As we’ve mentioned, email marketing  is a heavy hitter in every good marketer’s toolkit. However, perfecting your email marketing strategy can be tricky, and you might not even realize your email marketing mistakes.  Read more about the ten most common email mistakes and GROWL’s tips to fix them.   

1 Subject Lines 

Mistake: Creating subject lines that don’t convert 

Getting your audience to open your email is crucial to the success of your email marketing strategy. If the subject line isn’t compelling enough, your audience has no reason to open and keep reading. Subject lines that over-promise or use all caps may appear spammy, causing prospects to hit that delete button easily. 


Fix: Create strategic, compelling subject lines 

A good email subject line is short and sweet at approximately 41 characters. The subject line should be specific about the topic of the email and highlight the value being offered. The best subject lines incorporate the following:  

Urgency - Example: Last chance! Complete your order today.  

Personalization - Example: Hey <First Name>, your opinion is important to us.  

Curiosity - Example: You won’t believe what we’re doing next... 

Offers - Example: [eBook] Your Guide to Email Success Is Here!

Experiment with different formatting by incorporating emojis, testing sentence case versus title case, and utilizing brackets to call out specific offers and information. Conduct an A/B test and see what your audience responds best to!


2 Lead Magnets 

Mistake: Not providing value 

One of the most common email marketing mistakes is assuming your audience will subscribe without something in return. Asking your audience to join your email list without an incentive leads to fewer prospects. 


Fix: Incorporating lead magnets  

Add value to your email campaign by offering a relevant, free offer. Some lead magnets to consider include:  

  • Infographic
  • Checklist 
  • Template  
  • Guide  

Choose a lead magnet relevant to your target audience and the problem they are trying to solve. By incorporating lead magnets that add value to your email marketing strategy, you can begin positioning yourself as a trusted expert and resource for your audience.  


3 Replies 

Mistake: Having no way for a customer to respond 

Getting a marketing email from a do-not-reply email address is the quickest way to turn away your audience. These reply-to addresses feel impersonal and effectively make the conversation seem one-sided. While using this reply-to address may be optimal for organizational purposes, it’s a missed opportunity for engagement.  


Fix: Provide contact information  

Provide recipients with a way to get in touch. Designate a specific email address that a team member monitors to use as the reply-to address. This invites your audience to continue the conversation and makes your organization feel more trustworthy.  

If you can’t keep up with email replies, consider adding a section to the bottom of each email that provides detailed contact information and directs prospects to a landing page where they can request further information.  


4 Preview Text 

Mistake: Failing to Utilize Previews  

If your email is like a news story, then the message preview is the lead. As many as 24% of customers look at the preview text when deciding to open an email. Not utilizing your preview text may cause prospects to look over your email entirely. 


Fix: Customize Preview Text  

Preview text is an excellent opportunity to include secondary messaging to complement your subject line. Making sure the two work together is key. Here are some other quick tips to craft compelling email previews:  

  • Keep it short and sweet  
  • Add a CTA  
  • Offer an incentive  
  • Utilize personalization  


5 Language 

Mistake: Relying too heavily on sales language 

Your prospects are smart. You may not see any conversion if you stuff your email with aggressive sales language without providing much value. Being overly positive, relying on FOMO, or talking too much about savings will turn prospects off your content.  


Fix: Make the email about the customer 

Emphasize customer ownership. Instead of simply offering $25 in credit, try “you have $25 in credit expiring tomorrow! How will you use it?” Follow the 80/20 rule; 80% of your content should be informative or entertaining, and 20% is sales-related. 


6 Personalization 

Mistake: Overusing or underusing personalization  

A personalized email subject line can increase open rates by as much as 50%. On the other hand, over-personalizing emails with un-vetted or user-generated data may turn the customer off your content.  


Fix: Use personalization strategically  

Strategically test first name and full name personalization in your subject lines or body copy. Be sure to analyze your data and adjust your personalization to your audience. Auditing your data thoroughly will make sure you have the correct data to avoid misidentifying your customers. 


7 Subscriber Lists 

Mistake: Lack of list segmentation 

Different segments of your clients may respond differently to your messaging, so treating each segment the same may cost you valuable engagement opportunities.  


Fix: Strategically segment your email list 

Segment your email lists by buyer personas or where they’re at within the buyer’s journey. Segmentation allows you to target your customers more efficiently with a subject line, CTA, and appealing content offerings tailored to them.  


8 Call to Action  

Mistake: Making your CTA unclear or confusing 

We don’t have to tell you the importance of including a call to action (CTA) in your content. If your CTA is confusing or unclear, your audience has to figure out for themselves what you want them to do, leading to less engagement.  


Fix: Create content with a clear CTA in mind 

Before you even begin composing your email, decide what you want your CTA to be. Ask yourself what action you want your readers to take? Do you want them to learn about an upcoming launch? Read your latest blog post? Download your latest asset? Or simply buy now? 

Whatever you decide, focus the entirety of your email on guiding your readers to take that action.  


9 Platform Optimization  

Mistake: Forgetting your mobile users 

Up to 70% of readers will see your email on their mobile devices. Failing to optimize for mobile will cost you valuable engagement opportunities.  


Fix: Optimize for all platforms 

Make sure your layout looks clean and your text is easily readable on mobile devices. Services such as Litmus allow you to beta test your emails, ensuring the highest quality for your mobile users.  


10 Data 

Mistake: Ignoring data 

If you’re not analyzing your data, how will you learn which messages convert and which went to the trash?  


Fix: Utilize data analytics to inform your strategy  

With the goals of your campaign in mind, look at important data points such as open rate, click-through rate, and conversion rate. Most CRMs come with data analysis tools, allowing you to quickly and easily aggregate data and inform strategies for your next campaign. 

Ready to take your email marketing campaigns to the next level? Reach out to GROWL today

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