3 Most Common Email Marketing Mistakes

Email marketing can be one of the most cost effective methods of advertising available to almost any type of business. When done correctly, email marketing can increase sales almost automatically.

A good email subscriber list can actually make a business more valuable on its own. However, there are some common email marketing mistakes that can make the whole effort a waste of time if they are not avoided.

Here are three most common email marketing mistakes.

Email Subscriber List

The worst mistake a business can make when trying to market by email is to purchase an email subscriber list. For many new businesses, particularly those who have used direct mail before, buying an email list seems like a great method to get around all the work necessary to build a good list.

When you buy an email list, there’s no need to have to write special reports or build landing pages or buy pay per click ads to drive subscribers to your list. After all, email lists are very cheap to purchase and it doesn’t cost anything to send out an email.

There are good reasons why an email list is cheap to purchase. First, you have no idea who actually compiled the email list or how they captured the names and addresses. The people on the list may have opted in to receive emails or the seller of the list may have used software to gather or “scrape” the names and email addresses from various websites.

Even when people opted in, they may not have known their information would be sold. Second, the lists are sold to many different buyers. The people whose names and email addresses are on the list may have been spammed repeatedly by other list purchasers. Your emails may end up designated as spam by the people receiving them. Before long, you won’t be able to get your business’s emails into anyone’s inbox.

This would be the kiss of death for anyone hoping to use email marketing.


Another mistake made by many email marketers is to send only advertisements to the list.

The purpose of the list is to market, but if your potential readers begin to feel that is the only purpose for the list they will stop opening the emails.

Soon they will unsubscribe from your list altogether.


A third mistake often made by email marketers is failing to follow the guidelines of the CAN_SPAM Act. The CAN-SPAM prohibits false or misleading header information and deceptive subject lines.

In other words, it must be clear where your email is coming from and what it is about. This sounds pretty straightforward, but a surprising number of businesses still ignore this rule and try to trick the recipient into opening the email. This tactic is pretty stupid, given that those who do it are opening themselves up to civil and criminal penalties.

However, even without those penalties this tactic would be foolish. No reader who was tricked into opening your email is going to trust you enough to do business with you.

The CAN-SPAM Act also requires that you provide an easy way to “opt-out” of receiving your emails. Every reputable email service includes this opt-out link in the emails. The Act also requires that you clearly identify the email as an advertisement and that you include your physical postal address in the email.

These last two requirements are often ignored by otherwise legitimate marketers.


Email marketing is one of the most effective and cost efficient methods of marketing available to any business today. Avoid the mistakes above if you want to survive as an email marketer.

[Image source: Huffpost]

Juan is a Design & Tech Blogger with strong interest in digital art, human computer interaction, enterprise system and system automation.

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