6 Ways Email Marketers Sabotage Their Would-Be Brilliant Campaigns

Email represents a potential powerhouse for marketers; however, many newbies are their own worst enemies when it comes time to run their campaigns.

Sure, email marketing has an insane ROI and can generate forty times more customers than social media. But that’s doesn’t mean that your campaigns are foolproof from the word “go.”

Think of the many moving pieces of an email campaign as a sort of house of cards. From subject lines to calls-to-action and beyond, each piece of a campaign builds upon the previous one. If just one of those pieces falls flat, though, your whole campaign comes crashing down.

Does that mean your email campaigns are doomed from the start if you’re a newbie? Absolutely not.

If you’re new to the world of email marketing, consider the following six ways that marketers often sabotage their own campaigns. By avoiding these mistakes, you can move forward with your next campaign with a renewed sense of confidence.


1. Failure to personalize your messages.

Don’t ignore the power of personalization.

From helping your messages stand out from competitors to treating your list like more than just faces in a crowd, anything marketers can do to give their messages a personal touch in a plus. In fact, nearly 60% of email marketers employ some sort of personalization within their campaigns.

Thankfully, personalization doesn’t have to be rocket science. Simple tweaks such as including the names of your recipients in a subject line can improve your open rates by approximately 22%. Here’s a simple example of a message from Neil Patel’s mailing list directed at “Stu” (a moniker I use for collecting awesome emails):



Personalization is about more than just including a name in the subject line and preheader text, though. Note how the body copy in this particular message strives to make a personal connection through its language (i.e. “the last video I created for you”).

Patel likewise takes advantage of yet another easy personalization strategy by including the recipient’s name via imagery. Although such tactics may seem like little more than a novelty, images can help catch the eyes of your recipients at a glance.



While sending “one-size-fits-all” messages which ignore personalization might be the easy route, it’s certainly not the most effective way to engage your list.


2. You aren’t actually segmenting your lists.

Chances are, not all your subscribers are created equal.

Let’s say you’re a company that sells B2B services. The messages you send to a solopreneur and the messages you send to a 500-person team are probably going to be night and day, right?

Unfortunately, 42% of marketers fail to segment their lists. Ouch.

In many cases, segmentation goes hand in hand with personalization. For starters, segmenting your list provides you with real-time, actionable data to help you make marketing decisions.

For example, you may realize that your company has a much bigger international reach than you originally believed. Meanwhile, you may learn that certain lead magnets or offers are bringing in opt-ins in droves versus others. Data-driven decisions should be the cornerstone of any marketing strategy, and email marketing is no different.

Until you start segmenting your lists, though, you’re totally in the dark. By segmenting sooner rather than later, you can make the most of each and every open, click-through and response within your campaigns.


3. Lack of a call-to-action.

If your messages are landing in your subscribers’ inboxes but you aren’t giving readers some sort of action to take, you’re only shooting yourself in the foot.

Whether you want your readers to write a response, click a link or reach for their wallets, you can’t be afraid to tell them. This example from Ipsy illustrates what makes an effective call-to-action:



Specific, straightforward, and impossible to miss, including a single call-to-action in any given email can quickly take your subscribers from Point A to Point B.


4. Your emails are too image-heavy.

Now, don’t get it twisted: there’s absolutely nothing wrong with using imagery in your emails. In fact, you should do everything you can to grab your subscribers’ attention via bold, eye-popping imagery.

That said, images can also put your messages in danger. For example, bogging down your emails with massive files could result in slow-loading messages that cause recipients to bounce. Similarly, those emails could end up undelivered altogether which spells bad news for your campaigns, right?

Yet even if your images do end up making it into your readers’ inboxes, remember that image blocking impacts over 40% of all emails.

The solution to bulky, image-heavy email marketing is three-fold:

  • Craft your emails in such a way that you could still get your point across without pictures (hint: consider our ALT-tag method)
  • Resize or reformat your pictures so that they stay under 125KB before you hit “Send”
  • Experiment with solely text-based messages from time to time as a way to test your copywriting chops

Here’s an example of a hybrid text-image approach to email marketing from H&M. While the picture may indeed seal the deal, the text-based description could still clue in recipients on the sale if they had images turned off:


Make no mistake: imagery can make or break your messages. If you decide to rely on image-based campaigns, make sure you have a backup plan on deck for those who may be blocking your photos.


5. You’re sleeping on autoresponders. 

Nearly 50% of businesses are on board with marketing automation: therefore, it’s time to drop the notion that autoresponders are “cold” or “lifeless.”

The ability to put your marketing on autopilot is one of the biggest benefits that email marketing has to offer. Rather than fight tooth and nail for leads and sales, smart autoresponders can help nurture your list around the clock.

For example, check out this classic cart abandonment autoresponder from Black Milk:



Automated messages don’t have to be impersonal. Failing to take advantage of autoresponders simply puts more work on your own shoulders and takes precious time away from your campaigns.


6. You’re not using an actual email automation platform.

Last but not least, you can’t hope to build and engage a list via your personal Gmail account.

Scrambling to send messages from a personal account not only tanks your deliverability rate, but may also violate CAN-SPAM laws.

Save yourself time and major headaches down the road by instead starting with an actual email platform versus a personal account.

Seriously. There’s perhaps no better way to make your messages scream “amateur” than by trying to pass off a personal account as a legitimate business.


Don’t sabotage yourself.

 There are plenty of pitfalls in any given email marketing campaign. Knowing which ones to avoid will ultimately help you craft campaigns that get delivered and see traction from your recipients.

Which one of these mistakes do you consider to be the worst offense for new email marketers?

Let us know in the comments below!

email marketers sabotage their would-be brilliant campaigns

The post 6 Ways Email Marketers Sabotage Their Would-Be Brilliant Campaigns appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s