Common email marketing pitfalls (and how to avoid them)

Email marketing is a great means of communicating with customers and contacts in a targeted, quick, and inexpensive way. If done well, it can increase engagement with your business and boost sales. However, it can be a hard nut to crack and there are a number of email marketing pitfalls to dodge along the way!

This blog looks at some common mistakes and how your business can avoid them.

5 common email marketing pitfalls

1) Using badly-written copy

Writing email copy that gets results isn’t easy! Your subject line is everything – so spend time getting it right. Keep the rest of your email concise and focus on the reader and their needs.


  • Spend time crafting your subject line – use split-testing to come up with the best version.
  • Keep your copy concise, use active voice, and stick to short sentences.
  • Write in a tone that’s friendly and natural – as if you were talking to someone you know.

2) Not meeting reader expectations

There are a couple of different ways in which you can fail to meet your readers’ expectations.

Topic: If your email content veers off-topic and has no connection with the subject line or what they were expecting to see, this can frustrate your readers. If your readers sign up to a social media tips newsletter, for example, this is what they expect from you or they’re likely to unsubscribe.

Frequency: If you promised your readers a weekly email but you’re sending a daily or fortnightly one, this can have a similar effect.


  • Make sure you’re sending your emails consistently and in line with your reader’s expectations.

3) Not including a clear CTA

Before creating your email, make sure you have a clear idea of what you want it to achieve (whether it’s promoting a piece of content, telling them about an event, or making a sale).

Be sure to include a CTA to help your reader take the next step!


  • Understand the purpose of your email.
  • Make sure your CTA is clear and easily seen. Don’t include multiple CTAs, as you’ll confuse readers by asking them to do more than one thing.

4) Not personalising your email

Personalised email marketing campaigns have click-through rates that are 2.5 times higher than ‘cookie-cutter’ emails and are 6 times more likely to drive conversions. Emails with personalised subject lines are also 26% more likely to be opened (Campaign Monitor).


Use your customer data to personalise items like:

  • Copy: names and subject lines, for example
  • Images: visuals can be adapted based on your reader’s location, age, or gender, for example
  • Special offers: include offers based on your customer’s interests or purchase history

5) Not using segmentation

If you’re sending out the same email to your entire mailing list, you could be missing sales opportunities. In fact, marketers who use segmented email campaigns record as much as a 760% increase in revenue.

You can segment your emails based on demographic data like location, age, and gender or psychographic data such as interests, behaviours, and beliefs.


For higher click-through rates (and ultimately conversions), don’t adopt a ‘blanket’ approach. Segment your mailing list and tailor your email content accordingly!

There are a number of platforms that make it easy for you to design the perfect email, such as Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign, Sendinblue, Constant Contact, and more. Take time to plan your email campaigns and don’t succumb to these all-too-common errors!


For more help with your email marketing or any other aspect of your digital marketing strategy, get in touch with our team!

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