One of the best methods to carry out a marketing campaign in this digital era is to use the power of emails. That is not to say you should not conduct marketing campaigns via other avenues – if you want to get your company and services out there and reach a wide audience, you should conduct a holistic marketing campaign that takes into account multiple methods.

However, if you are a small startup or a primarily internet-based company, there is no denying that email marketing campaigns are one of the best ways you can market your company and services.

If you are conducting an email marketing campaign, there are several instances where you could make a critical error which would affect your campaign’s efficiency and effectiveness. Knowing what these mistakes are before you commit them allows you to deftly side-step them instead of stumbling into them and then learning from experience. Learning from experience is very good and all, but wouldn’t you rather avoid a mistake when you can avoid it?

In this article, we will look at 10 mistakes you can make that will make or break your entire email marketing campaign so that you can avoid them and achieve success faster.

Before we jump into the actual list, let us get this out of the way: the biggest mistake you can make in this matter of email marketing campaigns is not conducting them via an email marketing client. The days of having to manually send emails via Gmail or Outlook or Yahoo Mail or whatever is past. There are services that provide the facilities for you to automate your email marketing campaign, track the necessary metrics, manage your contacts and overall ease the process for you. If you aren’t using an email marketing client, you should start using one, stat.

That being said, let’s move onto the mistakes you can make in the process of conducting your email marketing campaign:

1) Getting Leads the Wrong Way

To conduct an email marketing campaign, you need a list of contacts to email.

We don’t need to tell you that sending unsolicited emails is a bad idea, but just in case you need to hear it, we will make it obvious: Do. Not. Send. Unsolicited. Emails. Some people attempt buying a list of email addresses from any one of the shady places in the interwebs that sells email addresses by the bulk. Do not buy email lists.

There are any number of reasons why buying email lists is a bad idea, but the main issues here, apart from the fact that you risk being banned by your email marketing client, is that you will spend a fair amount of money for very little return on investment. No one likes receiving emails from services or companies they didn’t subscribe to and will either not engage (hurting your deliverability score), block you (causing bounces) or in worst case scenarios, report you.

The way you should be gaining leads in by using lead generation plugins. There are many available, like OptinMonster, Thrive Leads or WP Optin Wheel. Use one of these to gather your leads and you can get a list of contacts who actually want to receive emails from you and doing that, improve your campaign as a whole.

2) Not Prioritising Quality

Providing excellent quality should be something you are targeting to do across every aspect of your business. As such, the emails you send out to your subscribers should also be of a certain standard.

A quality email should have a number of factors, including being well-optimized, not too long, not too short, having a few images (if needed) and provide value to your subscribers. Some people tend to use multiple fonts, overload the email with large images and use bold and italics formatting willy-nilly, all of which are big no-nos.

Not providing quality of a standard and resorting to low-effort emails will definitely hurt your campaign. Your subscribers will tolerate one low-effort email, maybe two. But at a certain point they will stop engaging with your campaign or unsubscribe. As the goal of your campaign should be to keep growing your list of subscribers and keep them engaged with your business, you should understand the value of sending a quality email and invest time and effort into making sure that the emails you send out are all well-crafted.

3) Forgetting the People

You need to realize that behind the screens, separated by the internet, there are actual people on the receiving end of your emails. You need to make sure you prioritise these people. Research has shown that people all over the world prefer to receive emails that cater to them.

Personalizing the emails you send can have a positive impact in your email marketing campaign’s success. Use the opting in step, where your customers sign up for your service to gather details like where they live, their age, job and etc so that you have a wide pool of data to choose from when you’re sending emails to them.

In addition to personalizing the emails you send, you should also consider being polite, kind and maybe adding a touch of humor to the emails you send. After all, people are people and they respond to politeness, kindness and smiling. You can boost your numbers considerably by interacting with them over emails like you might in-person.

4) Misusing the Subject Line and Sender Field

Speaking of personalizing emails, one of the best ways to do it is to address your subject in the subject line itself, like “John Smith – 50 Ways to Improve Your Business”. Your email marketing client should come with the ability to add a tag that automatically adds your contacts’ name into the subject line and by utilizing that, you stand to increase your open rates and engagement.

In addition to that, you should also consider using one of the several available methods to increase your open rates. There are techniques like FOMO subject lines, curiosity subject lines, sloth subject lines, direct subject lines and more, each of which use a different way to hook your subscribers’ attention.

You should also edit your sender field, aka the “From” field so that it displays either your given name or your brand name instead of something like “noreply”. People tend to ignore emails from unknown entities, and by prominently displaying who you are, you give your subscribers a reason to actually click and engage with your emails.

5) Segmenting, or the lack of it

Segmenting is something you should absolutely be doing and not doing it is a big mistake. MailChimp reports a 14.31% increase when email lists have been segmented.

So what is segmenting?

Email List Segmentation is the act of dividing your email list based on a few different categories like location, age, occupation and other key factors.

Segmenting your email list makes sending your subscribers content that is relevant to them a very easy task. Sending all of your emails to everyone on your email list is a terrible and lazy thing to do and it hurts your marketing campaign more than it helps, which is a critical issue you can avoid by segmenting your emails so that only content that is relevant and valuable to each subscriber is sent to them.

If you haven’t segmented your email list already, do it now.

6) Not Retargeting

In addition to segmentation of your email list, retargeting is another thing that a number of email marketers forget to do. In a manner of speaking, retargeting also allows you to further segment your email list.

What is retargeting, then?

Retargeting is the action of reaching back out to a target audience right after they have done a certain action that you tracked. It is something that is usually done in internet advertising.

The process is simple: You track the content and pages your subscriber is visiting and then target them with ads that are relevant to that specific subject. Let’s say for instance someone visits your website and reads up on a page that is about Swedish Chocolates, you can reasonably deduce that they are interested in Swedish Chocolates and as such, include them in a list that emails them for offers and other matters related to Swedish Chocolates. Retargeting can be done by an automated process, so it’s not hard, either.

You can also retarget by taking into account which emails they open – say you send 10 emails in a month about a variety of subjects, and they open the two that were about the health benefits of chocolate. You can take that data into account and send them emails that are specifically about the health benefits of chocolate or subjects that are tangentially related.

7) Spamming

This should not be something we have to spell out: Do not spam your subscribers.

Repeatedly sending your subscribers a large number of emails is not going to help your cause in any way at all. The fact of the matter is that bombarding your subscribers with emails is something that will contribute to your unsubscribe rates. In addition, spammy behaviour is easily detectable by specialized spam filters that have been created for the very purpose of weeding out spam emails and if you get caught in these traps, you will hurt your email marketing campaign in possibly a permanent manner.

Instead of spamming, have a schedule that you stick to.

8) Not Having a Schedule

Sending too many emails is bad. Sending emails at odd times without a consistent schedule is also bad. If you want success for your email marketing campaign, you need to create a schedule to follow and adhere to it religiously.

Having a consistent schedule provides many benefits, but key amongst them all is the fact that your subscribers know to expect an email from you on a certain day of the week and as such, it provides them with something to look forward to (as long as you provide quality content). This will increase their engagement with your brand and help your email marketing campaign perform better.

To have a schedule, it helps to know the best days and times in which to send out your emails. It might not seem like a big factor, but the truth is there have been studies with definitive results that outline the days and times which are best to send out emails.

You should do some reading up and research on this matter, but as a general guideline: Tuesdays, Thursdays and Wednesdays are the best days. For time, stick to morning hours like 6:00 AM, 10:00 AM or evening times like 12:00 PM, 2:00 PM and also the block of time from 8:00 PM to 12:00 AM.

Have a schedule that exploits these times and days for your advantage and you will see an increase in the success rates of your email marketing campaign.

9) Ignoring Mobile Users

The numbers don’t lie: 70% of all internet traffic comes from mobile devices.

You need to take that fact into account and make sure that your emails are also catered for subscribers who might be accessing your emails from mobile devices. You can do this by making sure your emails are formatted to display properly in mobile devices and keeping your subject line within a certain character limit so that it displays properly in mobile devices.

There are several companies that provide services that allow you to preview how your emails look across multiple devices, but if you don’t want to use a premium service, something like TestSubject by Zurb will be useful in a pinch.

By making sure your emails are well-optimized for display in mobile devices, you are allowing a large swathe of your subscribers who access emails from their mobile devices to engage with your emails, increasing their engagement with your brand, which is the end result that you want.

10) Sending without Testing

Mistakes can always happen. They can happen at any step. That’s why you need to test your emails before you send them. You can spot and resolve many problems in a manner of a few minutes just by testing your email on the popular email clients like Gmail, Outlook and Yahoo Mail. Ensure that your links are all working, the images load properly and that there is no grammar mistakes or spelling errors.

You can and should conduct further tests, if time allows. Using a service like Email Analysis will help you look for issues that are not immediately obvious. You can go a step further and also conduct an A/B testing process to test variations of your potential emails before picking the one that yields the best results.

11) Not Monitoring Your Metrics

You need to keep an eye on your email marketing campaign’s statistics. You need to keep an eye on the behind-the-hood numbers so that you have an idea of exactly how well your campaign is doing. You need to see how many subscribers open your emails, true. But you also need the statistics for how many of them click on links, how many of them unsubscribing, how many emails bounce and more.

These statistics will provide you with a picture of just how well your email marketing campaign is performing. Analysing these statistics will provide you with a clear picture of what mistakes you might be making, which areas you might be underperforming in and knowing the answers to those will allow you to adapt your strategy as needed. It will also allow you to anticipate potential issues that may arise and allow you to be one step ahead of them.

Most people just view the email statistics and don’t take the time to review them and study them, and that is a big mistake. The open rates, click rates, delivery rates, unsubscribe rates – all of them have a lot of data to give you more than percentage they show.

12) Not Cleaning Your Email List

Conducting an email marketing campaign means that you need to have a vast number of emails in your contact list and if you’ve done your lead generation properly, you will have a sizable list of contacts.

It is an unfortunate truth that not all of these contacts will actually continually engage with you over time – leaving these contacts who don’t engage with your emails on your list will hurt your campaign in the long run as it will effect your open rates, click rates and deliverability score. This is why you need to retain the services of an Email List Cleaner.

Bounceless is one such service. At Bounceless, we provide a thorough service that will clean your email list and allow you to improve the performance of your email marketing campaign. In addition to removing contacts who don’t engage with you over time, Bounceless also helps you get rid of emails that are invalid, have inactive email servers and overall reduce bounce back.

Cleaning your email list is a critical part of conducting a successful email marketing campaign, so make sure you don’t make the mistake of avoid it. Sign up to try Bounceless for Free now.