5 min read

Despite what some may say about the obsolescence of email, it remains the most cost-effective digital marketing platform for e-commerce businesses. In fact, studies led by the UK's Data & Marketing Association (DMA) show that you can expect anaverage return of $42 for every $1 you spend on email marketing. That's leaps and bounds ahead of the average $5.20 return you'd get for every $1 spent on influencer marketing -- one of today's supposedly more savvy options.

Aneffective email marketing strategy should at least hit average ROI. If your campaigns' results aren't anywhere close to DMA's $1:$42 ratio, you're probably doing something wrong. Here are the most common yet most critical email marketing mistakes you should avoid.

1) Not making sign-ups a priority.

Marketers often say that quality is always more important than quantity when it comes to your subscriber list. Although that's true, that doesn't mean quantity isn't important either. In fact, it should be a top priority. No subscriber count should ever be high enough, and you should always strive for a larger audience.

For any email marketing campaign to be effective, it's not enough to have a sign-up button somewhere on your website. You need to actively seek subscribers and give them a compelling reason to sign up. One of the best ways to approach this is a well-placed interactive pop-up that promises exclusive offers, prizes, or discounts.


2) Not double-checking your emails.

Never send out emails that haven't been proofread, links on CTA buttons added, and checked on multiple devices. Imagine receiving an offer for a luxury item, but the main CTA button doesn’t work. What are the chances that you'll make a purchase? Probably none. Even worse, you'll likely unsubscribe due to the disappointment you felt from that single email.

Your emails don't need to have complicated formatting and programming. What's important is professionalism. Every single email needs to be well-thought-out and free of errors. The language should suit your brand and emails should come from a branded domain. Lastly, it should load properly so recipients can appreciate the message.

3) Not optimizing for mobile.

Nearly half of all emails are opened on a mobile device. It would be an incredible waste to alienate half your audience because your emails don't render correctly on smartphones and tablets. It pays to make an effort and allot a bigger budget to make sure your subscribers can appreciate your emails no matter what they use to view them.

To check if your messages render properly on mobile, at least test how they look on Mail by Apple and the Gmail app since these two are the most popular email clients (29% and 27% of all email opens, respectively). Alternatively, try to find anemail marketing tool with templates that have already been tested on all types of devices.

4) Not sending a welcome email.

Your welcome email gives you a unique opportunity to engage a new subscriber. Generally, welcome emails enjoy open rates that are four times higher than a regular newsletter. Additionally, not only does the first email lead to five times more clicks, but it also generates over three times more revenue than other promotional emails. 

Given these impressive statistics, it's no wonder why experienced email marketers now automate welcome messages. They set up workflows that automatically send out a message as soon as someone signs up. That allows them to take advantage of the power of welcome emails without the extra work.


5) Not segmenting your email list.

One of the best features of email marketing is the ability to collect various data points. And, the more complex your software, the more data you can access. That data is extremely valuable, especially for ecommerce sites.

Although your subscribers may have signed up for similar reasons (whatever it is your business has to offer), they all have different preferences. Use your collected data to segment them into interest groups and find the best ways to communicate with each one. They'll appreciate the relevance of each email, which will eventually translate into better sales.

6) Not launching campaigns soon enough.

It's much easier to drive an old customer to make a purchase than a new one. In fact, while the probability of selling to a new customer is 5-20%, the chances of selling to an existing customer are much higher at 60-70%. 

Don't be afraid to launch new campaigns just because you've only gained a handful of subscribers since your last one. Of course, it would be ideal to have new people to send to. But, there's no reason to reach out to the same people with a new campaign. Just make sure that the content and the offers are new, and you're not sending too many messages.

7) Not following a schedule.

Sending too many emails is the most common reason why people unsubscribe from an email list. But, if you send too few, you don't only risk being forgotten, but you also lose opportunities to engage your audience.

In email marketing, you need to make a schedule and stick with it. Plan out how often you should reach out to your subscribers as well as the best time and day to do so. By optimizing your send-out schedule, your subscribers know when to expect to hear from you. Consequently, they are less likely to unsubscribe and are more likely to be engaged. 

8) Not having a clear call-to-action.

Every email you send should have a purpose or an action that you'd like the recipient to take. That could be to visit your website, avail of an offer, like your Facebook page, etc. No matter what the objective is, you must state it plainly using a clear call-to-action. 

Call-to-actions might seem unnecessary or redundant, but they're essential to prompting your desired action. Rather than just informing them of an event, tell them to "Sign up now!" Instead of telling them you're having a sale, tell them to "Shop now exclusive offers." Telling them what to do rather than leaving them to think and decide for themselves will lead to better conversions and more sales overall.

These mistakes are incredibly easy to make and are, in fact, pretty common among email marketers. But, once you correct them, you'll see just how critical they are to driving positive results for your ecommerce business. If you're looking to work more efficiently, there are also tools to help you easily optimize your digital marketing campaigns across various platforms, including email. Such tools will also help you minimize costly marketing mistakes.

About the Author

Karolina Petraškienė is a digital communicator, content marketer and email enthusiast at Omnisend. When she's not writing articles, you can find her in the woods challenging herself in hiking boots or off-roading her bike.

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