Businesses have been using email to market their products and services for over ten years now. That’s long enough to identify significant improvements to their campaigns and implement ideas and best practices employed by other marketers.
But even though marketers have had a long time to improve their messaging, many marketers continue to re-deploy tired campaigns and settle for the status quo. And many marketers continue to make the exact same strategic, copywriting, design, and programming mistakes they’ve been making for years.
It’s time to put an end to these worn-out strategies, some of which are simply the opposite of industry best practices. Now is the time to become a better marketer. And that starts with planning and implementing a proper email marketing strategy.
Stop making these 10 email marketing strategic mistakes.
1. Not Having A Goal
What is the purpose of your campaign? Is it obvious to the recipient what you want them to do after reading your email? If you don’t know what the goal or objective is for your campaign, then your recipient won’t know either.
2. Continuing to Batch-and-Blast
If you have data on your recipients, previous campaign history, and a number of online transactions, why aren’t you using that data to your advantage? Prepare more relevant messaging by using dynamic content, personalization, and segmentation.
3. Not Providing Value To The Recipient
Recipients must find value in your messages or they’ll ignore or delete them. If an email doesn’t save time, save money, educate, or provide some other form of value, then it’s of no use to the recipient. They’ll unsubscribe, or even worse, remain on your list without even opening your emails.
4. Not Having A Clear Call To Action
You’re sending the email for a reason. Don’t make recipients guess what it is. Provide a clear, concise call to action and place it in prominently. It should stand out from the rest of the message and be obvious to the recipient how to take the next step.
5. Ignoring Reporting/Analytics
Your campaign reporting provides a lot of valuable data. How are you using that information to your advantage? Are you learning from every campaign and trying to improve your results?
6. Not Tracking Conversions
The goal for many campaigns takes place after a click through to a web site. An opt-in, a download, a registration, or a purchase are typical goals for a campaign. Marketers need to make sure they can track actions from the email to the web, to know how their email resulted in conversions.
7. Expecting Immediate Return
Like many other forms of advertising and marketing, repetition and relevance is key to generating success. Many marketing goals must be earned. And they are usually achieved over a significant length of time by nurturing recipients over multiple campaign cycles. Remember, low response rates on your first campaign does not mean failure. You’re building recognition and trust over time.
8. Not Providing Contact Information
If a recipient wants to reach out and connect, either via email or some other channel, make sure you provide them with a way to do so. Include links to your web site and social channels, your phone number, or alternate email addresses. And don’t send your email from a ‘donotreply’ address. Communication is a two-way street.
9. Not Understanding Your Audience
Many say the #1 rule of marketing is “Know Your Audience.” If you don’t know what they want, how will you know what they need? Use your reporting, analytics, and conversion metrics to understand what matters to your recipients. Constantly refine and test to make sure you know what moves them to action.
10. Ignoring New Trends
Marketing tactics change over time. If you ignore the latest trends, your campaigns will suffer. Are you ignoring social sharing on the rising social channels such as LinkedIn and Pinterest? Are you making your emails mobile-friendly? Have you thought about using responsive design? Don’t ignore the latest trends — get in early and use them to position your campaigns ahead of your competition.
What other strategic mistakes do you see marketers making in their email campaigns?
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