What email marketer isn’t stricken with anxiety when it’s time to hit send on a new campaign? We all make mistakes, but a lot of those mistakes are avoidable with the right care and preparation. Here are six of the most common and preventable email marketing mistakes and how you can take steps to avoid them.

The mistake: A missing data source

Your email marketing content is only as strong as the data that powers it. There’s nothing worse than plotting out your most personalized campaign ever, only to have it break because some of your data fields aren’t populating correctly. With more and more marketers taking advantage of customer data in their emails, it’s even more important to make sure that data is sound.

How to avoid it: Always have fallback content ready, just in case there is a data field missing. Also be sure to double-check your fields – the last thing you need is an expletive in place of a customer’s name sneaking through! Want more tips for reviewing your personalized emails? Use our Email Marketing Personalization Checklist before you deploy your next campaign.

The mistake: Broken images or animation

Broken images are the bane of any email marketer’s existence, but this is still a common problem across the board. And while you can’t control which email clients your customers use, it helps to have a good understanding of who is using what.

How to avoid it: Many email clients block images by default, but there are still steps you can take ensure you’re creating a great experience for your customers. Taking advantage of alt-text will help you give your customers a heads-up as to what should be appearing in their image blocks when nothing is appearing at all. It’s also important to test your email creative across email clients, so use a took like Litmus to preview your campaign before you deploy it.

The mistake: Generic, irrelevant content

Sending the exact same message to all of your customers is an incredibly common mistake and creates a big missed opportunity. According to Accenture, 75% of consumers are more likely to buy from a retailer that uses personalization and makes recommendations based on past purchase behavior. Relevancy, context, and true 1:1 personalization are all key for building trust with your customers.

How to avoid it: If you’re just getting started with email marketing personalization, check out Email Marketing Personalization 101 for strategies you can get started with today. If you’re curious to see what other brands are doing with personalization or if you just want to know how to map your personalization strategy to your customer’s journey, check out The State of Email Marketing Personalization in 2017. Want to get even more advanced with true, 1:1 personalization? Grab our guide: the Creative Variations Solution.

The mistake: Scheduling for the wrong time zone

If you’re a global company, the last thing you want to do is send an email at 3am to your customers across the pond (unless that is their preferred open time, of course.) With email marketing, impeccable timing is key for relevancy, and relevancy is key for driving the best results possible.

How to avoid it: Aside from double-checking all of your scheduled campaigns (which you should be doing anyway), you’ll want to optimize and test to discover the best send times for your audience, no matter where they’re located. This study by CoSchedule is a great place to get started, but you’ll also want to test send times with your audience to discover when they’re checking their inboxes.

The mistake: Spelling and grammar issues

It’s happened to the best of us: we hit send, only to realize four seconds later that we made a glaringly obvious spelling mistake on an otherwise awesome email. And guess what our customers notice immediately? Not your amazing, personalized offer and the beautiful imagery that goes along with it, but the fact that you used the wrong “their.”

How to avoid it: It should go without saying that every email you send needs a second pair of eyes – Every. Single Time. Always identify a colleague who can give your email a read and provide honest feedback. If you want an extra layer of protection, try a tool like Grammarly that will automatically catch both spelling and grammatical errors for you.

If your call-to-action is broken, it’s impossible to reach your email marketing goals and track your click-through rates. And speaking of tracking, if you don’t have your UTM parameters in place, you also won’t be able to track any leads generated via email.

How to avoid it: Add extra time to your email marketing production schedule so you can QA every part of your email and ensure that all of your links are fully functional. Always review your deadlines too – you should never hit send unless you’re 100% confident that everything is working properly. Rushing to get a campaign out the door is never a good idea!

Want more tips for sending bullet-proof emails? Grab our Email Marketing Personalization Checklist.