Nine Email Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Email marketing mistakes that destroy your newsletter mojo

Common email marketing mistakes can undermine your best work.

Anytime you do something to turn your readers off, anytime you fail to take full advantage of your readers’ enthusiasm, you’re setting up a roadblock against future growth.

Avoiding these common mistakes in email marketing will ensure your newsletters always position you as an expert in your field.

Here’s how.

Mistake #1: Failing To Send a Great Welcome Email

Email marketing mistakes that destroy your newsletter mojo

Imagine you just clicked “Subscribe” on a newsletter you’re really excited about. Your email pings, and you’re eager to get started with some engaging content. But then, upon opening it, the email simply reads, “This confirms your subscription to [newsletter]. Click here to unsubscribe.”

Feels disappointing, right? It is a common email marketing mistake to send a simple “confirmation” email. These emails are cold, boring, and could be considered a nuisance. Worst of all, they are a wasted opportunity.

As soon as somebody subscribes to your newsletter, you have a chance to make readers feel welcome and connected and to reinforce their decision to interact with you.

Your welcome email should immediately engage your new readers and introduce them to the community you’ve built. This is a powerful way to make them feel like they belong, and for them to begin to know, like, and trust you.

A welcome email is also a chance to overdeliver by directing new subscribers to extra content and downloads.

Mistake #2: Sending Readers Something Different Than They Expected

Email marketing mistakes that destroy your newsletter mojo

Everyone likes surprises, right?

Guess again. When your readers sign up for your email newsletter, they have specific expectations about what they will receive, when they’ll receive it, and who they’ll receive it from. Deviating from those expectations is confusing at best - alarming or disappointing at worst.

So, avoid unpleasant surprises in your email marketing.

If your landing page says that you send out a weekly email, but you send three times a week, your readers might get annoyed. Likewise, if they're expecting to hear from you every week and you only send an email once in a blue moon, you're going to lose subscribers.

You will also disappoint your readers if you don't send the kind of content they were expecting. If they signed up for tips on building their own furniture, and half your emails are stories about your dog, many of your subscribers will stop reading.

Bottom line - subscribers should get what they expect and expect what they're going to get.

Email Marketing Mistake #3: Failing to Track Your Campaigns

Email marketing mistakes that destroy your newsletter mojoEmail marketing mistakes that destroy your newsletter mojo

You’ve launched your email marketing campaign, and hundreds of people are subscribing each week.

But do you know how many of these subscribers are actually opening and reading your emails? Do you know which of your emails are getting the most opens and click-throughs?

If you don't know which messages are getting a high response which ones are nowhere opened and read, and which ones led to click-throughs and sales, it’s like playing your favorite podcast with the volume on mute.

This is one of those email marketing mistakes to avoid, especially since there are so many great tools available to track the actions and responses to your campaigns.

Here are some of the most important metrics you should be tracking.

Mistake #4: Treating All Readers as the Same

Email marketing mistakes that destroy your newsletter mojo

Imagine you subscribe to an Italian chef’s newsletter, and every week they send you a delicious recipe that’s easy to prepare using inexpensive ingredients that are readily available.

You’re happy with most of the content, except that one out of every three recipes is for a meat dish, and you’re a vegetarian. Wouldn’t you love it if they only sent you plant-based recipes?

These individual preferences are the norm when you have a large subscriber base. Even if your newsletter has a clearly defined audience (and it should), you’re going to have different readers who will prefer different kinds of content.

Newsletter services such as beehiiv offer you ways to segment your audience so that each recipient is getting the emails they're most likely to open, read, and respond to.

If you’re not segmenting your list and targeting each group of readers with a specific offer that’s tailored to their preferences, you’re making one of the most costly email marketing mistakes we’ve seen. You’re probably missing conversions and leaving money on the table.

Mistake #5: Using Weak Subject Lines

Email marketing mistakes that destroy your newsletter mojo

How enthusiastic would you feel about an email with the subject line, “Please read my new report”?

Maybe if the sender was your idol or your employer, you might jump on this. But if the sender didn’t have an impact on your life, you would probably save the “new report” for later, and forget all about it.

Making sure that subscribers actually read your newsletter is important.

The most important part of a high open rate is a subject line that grabs your reader’s interest and curiosity. If you don't have a strong subject line, your email is more likely to be passed over or even deleted.

Now suppose that “new report” had a subject line that read, “New report on using chocolate for rapid muscle gains.” If you like chocolate, you’re interested in fitness, and the sender has enough credibility, you’re probably going to open this email right away.

Use lines that invoke curiosity and self-interest. Promise your readers something good, so they want to open your email and receive the reward.

Mistake #6: Treating Email Marketing as if It Were a Numbers Game

Email marketing mistakes that destroy your newsletter mojo

Have you ever received an email with generic content that the sender could have pulled from a mediocre blog? This can happen when someone intends to send an ambitious number of emails and they run out of ideas for new content.

In fact, one of the top email marketing mistakes is to send out fluff in order to fill a “quota” you set for yourself.

If you think two emails a week is a good number, but you only have one good idea most weeks, then half your emails will be low quality and you’ll turn off a lot of your subscribers.

If it’s time for the next newsletter and you don't have something worth sending, consider a guest email from someone in your industry. Or, curate some content and have links to the other articles.

Never send bad content just to make the numbers add up.

Common Email Marketing Mistake #7: Bad Timing

Email marketing mistakes that destroy your newsletter mojo

If someone sends you an email at 3 a.m., are you likely to read it right away?

The time of day and the day of the week have a big impact on the pulling power of your email marketing campaign.

If you send your newsletter to a reader’s inbox right after lunch, it's going to compete with all the other messages that piled up while your reader was out. If you send your email message at 4:30 PM on a Friday, only a tiny percentage of your readers are going to look at it right away.

Email Marketing Mistake #8: Designing an Email Marketing Campaign That Is Not Responsive

Do you ever see newsletters that look wrong? Maybe the text is too small, or you have to scroll sideways because the content is too wide for the screen. The sender didn’t know about responsive design.

Responsive design means an email that changes its layout automatically to fit the screen on a phone, a tablet, a computer, or whatever device the reader is using.

Email marketing mistakes that destroy your newsletter mojo

Fortunately, most email service providers have responsive design built-in. Since most people read email on their phones, your newsletter won’t look right if you don't have a responsive design.

Some of your diehard fans might be willing to squint, zoom in, and find a way to make it work. But you'll lose a lot of other readers If you don't use responsive design.

This is a common email marketing mistake that’s easy to avoid in beehiiv, where you can preview your content beforehand for different devices, ensuring your gorgeous design is just as impactful on an iPhone or Android as it is on a PC.

#9 The Biggest of All Email Marketing Mistakes: Failing To Get Started

Email marketing mistakes that destroy your newsletter mojo

Okay, we've given you a lot to think about, and if you are new to creating an email marketing campaign, you may feel overwhelmed. This is actually a common email marketing mistake.

Feedback is one of the best ways to learn. High response will show you when you’re doing something right, and unsubscribes are the sign you messed up.

So, just get started. Put some content out there, get the feedback, and if something goes wrong you’ll fix it.

There are two things worth noting here. First, you are more resilient than you think you are. You will make mistakes, you’ll learn from them, and you’ll get back up and do better next time.

Second, seventy percent of success is just showing up. By showing up in your subscriber’s inbox on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, you are setting yourself up for success and standing out from thousands of would-be entrepreneurs who are suffering analysis paralysis.

One of the shortcuts for getting started is to use the many tools offered by beehiiv. The beehiiv platform includes responsive design, the ability to track readers, and many other features we talked about.

Avoid the common email marketing mistakes by starting a beehiiv campaign today.

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