12 Mistakes to Avoid in Email Marketing in 2022 [updated]

July 13, 2019
12 mistakes to avoid in email marketing

Email marketing is one the most important tools for any marketing campaign now days. While it’s not the only one, it is certainly at the top of online marketing. A good email marketing campaign will provide more visibility to your business and its services. Reaching a better and wider audience has never been easier.

Small startups and web-based services and businesses will find that email marketing can be a cost saving and effective solution. From advertising your services to actually handling sales and more, there’s a lot to do with email marketing.

For those thinking about an email marketing campaign, or already running one, it’s advised to stay clear from the most common mistakes presented here. One way to ensure a successful email marketing campaign is to know what not to do. Efficiency and effectiveness are of key importance when evaluating the performance of a campaign. Mistakes are commonly about being over the top with some features of campaign, or likely, below the mark with the objectives. The main objective is to find a critical balance.

So, in order to help you out with your campaign, we have curated a list of the 12 most crucial mistakes to avoid in your email marketing campaign. Save yourself the trouble of learning via experience and learn from ours.

With today’s audience being as demanding as it is there are a lot of mistakes to avoid. However, the biggest one regarding email marketing is not relying in an email marketing client. With a software such as this you can say goodbye to manually sending emails, just let the boring work be automatized. You can concentrate in analyzing the metrics automatically generated by the client and creating different email templates along with researching new topics.

While this one isn’t in the actual list, remember to avoid it. Without further ado we leave you with our list of the 12 email marketing mistakes to avoid.

1) Getting leads the wrong way.

If there’s anything crucial for an email marketing campaign is a good email address list. This goes without saying of course.

Sending emails to random addresses is a good way to jeopardize the performance of your email campaign. Do make sure to compile a list addresses of interested people, this will accomplish what the campaign intents and will let you stay clear from anyone’s spam folder. Regardless of what you might have heard somewhere, do not buy lists of email addresses from anyone on the internet. Just don’t, this is the best way to deliver emails straight to someone’s spam folder.

Not to mention the fact that nearly every list offered will be a scam and using one you put your campaign in risk. Aside from this your email marketing client could ban you to prevent their reputation being damaged.

Use lead generation plugins, not only this is better and far safer, but will let you avoid bounces. OptinMonster is a good service to obtain leads. While there might be a lot of these services in the market, be sure to use only the best to generate your contact list. Other option to verify any list you might already have is to use VerifyBee as a way to verify any email address.

2) Not Prioritizing Quality.

Do make sure to send emails that meet high standards for the quality of the content and presentation. Sending mediocre or inaccurate information will not help your campaign in any way.

In order to get the best quality for your emails, you should start by optimizing your emails and how they’re written. Make sure that the email and content isn’t too short or too long, use a couple images and put in useful information. Keep it simple and organic, avoid overloading an email with lots of pictures and fonts.

One of the worst things for an email marketing campaign is a low-effort email. This not only says that you didn’t put time in the content but also generates a bad reputation for you. Sometimes you can slip up and send a low standard email, just make sure that it doesn’t turn into a habit. Otherwise, there’s always the spam folder and your recipients know it. Make sure to deliver only the best quality content in order to keep growing your email list and the engagement of your subscribers.

3) Forgetting the people.

Every email you send is sent to a person, sure a machine delivers it, and another receives it, but your audience is the people. Do make sure to prioritize the person reading the email, keep them engaged and interested in what you have to offer. A well-known method to do this is to send emails cater to each person needs and desires.

This of course means personalizing your emails. This will likely only improve your email marketing campaign’s performance. In addition to this, take advantage to the extra engagement and include an opt-in feature to your emails. This will allow you to get customers for one of your services faster and in an efficient way. With their subscription there’s also more information available about them. Where they live, what they do for a living, age, gender and more are just a few relevant examples.

Personalizing emails is considered engaging and attentive. Be yourself whenever you personalize an email. After all being you is likely the only thing only you can offer to your subscribers, that’s the one thing no one else in the world has, so take advantage of it. Be funny, clear and polite, this is the best way to maximize engagement from your recipients.

4) Misusing the subject line and sender field.

One of the best ways to increase the engagement of your recipients is to actually use their names in the subject line. A good email marketing client should come with a feature to add a tag that utilizes your contact’s name in the subject line. Aside from increasing engagement you’ll also experience a boost in opening rates.

Consider using FOMO subject lines, subject lines based on curiosity and much more to increase your opening rates. There are a lot of ways to play with the subject line that will let you use this space properly.

A critical point that reflects your grade of commitment is the “From” field. Make sure to stay clear from anything that says “no-reply” in that field. Ideally what you want to put there is your own name, a brand logo or maybe both. By providing your name or that of your brand you will come across as being confident in what you offer.

5) Segmenting, or rather the lack of it.

Not segmenting a long list of email addresses is a mistake often committed because of a lack of experience. Segmenting means grouping the contacts on your list based on different criteria. For instance, you can segment an email list based on topics of interest, geolocation, age, profession and more.

Segmenting a list will drastically improve efficiency and opening rates. This ensures that every contact get the information they’re interested in and lowers the risk of any email being reported as spam. Stay relevant and give your recipients only the information they want.

6) Not retargeting.

In essence this is a way to further segment a mailing list and improve efficiency. Usually overlooked or just forgot by most email marketers, this can prove to be a problem for your email market campaign.

Retargeting refers to reaching out to former clients or subscribers in order to know if they’re interested in your brand again. Especially useful after changes and improvements, this will let you rescue former subscriber that left based on a mistake. Retargeting is very usual in internet advertising, but it can be expanded to cover email marketing.

Simply track the content and pages that your subscribers are searching and target those pages with advertising on new features or improvements made to your service. Make sure that every advertise is relevant to the topic they’re searching for, otherwise is just a waste of effort. Retargeting can be done automatically and if done correctly will get you good results at the end.

Another way to do this is to take into consideration which emails they open from your part. Based on what links and emails they open you can get valuable information about that person’s interest.

7) Spamming.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, but nevertheless. DO NOT SPAM. Ever. Spamming is not only a great way to harm your reputation but it will most certainly get your blocked more than a couple times.

Now days spamming is every where and just like that there are a lot of spam traps ready to take action. Avoid sending large number of emails to a single address in a short amount of time. Make sure to stay clear from any behavior that might be considered spamming as it could harm your campaign permanently.

8) Not having a schedule.

If sending too many emails in a short amount of time is bad, then so it is to send them at rather odd times. You should rely on a consistent and punctual schedule; this shows professionally and improves your opening rates.

The most relevant factor for this is that recipients know when to expect emails from you and are ready to read them. Being daily of weekly schedule, planning ahead is always better. This, of course, is the case if you deliver good and accurate content.

This might not seem like a big deal at first, however studies show that sending the right email at the right moment improve the performance of your email marketing campaign. Think of it yourself, if an email just happens to arrive right when you’re about to sleep, you won’t read it. The same applies for an email that is received in the middle of a morning rush.

Do your research on you target audience and make sure to segment the mailing list to send email to different groups at different times. For a general guide Tuesdays, Thursdays and Wednesdays are the best days to send emails from your campaign. Time can vary based on the geolocation of the recipient but you should try to aim for break hours and such.

In addition, you can get email marketing clients that automatically optimize your mailing list based on this. Take advantage of a good and consistent schedule to improve your campaign’s performance.

9) Ignoring mobile users.

Did you know that 70% of all internet traffic comes from mobile devices?

Not only that, but most email are opened using a mobile device. In this era of technology nearly everyone has a handy smartphone available. Based on this most of your subscriber will be using a mobile device to read your emails and visit your pages.

Take this into consideration and make sure that all your emails are correctly formatted to take this into consideration. Include character limits so that the display of your emails in a mobile device is always on point.

You can get a service to help you see how your emails render in a mobile device or any other platform. TestSubject by Zurb can be used for this purpose, it’s fast and easy to use.

When all your emails are properly optimized for mobile devices you’ll experience high subscriber satisfaction rates. This makes anyone reading your mails from such a device more engaged with your brand.

10) Sending without testing.

At the end of the day you want to use tactics you know work the best for you. Don’t send emails without testing them first. Testing them is a fast way to fix problems before they even happen. You can test you emails based on the mailing platforms used by your subscribers, Gmail, Outlook and Yahoo are at the top of the list. Make sure that all links work properly and that all images are on point, also check for grammatical mistakes and spalling issues.

Save yourself a lot of time by using a service to help you find problems in your emails. Make use of the well-known A/B testing process to test different formats and messages. Pick the one that suits you the best and do improve your campaign’s performance.

11) Not monitoring your metrics.

Keep both eyes on your metrics, a swift change in them can mean that something is up and needs your attention. Sure, is always good to know how many of your emails are delivered and opened by your subscribers. However, these are not the only metrics that matter. Statistics are key to your knowledge of the business and market. Get information on subscriptions, click through rates and bounces.

This will give you a clear view of your brands email marketing performance and publicity efforts. Analyzing these numbers provides good and necessary solutions to improve efficiency and more. Remember to always check them right after any changes are made to see how your public takes them.

Study your statistics and make sure to get the most out of them. A common mistake is to just ignore the numbers and go by feel. That is really not the smart move here, if you have information available you should use it.

12) Not cleaning your email list.

When running an email marketing campaign, you’ll find that some subscribers you have just seem to drop out of the map ever now and then. If you go by without cleaning your mailing list you’ll find more invalid addresses in your list that you’d like.

This is very common and will always keep happening. People just change emails or simply don’t use old ones anymore. Make sure to filter out any bad addresses in you mailing list over time.

Keeping an email marketing list filled with mostly bad addresses is a good way to have an unsuccessful campaign. Get a service to help you know which addresses are invalid or just defunct, one like Email Verify, Sign up. VerifyBeeis a great service that will let you filter out any invalid contact on your mailing list. Make sure to get the lowest possible bounce rate for your email marketing campaign, use Email Verify


From using the right fonts and format to getting the right metrics and cleaning your mailing list. All the typical mistakes presented here are critical and should be avoided at all cost. That is if you want your email marketing campaign to perform the best that it possibly could.

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