Tim Stevens
Wednesday, August 10, 2022

The Most Common Mistakes Made in Email Marketing Campaigns

In a recent blog we looked at how to improve your email marketing results, and now we’re going to help you understand the mistakes that you need to avoid to make your email marketing campaigns successful.

Email marketing remains a powerful marketing tool to have at your disposal, especially if you’ve defined your target audience in detail and got access to the right data to reach the right people.

most common email marketing mistakes

It’s important not to do all the hard work and then fall at the final hurdle by making avoidable errors. Here are the main mistakes we see businesses make and what you need to do to avoid doing the same.


A) Lack of strategy

The emails you send are only part of your entire email marketing campaign. Before you rush to hit send you need to consider the wider approach to give your campaign maximum impact.

From the outset you need to establish what your campaign is to achieve. Is it X number of clients, X number of product sales, brand awareness, lead generation or something else?

Identify your target audience. Detail is key. You need to know the key facts about your buyer persona (target audience) and where they are.

Ensure you continue to research your competitors and the competing offers that they’re promoting.

Create your key messaging. Focus each campaign on one key thing – an offer, a message, a service. Don’t complicate your messaging and dilute your campaign’s impact by focusing on too many things.

Pay attention to your customer journey. Consider your buyer personas and determine how would they prefer to communicate with you?

Plan and prepare your follow-up messaging, other media to complement the email, such as telemarketing, social media, or direct mail. You need to get your data or your existing email list and define individual audiences within it.

Ensure you have compliant, legal, and effective data.

Test to find out what works and what doesn't. Then refine and adjust based on the results.

Make sure you follow up in a timely way. And don't quit on a lead too soon. Sometimes you may need to follow up with a prospect 8-10 times before they commit to a purchase depending on your product/service and sales cycle.

B) Lack of segmentation

Once you’ve defined your individual audiences, the more niche the better, you need to segment your data and craft a different email to each group to create maximum appeal. Address the pain points of each segment and detail how your business can solve them.

C) Lazy subject lines

A small but critical component to any email marketing campaign is your subject line. That’s what persuades people to open your email in the first place, don’t neglect it. Be creative, be to the point, create that intrigue to make people want to know more.

D) Missing personalisation

Write your email to one specific person, not a group. Talk directly to them – your previously defined buyer persona – it will give your message more impact.

Take this a step further too by using your email marketing software to personalise each email to each recipient. ‘Hi Sarah’ will have a lot more impact than ‘dear customer’ for example. Ask us if you want any help with this.

E) Unclear call to action

Your email should focus on one clear message rather than lots of individual offers or information. It should also have a clear-cut call to action telling the reader what you want them to do next. Click through to your site, call you, sign up etc.

Just like your subject line, this can make the difference between a successful campaign and a failed one.

F) Emails written in the wrong language

This may sound obvious, but we often see customers sending emails written in the wrong language. Avoid sending emails in English to non-English speaking countries in Europe, such as Germany, France, and Spain. People are far less likely to read something that is not in their language.

At i-4business we provide a language field for all our data contacts so that you know the correct language to use for all recipients, you can then segment accordingly. Make sure your data provider can give you access to this information.

G) Lack of testing

You need to test each aspect of your campaign. The creative – the content, messaging and media, and the way you deliver your email – plain text email vs html.

Testing shows you what works so you can keep adjusting and focusing on what works best.

H) Not considering video

Consider using video as part of the media within your email, it can have a great impact for some companies. Again, test this against other methods and see what works for you.

I) Ending up in spam

Sending too many emails to the same company can lead to the recipient’s email software flagging you as spam or blacklisting you.

As part of your strategy behind the campaign, consider and define how often you will send emails to each of your data segments. You need to strike a balance between following up and providing regular, useful information and downright spamming, which your audience members won’t like just as much as the software doing the blocking.

J) Insufficient consideration of consumer behavour/technology

Another important and final point is understanding consumer behaviour in terms of technology.

Up to 70% of your readers could be using a mobile device, so you need to make sure they can read your emails on phones and tablets as well as on a desktop, otherwise you risk losing a significant portion of your audience.

Can we help?

We hope this post provides a helpful introduction to some of the common errors which can occur in email marketing campaigns. If you'd like to learn more then our recent live webinar may be of interest which you can watch on demand here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUXIYiFsZxc

Topics covered include:

• Optimising subject lines
• Email Personalisation Advice
• Segmentation Tips
• Clarity of Call to Action

Or we also have a selection of helpful email marketing guides which you can download below.

Alternatively, feel free to ask us any questions you have about email marketing or of course, our data services. Contact our expert team today on 01252 367400.

Download our Email Marketing Guides

Best Practice: Email Marketing Campaigns

Email Marketing Best Practise Guide

A more in-depth best practice guide where we look at the powerful combination of data and email marketing and how to use them in tandem to generate game-changing results from your marketing campaigns.

At a Glance: Top Tips for Email Marketing

Email Marketing Tips

Filled with useful advice in an easy to digest format this 'at a glance' Best Practice Guide to Email Marketing provides the ideal quick reference source to ensure the best results from your email marketing campaigns.

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