3 Common mistakes in Email Marketing and their Solutions

When you’re communicating by email, you may have a slight advantage as there’s less visual clutter in most people’s email interfaces than on many websites, but you’ll still need to compete with dozens, perhaps hundreds, of other emails for attention.

Here are five quick tips to help you get your email content right:

  • Spend time crafting your subject line, just as you’d carefully craft the headline for a sales page or the title for a blog post.

  • Get the frequency of emails right. For many industries, daily is too much—your readers will feel inundated, and may quickly unsubscribe. On the other hand, once every three months is usually too little—people will forget who you are and may trash your email or even mark it as spam, having forgotten they ever signed up for your list.

  • Make your content truly worth reading. Ask yourself, “Would I open this email?” You might want to think about the questions or problems that your readers are likely to have and create content to address those.

  • Don’t go over the top with design. Some marketers prefer to use plain text; others use flashy templates. While a bit of formatting helps make your emails attractive and readable, don’t make the whole thing rely on images—these won’t necessarily render correctly (or at all!) in everyone’s email clients.

  • Create compelling subject lines. The biggest challenge you face is often simply getting your email opened. Some marketers will go to almost any lengths to entice clicks (I'm sure you've had your share of dodgy emails telling you that you've won something), but unless you want a lot of spam complaints and unsubscribes, it's best to craft subject lines that clearly reflect your email's content. On the flip side, a very bland, boring subject line will often mean your email gets ignored.

A mix of Images and text, in a balanced, mobile friendly layout.

A mix of Images and text, in a balanced, mobile friendly layout.

If you’re new to email lists, it’s easy to make mistakes. The following are some very common and understandable ones, but they can lose you a lot of subscribers—and money.

Mistake #1: Emailing irregularly. You may start your email list with great intentions, planning to send a weekly tip plus a longer monthly newsletter, but if months slip by without emails—only to be followed by a flurry of messages when you suddenly carve out some time—you’ll be confusing and quite possibly annoying your subscribers.

Solution: Work out a mailing schedule and stick to it. Weekly, every other week, or monthly can all work well. If you decide to increase or decrease the number of messages, do so gradually (don’t suddenly jump from emailing weekly to emailing daily).

Mistake #2: Getting upset by unsubscribers. Every time you send out an email to a list, some of your readers will unsubscribe. While this is understandably disconcerting, you don’t need to panic that you’re doing something wrong. The fact is, some people will inevitably be clearing out their inboxes and reducing their subscriptions—it’s nothing personal.

Solution: Look on the bright side: If someone unsubscribes, they were probably never going to buy from you in the first place—and now you’re no longer paying to have them on your email list!

Mistake #3: Never testing emails. Your email service provider should allow you to split-test emails by segmenting your list and sending out slightly different versions—perhaps using different subject lines, or with and without personalization. If you never do any tests, you’ll never know if a small tweak could’ve resulted in a much more effective email.

Solution: It’s an especially good idea to test emails that go out repeatedly, rather than as a one-off broadcast—e.g., if you have an autoresponder series that begins whenever someone signs up for your newsletter. Any promotional emails are also great ones to test, as a small increase in open rate or CTR (click-through rate) can have a significant impact on your profit.

Original post by Mitch Meyerson for Entrepreneur.com -