The Three Most Common Email Marketing Mistakes

by Victor Green
3 mins read

If we could go back in time in order to advise our younger email marketing selves on how to avoid the inevitable career mistakes they would make, we would not hesitate before jumping on that opportunity. The fact is that any virtual marketer with some experience under their belt has acquired plenty of their job skills by learning from their errors. These days, you might consider yourself to be a master of email. While you’re most likely several leaps further into the field than you were when you first started, it’s important to note that there is always room for improvement. People don’t realize that they’re making mistakes as it’s happening — the awareness of our errors is something we only acquire in retrospect. That said, even after all of the marketing hours you have accumulated, you may still be making key blunders in your work that you wouldn’t even notice until someone pointed it out. For the sake of damage control, we’ll list the four most common mistakes that email marketers make. If you find yourself doing any of these, our advice is to promptly try something different.

Sending Emails too Frequently

Less is not necessarily more, but the un-researched over-sending of emails will in all likelihood results in diminishing returns. “Choosing the best frequency for sending emails is challenging since we are looking to maximize response, but avoid ‘over-mailing’ which can lead to unacceptable levels of unsubscribes and an increase in inactivity” writes Dave Chaffey of Smart Insights. “Even if they don’t unsubscribe they will become “emotionally unsubscribed”. Worse still, with over mailing, the business may have delivery problems and messages aren’t getting through to the inbox at all.”

Unsolicited Messages

No email marketer wants to be labelled as a spammer. However, it is inevitable that if you carry out your business in the wrong way, your potential consumers will categorize you unfavorably. Sending a commercially-related email to consumers who have not opted in to subscribe to receive those emails is spam. The sender’s awareness (or lack thereof) of their emails being sent is spam does not change how consumers will view the message. Shortcuts, in this instance, do not provide worthwhile rewards. According to Nellie Akalp of Forbes: “If recipients haven’t explicitly requested to be on your list through an online signup form or other authorization process, don’t send them your email marketing campaign content without clearly disclosing your message is an advertisement. The law provides flexibility in how you do it, so you don’t have to directly mention it in the subject line.”

Mismanaging Unsubscribes

2 clicks is all it should take for your customers to unsubscribe. They should not have to receive a confirmation message or enter their email address or password. Akalp writes, “Your opt-out mechanism must be capable of processing opt-out requests from an email message for a minimum of 30 days after you’ve sent the message. The law requires that you honor a recipient’s opt-out request within 10 business days.” The only outcome that you will observe from making it hard for message recipients to unsubscribe will be a consensus of complaints and the flagging of your messages as spam. You will be blocked as a sender, and if you choose to continue carrying out your marketing in this way, the effect will snowball to the point where your reputation will be at serious risk. Accept the fact that your subscribers may eventually wish to unsubscribe, and make that task easier for them. Your career will benefit in the long run.

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