30-Second Summary:

  • Email marketing generates a 4,200% return on investment.

  • A high conversion rate depends is a product of other smaller metrics.

  • Over 90% of email recipients use mobile phones to come online.

  • The average person receives 121 emails daily. You can beat the rest by improving relevance.

  • Salesy emails and ambiguous CTAs are counterproductive.

  • The ideal emailing frequency is 2-4 emails per month or you may become spammy.



A great way to effectively pass a message across to your audience is via email. And, if done correctly, you can do more than just pass messages. 

Some people, however, believe that emails are an old, ineffective form of communication and marketing. Interestingly, the opposite is true. Statistics show that emails generate an astounding 4,200% ROI. 

While you may have recognized the importance of email marketing to your business, there are some mistakes that you should be mindful of to make the most of your email campaigns. This article critically looks into seven of these email marketing mistakes and how you can avoid them. 

7 Email Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Here are seven important mistakes to avoid when integrating email marketing into your business processes. 

1. Tracking the wrong metrics or not tracking at all

This mistake is more common than you can imagine. Amateur marketers often send out emails with high hopes that their audiences are going to open, read, and act upon the emails. Sometimes, they drive action. Other times, nothing happens.

As you send out email campaigns, it’s crucial to realize that there is room for improvement and the various elements of your email could use some tweaks. To find out exactly where to focus your improvement effort, you need to track the right metrics. Here are some metrics and what they mean to your email campaign.

Bounce Rate

Your bounce rate is the percentage of emails that didn’t reach the supposed destination. This rate gives you an insight into the quality of your subscribers. However, there are two types of bounce. The hard bounce is emails that cannot be delivered due to permanent issues (e.g. invalid or blocked email address). These emails should be removed from your mailing list immediately to prevent a drop in your deliverability. 

The second type of bounce, soft bounce, happens when an email is temporarily unable to deliver due to some technical issues on the recipient’s end. This type of bounce is really not a big deal since the unavailability is temporary and the next emails may get delivered. 

Open Rate

An email open rate gives is the percentage of subscribers that have opened your email. The open rate is a direct measure of how captivating your subject lines are. A dull subject line wouldn’t invite recipients to open your email. So, having a low open rate signifies that you could get more creative with your subject lines. 

Click-through Rate

Your click-through rate is the percentage of people that have clicked through any of the links attached to your email. Usually, the click-through rate is expected to be lower than the open rate. But having a good click-through rate is an indication that your content is engaging. It also shows that your call-to-action (CTA) is bang on. 

Unsubscribe Rate

The unsubscribe rate is the percentage of people that have decided to leave your email campaign. A 0% unsubscribe rate is as rare as a golden goose egg. And that’s normal. Not everybody will be interested in your campaign. Some may have signed up to check it out and it turns out not to be an exactly good fit for their needs. 

However, a high unsubscribe rate is every marketer’s nightmare. It indicates that you are targeting the wrong audience, offensive with your campaign strategy, or your content just isn’t hitting the bullseye. Reconsidering your approach should be a good course of action. 

Conversion Rate

The conversion rate is the marketer’s ultimate focus. It is the percentage of your email recipient that eventually purchased your product after opening the email, reading, and clicking through the embedded link. 

A good conversion rate is an indication of a kickass email campaign. Interestingly, this metric hinges on your ability to improve other previously mentioned metrics. 

2. Unclear CTA (Call-to-Action)

Emails are communication tools. We basically use them to inform our recipients about what we know. And, as a business, your emails are no more than a piece of information without a precise CTA. 

The CTA triggers the recipient to take a specific action. In many cases, this action may be to click a link or shoot a response. Whatever your goal of sending an email may be, using very short and clearly stated CTAs are far more effective than ambiguous ones.

3. Not Prioritizing Your Mobile Users 

It’s typical for small business owners and marketing professionals to create email campaigns with their PC. However, more than 90% of global internet users go online through their mobile phones. So, not having the mobile interface at the center of your mind when creating an email campaign will cause a colossal hindrance to your campaign’s success.

At one point or two, we received an email that required us to slide our mobile phones horizontally to read an entire line of text. Some even have distorted designs on mobile that may look really great on PC. To prevent this, you should consider testing your email campaigns on your phone first before sending them out. Else, 90% of the world would only get to see a klutz for an email. Pathetic!

4. Being too “salesy”

Of course, the ultimate goal of an email campaign is to convert your audience into paying customers. But you need to figure out a way to do that without appearing too pushy or else they will route your emails to the spam folder. Remember, “no one likes to be sold to but everyone likes to buy.”

Instead of sending out sale-type emails, aim for engagement and value. Craft emails that your audience will find immensely useful regardless of their decision to buy or ignore what you’re selling.

The real purpose of an email campaign is to gradually increase your relevance in the audience’s life. To make them anticipate the next email. And to ensure that they keep opening and reading your emails to the end. Once this loyalty is built, a three-word CTA is enough to do the conversion magic.

5. Creating irrelevant content

The average person receives 121 emails per day excluding spam. That’s a lot of emails to check out and every email should better be a good use of their time. Unfortunately, many of those emails lack actual relevance. 

So, creating irrelevant content will earn you a regular long-swipe-to-the-right on the Gmail app. 

By simply creating relevant content regularly, you can fall into the good graces of your reader and earn their long-term loyalty.

6. Spamming Your Customers With Too Many Emails

It’s important to send regular emails. It keeps your existence alive in your customers’ minds. But doing too frequently, you can become a real pain in the rear. Soon, your recipients will be waiting, phone in hand, to delete your email as soon as it drops. That’s if they haven’t had the time to follow the three-page unsubscribe process. 

So, what should be the ideal frequency of your email?

It’s advisable to send emails to your list twice a month. If your industry requires the dissemination of time-sensitive information, weekly emails would be a great idea. More than that and you will be in their inbox competing with newsletters from the New York Times and other news outlets that are barely read past their headlines.

7. Writing Bulk Copies

Great email copies are short and sassy. Too long and you’d be sending out collect admission letters to your recipients. And as we all know, people barely read past the “we are glad to offer you…” paragraph of those emails. 

So, to encourage your audience to read the full message and consider taking a specified action, you have to make it really brief. Ideally, a recipient should be able to read your entire email on a mobile screen (top to bottom) without scrolling. 

You can use bullet points, simple words, short sentences, and tiny paragraph blocks to make the email skimmable. 

Top Email Marketing Tools to Maximize Conversion

From a myriad of email marketing solutions, we highly recommend the following tools for small and growing businesses.


No email campaign is perfect. Some are just more effective than others. But, for all, there is room for improvement. 

Your first campaign may not get the kind of conversion that you desire. Tracking the right metrics can reveal key areas that need your focus. 

Also, delivering real value and maintaining relevance without being too salesy can make a real difference in the relationships you have with your email recipients. 

While you nurture these relationships, you might make a few mistakes along the way. That’s normal. Just take the time to recognize and fix them. And everything will work out just fine eventually.