5 Killer Email Marketing Mistakes to Avoid
Are You Doing It Wrong?
According to Marketo, 94% of people say they get online to check email. It’s the #1 activity on mobile devices, and office workers spend nearly 2.6 hours a day reading and answering emails. Long story short: You should be doing email marketing, and you should be doing it effectively.
Email marketing can be effective (providing about $43 ROI per dollar spent, according to the Direct Marketing Association), but only if your message gets out of the junk box and in front of your recipients’ eyes.
Is your company getting the best bang for your email marketing buck, or are you banging your brand’s emails against a brick wall?
Here, we share five common mistakes that can hurt your email conversions—and how to get your back in the game.
Mistake 1: Skimping on Images
We process images 60,000 times faster than text, so leading your email with strong images is vital. Use photos strategically to drive the eye down toward your content and call-to-action.
Remember to include images of people, too. Our brains are wired to connect with other people, especially their eyes. We gauge their expressions. Whether you go the stock photo route or hire a professional photographer, a photo of a happy person will ignite a happy view of your brand.
Mistake 2: Unclear Call to Action
If you’re going to have a call to action—and you should!—then have a single call to action. Too many offers and directions to click here or click there are confusing.
Instead, consider using a single call-to-action button that’s prominently displayed on the page. Buttons break up your content, perform stronger than text links, and give your recipient a clear direction of what they should do next. The simpler the better (“Click Here” or “Learn More,” for example).
Mistake 3: Questionable Color Choices
Did you know that 90% of all product assessments have to do with color? Color affects our attitudes and emotions, and you should use it to your advantage in your email design.
For example, blue instills a sense of trust or calming. It cultivates trust, peace, and order. Yellow is a color of warning, and white space creates a sense of freedom, spaciousness, and breathability. Consider color psychology before designing your email.
Mistake 4: Ignoring Responsive Design
Sixty-five percent of all emails are opened first on a mobile device—good news for marketers, bad news if you skipped on responsive design. Your emails should be mobile-first, designed to be concise, digestible, and easily viewed on smaller screens.
Responsive web design allows the email to change in layout and content based on screen size. It’s a simple technique that results in awesome open and click-through rates.
Mistake 5: Poor Deliverability
Even the best email will fail if your message doesn’t reach your recipient. Inadequate permissions, spammy content, legal violations, and unappealing or irrelevant content give your email a one-way ticket to the spam folder.
Break through the noise by proofing your content beforehand, avoiding spam trigger words like “free” and “offer”, and sending solicited, meaningful content that your recipients want to read.
When done right, your emails can easily reach your customers with smartly designed, personalized campaigns that inform, increase sales and visibility, and grow your business.
* Note: This article was originally written in 2015 and has been updated in 2018.