a study comparing double and single opt-ins found that double opt-in users saw a 75.6% increase in email opens and a 114% boost in click rates.

To get started, just check with your Email Service Provider (ESP) and set up a double opt-in for new subscribers. It’s a small step that can make a big difference.

10. Focusing On the Number of Subscribers Instead of the Quality

Having lots of subscribers is great, but it’s not very useful if they’re not opening your emails. This can lead to your emails landing in the spam folder, even for those who do want to read them.

Here’s a quick fix:

  • Regularly clean up your subscriber list. This helps maintain a list of people who are interested in what you’re sending.
  • Consider using double opt-ins to keep your list clean from the start.
  • Remove any bounced emails or people who haven’t engaged with your content recently.
  • Focus on specific people rather than generic email addresses like marketing@business.com.


This way, your emails are more likely to be opened and read by an engaged audience.

11. Missing the Welcome Email or Sequence

Sending a welcome email, or even a series of them, is a fantastic idea, but it’s often overlooked. Without this, new subscribers might forget who you are and what you offer. They won’t know when or what to expect from you, increasing the chance they’ll unsubscribe.

Here’s an easy fix: Create an email or a series of emails that automatically send out as soon as someone subscribes or opts into your list. In your welcome email, introduce yourself and explain what readers can expect from your content. This early interaction sets the stage for a good relationship. It’s really that simple and effective!

12. Aiming for a Large List Before Getting To Work

In marketing, people often focus too much on having a large number of subscribers. Some even wait until they have over 10,000 subscribers before sending their first email. But really, the size of your list isn’t what matters. Even if you have just 2 subscribers who truly care about your content, you could get better results than from a list of 20,000 people who aren’t interested in what you offer.

A common mistake in email marketing is waiting to feel “ready” rather than just starting. The moment you have even one subscriber, begin sending content. You never know who might share your emails with friends or potential new customers!

The solution is simple: Just start! There’s no perfect number of subscribers to wait for. Your ideal subscriber is someone genuinely interested in your content and likely to make a purchase. The total number of subscribers doesn’t dictate the success of your email marketing.

13. Not Keeping Your Eyes Out for What Other Email Marketers Are Doing

Just like reading more can help you become a better writer, checking out other newsletters can give you ideas to improve your own. Seeing what works (and what doesn’t) from your point of view can be enlightening.

Here’s a simple tip: Subscribe to a few email newsletters that are similar to what your brand offers. If you find yourself unsubscribing from some, think about why you did that. On the other hand, if you like certain newsletters, try to figure out what makes them appealing. This can give you great insights into what makes an email newsletter effective and engaging.

14. Skimping On Subject Lines

Even if you avoid other email marketing mistakes, don’t overlook the importance of a great subject line. As HubSpot suggests, the best subject lines spark curiosity, mention deals, or feel personal. Remember, your email’s content won’t matter if it’s not opened, so put some thought into those subject lines.

Quick tips to improve:

  • Consider Hiring a Writer: A professional copywriter with email marketing expertise can make a difference.
  • Learn from What You Like: Keep track of subject lines from other emails that catch your eye. If they worked on you, they might work for your audience too!


By focusing on crafting engaging subject lines, you’ll likely see more of your emails being opened.

15. Failing To Perform Split Testing

Split tests, or A/B tests, let you compare two versions of the same email to see which one works better. This helps improve your email effectiveness over time.

Here’s a quick fix: Use an Email Service Provider (ESP) with split testing features. It sends one version of your email to part of your audience and another version to a different group. Then, the more successful version gets sent to everyone else. You can also do this manually, choosing the best version based on the metrics you care most about.

Split testing is a great tool to fine-tune your emails for better results!

16. Forgetting To Subscribe To Yourself

Sending an email with mistakes can lead to lots of complaints, and since you can’t un-send an email, it’s important to catch errors early.

To prevent this, send test emails to yourself first. This lets you find and fix typos, and broken links, and see how your email looks on different devices. It also shows you where the email lands – in the primary, promotions, or spam folder.

So, always send a test email to yourself and your team for a quick proofread before sending it to everyone. This small step can make a big difference!

17. Focusing On Vanity, Not Value

Don’t be fooled by vanity metrics in email marketing, like subscriber numbers or open rates. They might make you feel good, but they don’t always lead to meaningful results like sales or opt-ins.

As Tim Ferris wisely puts it, “Vanity metrics: good for feeling awesome, bad for action.”

Vanity metrics can include things like the number of subscribers, followers, or website views. While high numbers may boost your ego, they may not translate into actual sales or content sharing that drives your bottom line.

The solution? Define your goals and focus on the key metrics that truly help you achieve those goals. Don’t ignore vanity metrics completely, but prioritize the ones that make a real impact.

18. Skipping the CTA

Always include a clear and concise call to action (CTA) in your marketing emails. This helps your subscribers take action. Don’t get distracted by vanity metrics like subscriber numbers; focus on meaningful results like sales. Check if your CTA is crystal clear in every email and simplify it further if needed.

19. Failing To Find the Right Image-to-Text Balance

Balancing images in your email is important. Too many images can cause loading issues, while too few make it text-heavy and hard to read. Some people disable images in emails, so too many images can lead to a lack of context. Also, overloading with images might land your email in the spam folder.

Solution: Include one or two high-quality, relevant images per email, avoiding excessive use.

20. Forgetting That Subscribers Should Be Able To Reply If They Want

Many businesses use ‘no-reply’ emails, but allowing responses is a smart move. When subscribers can reply to your emails, it signals to email providers that you belong in the primary inbox. This leads to better open, read, and clickthrough rates and helps build a closer relationship with your subscribers.

To fix it: Make it clear in your call to action (CTA) that you welcome responses. Ask a question and encourage them to reply. Don’t forget to enable replies in the first place!

21. Not Focusing on a Paid Media-Driven Listening Strategy

You’ve probably come across this: “Get our new ebook by subscribing to our email list!” Creating great ebooks or industry studies is a smart investment because they work!

These downloadable assets help you collect valuable first-party data at a low cost (under $5 per email). This data can be used for targeted advertising and email campaigns, among other things.

To fix it: Start working on your downloadable asset, whether it’s an ebook, industry study, or something else that showcases your expertise and interests your audience.

22. Invest in an Updated Landing Page

Another common email marketing mistake is directing traffic to an outdated landing page. It doesn’t make sense to bring in all this traffic if the page isn’t convincing visitors to take action.

How to fix it: Check your landing page’s performance on Google Analytics. If the conversion rate is less than 1%, it’s time for a makeover. Improve the text, update images, and refresh the design to make it more appealing and increase the number of people who follow your sales process.


Don’t just recognize email marketing mistakes; learn how to fix them for better results. At Optamark Digital, we know that successful email marketing means more than just avoiding errors—it’s about using the right strategies.

Find out if you’re making any of these 22 common email marketing mistakes and take steps to correct them. With our expert team at Optamark Digital, you can adapt and improve your email marketing strategy to stay ahead in the ever-changing world of marketing.


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Optamark Graphics
Optamark Graphics
Optamark Graphics
Optamark is an outsourced service provider to a network of experienced, independent distributors of printing and promotional products. The Company’s services include product sourcing and order fulfillment via access to a network of preferred vendors, invoicing, collections, back office support, sales and marketing support, professional development training, and working capital support.