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Email marketing – what to avoid

Published on: 02/02/2019

As a business you’re constantly on the look out for new ways to get your brand in front of potential customers. It’s a continuous effort that will help your company reach that next step on the ‘success ladder’.

Email marketing is a popular option for businesses regardless of size or the products and/or services on offer. However, this popularity has created a trend of questionable email marketing habits.

Here are 5 top tips to help you avoid the most sinful of email marketing crimes and improve your chances of getting your brand noticed in the inbox.


1) Keep it to-the-point

Think about your own email inbox. Every time you look at your emails, do you open and read every single email? The answer is most likely no.

Your customer’s inbox is a competitive space. All sorts of emails are screaming out (metaphorically) at the user for their attention. Add to that the fact that only around 24.88% of all emails are opened – you’ve got your work cut out! (, 2018) 

Keeping your email content as concise as possible will make sure your target audience isn’t discouraged by having to read long drawn out paragraphs of text to get to the juicy bits. Instead they should be able to scan over the email easily and then find themselves being drawn to click on the various bits of content within your email to find out more. 

This tip is also relevant to the subject line. Inboxes as standard only show a few words of the subject line, so keep it short, sweet and simple to make sure you get your message across loud and clear. Keep it honest though, there is nothing worse than a deceitful subject line!


2) Don’t overload it with images

You might be tempted to make your email look as beautiful as possible by throwing loads of images at it. However, remember that the more images in the email, the longer it takes to load up. 

Remember - your target audience is impatient. If your email takes too long to open, then your audience will simply click off and move onto the next email.

If you’re using an email builder (Mailchimp for example) then use the inbuilt design tools available. You’ll still be able to make an eye-catching email, but it won’t take as much time to load in your customers inboxes compared to lots of images.


3) Tunnel visioning on desktop only

Mobiles continue to grow in popularity as more people talk, connect and work on the move.

“About 3 in 5 consumers check their email on the go (mobile) and 75% say they use their smartphones most often to check email.” Fluent “The Inbox report, Consumer perceptions of email” (2018)

This means it’s crucial that you create emails that are mobile phone responsive. Most email builders can give you an email preview on different devices, so make sure to spend some time testing your email before hitting that big ‘send’ button.

Also, keep in mind that mobile connectivity might not always be as fast as desktop, so loading multiple images (and other multimedia content) will take even longer!


4) Avoid spam words

Most people don’t check their junk folder, usually because it’s full of useless emails and scams. Your legitimate company email doesn’t belong here!

However, if you use the wrong sort of language then those ever-growing intelligent spam filters will think your email is junk. Words such as ‘100%’ ‘Extra cash’ and ‘Great offer’ are just a few examples of some words that will cause a few red flags.

 It’s a good idea to put 10 minutes aside during your email testing to go through and check for spam words to help maximise the chances of getting your email front and centre in your customers inbox.

Check out a great list of spam words to avoid here:


5) Email marketing without a clear audience

Throwing a dart at a dart board with a blind fold on will most likely result in disappointing results. The same can be said for doing email marketing without knowing exactly who your audience is.

Take some time to research your audience - who are they? What sort of messaging do they respond to best? When it comes to emails, try doing some A/B split testing to get some concrete evidence on what works/doesn’t work with your target audience.

As your email list grows you’ll need to start thinking about segmenting that list to maximise your engagement. Sending out a blanket email across a huge mailing list is a questionable move. Split up your list and create different newsletters to cater for different audiences. It will take a bit of extra effort, but it’ll be well worth it in the end!


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