Successful Email Marketing: Deadly Mistakes To Avoid

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|updated on
October 15, 2018

Email marketing is chosen as one of the best methods of marketing to the customers. According to a survey by Direct Marketing Association (DMA), email produces an ROI of $40.56 for each dollar invested.

Despite having such a high return on investment, few email marketers or direct marketers do it correctly. By not following the right practices and repeating the mistakes over and over all they are able to extract is poor ROI, wastage of time, efforts and eventually frustration that leads to a total mistrust and giving up on email marketing channel.

Deadly Mistakes to Avoid to Get Success with Email Marketing

So is it the channel’s mistake or are there things which should be done correctly by the email marketers? Here are few mistakes which should be avoided like plague if you want to get the maximum ROI on your efforts and get success like other email marketing champions:

email marketing mistakes to avoid

Not having an effective opt-in mechanism:

The first point of contact between you and your subscriber is your opt in form. Many email marketers tend to have long and complex forms which increase drop-off rates and are just plain roadblocks to successful signups.

Asking for more than what is required like First-name and Email, having too much text and not having an irresistible offer which lures in a visitor to share his email and first name and opt into your email list are some of the very basic mistakes that differentiates between a successful signup – squeeze page and a failed effort.

Having a good squeeze page is the first step towards setting up of a high performance opt-in mechanism. Here are few steps on how to do it in a right manner:

  • The squeeze page needs to be very clean and simple.
  • People who visit this page should be given only one option — to subscribe to your opt-in-list.
  • Minimize external links if you really need them they should open up in a new window.
  • Limit the graphics and distractions on your squeeze page.
  • The squeeze page should be fast loading and should not keep the user waiting endlessly to load.
  • The purpose of the squeeze page should be clear and the visitor should be clearly able to understand that what is in it for them that adds value or provides benefit.
  • The squeeze page should contain incentives and highlight it sufficiently so that it clearly grabs visitor attention. Some sample incentives could be: Free Report, ebooks, designs or templates, graphic packages, video guides, tutorials, sample products, e-courses, newsletters etc.

Another factor to consider while building high quality email marketing lists is to always go for double opt in and have confirmed subscription from users so that an actual intention is displayed while building lists. This ensures a good ROI than bought in or harvested email lists which are not relevant.

Not having a plan on what and when to market:

Building an email list is good but if you have nothing to sell them or take advantage of the list to make money online is like creating a resource which is lying waste.

Sending them newsletters, or keeping them informed is just one way of using the list but the real incentive comes from monetizing the list which should planned in advance.  To build a profitable business and you need to get into the habit of monetizing your list right from the start.

Here are a few ways to quickly monetize your lists:

  • Affiliate Marketing: Start promoting third party products to your list, where you will earn a commission each time one of your subscribers purchases the product using your referral link.

    Clickbank is a good place to start finding affiliate product for your niche and start making money.

  • Sell Advertising Space: If you have a large email marketing list you can sell advertising space on it to other vendors who want to promote their product to your user base. This arrangement can be done by revenue sharing or simply pricing your advertisement space.
  • Sell Private Label Content:Private label material is pre-created content that is available for resalew hat you can do it to is purchase high quality reports, articles, ebooks and other material that is of high quality and relevant to your list.

    Don’t sell the product as it is, spend some time in branding it to suit your requirement and repackaging it.

Before you start email marketing, selling third party products or selling advertising space we suggest that you have at least 1000 subscribers in your mailing list.

Not having proper autoresponder system in place:

Autoresponders are one of the most important part of any successful email marketing system and not having a proper autoresponder system is like shooting oneself in the foot.

Autoresponders clearly have their own benefits which reduce the workload, increase customer relationship, handle all the automatic correspondence and transactional emails etc. A customer which gets and instantaneous response from your company is more likely to have a positive image rather than if they are kept waiting.

An instaneous ticket of complaint, acknowledgement of suggestions or support request, automatic data management and updataion system, automatic management of list subscribes and unsubscribes etc. can be managed via autoresponders and communicating them to the users.

If you are not having a good autoresponder, it means that you are increasing your workload, not meeting the customers expectations and eventually losing out on business. Mailchimp, Aweber and constantcontact  are some email service providers which offer excellent autoresponder services.

Not testing the system enough:

You have all the system, autoresponder system, monetization  sytem in place as best as you can but without testing the entire system for a failsafe performance is like building a warship and not testing it to withstand the hassles it has to go through.

Testing at every stage of the email marketing lifecycle will not only help build confidence but also ensure that any unwanted surprises do not crop up and disturb the entire chain. This also means setting up of a checklist before shooting out any newsletters or product offers to your mailing list.

Checking for any broken links, insertion of properly automated tags etc.. are some things that should not be missed. On the top of it everything should look professional enough.

The design, links, text, etc are all part and parcel of a professional looking email marketing campaign that produces result so enough time and effort should go into making it look neat and clean.

Not segmenting your email lists:

By segmentation we mean putting of email subscribers into different groups based on their interests and and other factors. The segmentation could be based on what kind of products or services they are reqesting, the page from which they filled the subscriber form, the country from which they came in etc.

All these factors can be captured by hidden fields in the subscription forms which are provided by email service providers and automatically help you capture these scripts. The whole purpose of segmentation is that sending relevant information to the subscribers.

For example if a person who has filled a subscribers form from a page which was having information on weight loss, it will bring in more ROI if he or she gets products and service offers in email related to weightloss. Segmentation brings in more relevance and a targeted email marketing campaign.

So if you are not segmenting your lists, chances are great that you are not optimising on your email marketing spend.

Not maintaining the list hygiene:

Having a neat and clean list with active subscribers is essential for a successful email marketing campaign. This means actively tracking the number of opens , clicks, purchases, opt-ins from the subscribers and cleaning out the non performing ones.

This also means that automatically cleaning of the list from those who have unsubscribed, marked the list as spam and those who have not even opened your email in the last 120 days. This will help your email lists as being marked as spam, blacklisting and decrease in the ROI on email marketing ad spend.

Cleaning the list and maintaining it on a regular basis is also an important part that should not be overlooked if you want to succeed as an email marketer.

Conclusion about deadly email marketing mistakes to avoid:

Email marketing as a channel has been a proven method of bringing in great ROI for business and it still remains a tried and true means for generating loyalty and new business. Selling informational products, ebooks, ecourses, membership products are very popular and successfully done via email marketing.

Keeping it neat and clean and following proper rules while marketing with emails is bound to get you results that will only improve with time as your customer relationship also improves with good email marketing techniques and this grows into a virtuous cycle where each step builds over the other to bring in better results for your business.


Anil Agarwal

Anil Agarwal

Anil Agarwal who owns, is a full-time blogger and SEO expert who has been helping people build profitable websites for over a decade. Bloggers Passion has been featured on premium online sites like, Huffingtonpost, SEMrush, Problogger, Crazy Egg, The Next Web and so on.


  1. thanks ataur for the effort.

  2. ataur says:

    Thanks Anil Agarwal,
    I read this post and I have gathered enough knowledge about Email Marketing.

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