Mailigen recently reported that email is considered the most effective digital marketing channel by 54% of marketers. The report also showed that 89% of marketers primarily use email marketing for lead generation. This data disproves those who claim that “email marketing is dead.” However, many marketers are still making plenty of email marketing mistakes in their campaign. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why email marketing isn’t so effective for them. In this article, I’ll outline seven terrible email marketing mistakes you must avoid to find success.

#1. Not Using A Responsive Design

Many marketers make the mistake of assuming that their recipients are accessing their emails using a laptop or desktop computer. The truth is that 67.2% of consumers check their email using their smartphones according to Blue Hornet. Another 42.3% access their inboxes from iPads and tablets. This makes it imperative for you to switch to mobile-friendly emails.

Not Using A Responsive Design - Email marketing mistakes

Get Response found that 42% of subscribers resort to deleting emails that aren’t displaying correctly on their phone. While this is the case, only 25% of marketers are optimizing their emails for mobile. This one of the biggest email marketing mistakes considering that 41% of all emails are opened using a mobile device.

You can avoid this blunder by switching to a responsive design for your emails. Then they’ll adapt according to the device used to open them. Creating a responsive design simply involves adding a short code snippet. This code modifies the email’s appearance according to the recipient’s screen size.

#2. Segmenting Your Lists Incorrectly

Segmentation is a crucial part of successful marketing whether it’s through email or any other channel. Yet many marketers still fall victim to email marketing mistakes by sending the same email to their entire contact list. It’s important to remember that one size does not fit all in marketing.

Segmenting your email lists can help you target your customers more accurately. It’s an effective way to customize your email content according to the needs and preferences of certain customer types. In fact, Lyris reported that email list segmentation increases open rates and decreases unsubscribe rates.

Segmenting Your Lists Incorrectly - Email marketing mistakes

#3. Writing The Wrong Subject Line

What’s the first thing recipients notice about your email? Regardless of which device they use, they’ll be noticing your subject line first. What’s the point in writing great email content when your subject line isn’t interesting enough for recipients to open? You must prioritize on crafting subject lines that not only grab consumers’ attention, but also make them want to read the entire email.

In research conducted by Sidekick, it was found that personalized subject lines improved email open rates by 20%. Writing long subject lines is another of the important email marketing mistakes to avoid. This same study showed that email subject lines with 30 or fewer characters performed much better.

So you’re now getting your recipients to open your emails and read the entire message. Maybe you even got them to click on your well-designed CTA button to take the next step. But what if the link you’ve added to this button is broken? Here’s another of the terrible email marketing mistakes. Broken links can cost you click-throughs and potentially drive away subscribers. Make sure you double-check that all your links are working before you hit send.

#5. Underestimating The Value Of Autoresponders

An autoresponder is a computer program that sends generic, transactional email messages automatically when someone takes a specific action. They can be sent as order confirmations, welcome messages, opt-in list acknowledgments, product activations, and much more. Marketing Sherpa reports that many businesses are making email marketing mistakes by only using autoresponders for welcome and thank you messages.

NO Autoresponders - Email marketing mistakes
The report showed that only 25% of marketers were making use of autoresponders for post-purchase follow-up emails like satisfaction surveys and product reviews. A similar percentage of respondents were using autoresponders for up-selling or cross-selling products. Only 15% were using autoresponders to re-engage or win back customers and only 9% for shopping cart abandonment.

It’s about time you take full advantage of autoresponders whether it’s to promote new products or regain your straying customers. For the best results, personalize your messages in a manner that strongly represents your unique brand personality.

#6. Forgetting To Track Results

How will you know whether your email outreach program is working? How will you find and correct your email marketing mistakes? Many marketers fail to track the results of their campaigns. This means that they’re unable to see where they’re going right or wrong. Consequently, marketers may even abandon email marketing altogether because they don’t see the desired results.

The fact of the matter is that not all your email marketing efforts will pay off equally. Maybe you’re still not using the right subject line, or you didn’t write email content that’s compelling enough. For every campaign you launch, you need to measure its effectiveness to determine what works and what doesn’t. I suggest using tools like Campaign Monitor to track results like click-through rate (CTR) and conversions.

Not tracking results - Email marketing mistakes

#7. Sending Out Too Many Emails

Sure, it’s effective to send marketing emails, but there is such a thing as “too much.” Sending too many emails can annoy recipients to the point that they unsubscribe or even worse – mark your emails as spam. In a joint research study conducted by The Relevancy Group and LiveClicker, it was found that 44% of consumers disliked getting marketing emails because they’re sent too often.

Sending Out Too Many Emails - Email marketing mistakes

On the other hand, limiting your emails too much is also one of the email marketing mistakes. Customers can completely forget about you if you wait too long. The key is to find the right timing for sending your emails. Maybe you could send out product promotion emails every other day instead of daily. Whatever you do, don’t forget to send out emails for birthdays and other special occasions.


Email marketing isn’t too complicated, but that doesn’t mean it’s simple either. Even the most tenured marketers can make email marketing mistakes that hinder the success of their campaign. Maybe you’re spending too much time creating compelling email content while overlooking other aspects like subject lines and list segmentation. Start analyzing your campaign today to ensure that you’re not making the email marketing mistakes mentioned above.

Got any more terrible email marketing mistakes to add? Please share in the comments below!

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