3 Email Marketing Boo-Boos to Avoid

Using email marketing to communicate with your customers is one of the most beneficial digital marketing tools in your business promotion arsenal.

Unlike paid advertising, it can be no to low cost. And unlike social media platforms, you have a lot more control over who is seeing the information you’re sharing.

As a small business owner just delving into the digital world, there is a whole lot to learn about email marketing and doing it well. Often, you’re not aware of the ways you could be missing communication opportunities, or landing yourself in the dreaded spam folder.

Read on to see some of the most common mistakes I’ve encountered while working with small business owners on their own email marketing campaigns.

You’re Using Graphics to Display Important Info

This is a Lochness monster-sized no-no, folks! And I see it ALL the time.

In many ways, email marketing messages function a lot like one-off web pages. To perform optimally, they need to be built in much the same way. 

This means that text content should be placed in your messages as text, not as part of a graphic or image.

Using a graphic of text in email marketing can cause a variety of problems, including:

1. Providing no content

Many email systems provide the option to turn off image delivery in messages, or the images take too long to load. If your email message is composed of images and flat graphics, your customer may end up receiving a big blank page or difficult-to-read content broken up by blank blocks. And who wants that!

2. Landing you in spam

There are a lot of things that impact your email deliverability, and the content in that email is one of them. When you place graphic images instead of text, the computer determining if your message is safe cannot read it (especially if it is missing alt tags). This is more than likely going to land your email into spam and impact your open rates. 

On the human side, if your message does end up in the inbox, any content contained within an image will not be searchable by your recipients and anyone using a screen reader for accessibility will be left with limited information.

3. Wrecking responsiveness

In modern web design and email marketing, there are a heckavulot of screen sizes to grapple with. This is another reason why having text coded as text is so important. When you place a graphic image into your email message, it is going to scale down on small screens.

With mobile viewing still generating about 50% of web views globally, it is important to keep small screens in mind. If your message contains a graphic with tons of text it will shrink down to the point that the text may not even be readable.

If you’re going to use graphics in your emails, it is best to do so sparingly and ensure minimal use of text.

You’re Not Having Two-Way Conversations

While most business owners consider engagement for their social media communications, it isn’t always the case when planning their email marketing.

Letting your customers have a voice is a great way to not only build like and trust, but give you amazing insights into the type of information and content they want to hear about from you.

One of the simplest ways of doing this is by including a call to action asking them to reply to a message with questions or their feedback on something. If you do this, be prepared to actually respond to their message. 

Another great option is using in-email surveys that help to segment your list and gain valuable insights into interest. A prime opportunity to do this might be in the nurture sequence following up a lead magnet

By providing your subscribers the opportunity to be involved, you are helping to increase engagement with your messages and really hone in on the content that they genuinely value.

You Only Use it Sporadically

Only sending out emails to your subscribers to promote a course or new service is a surefire way of lowering your open rates and increasing your unsubscribes. 

When building your email marketing list, it is important to have a holistic content marketing plan in place that will ensure you’re ready to keep talking with your customers via email.

A content marketing strategy can look very different from business to business, but the important thing is to understand why your email subscribers joined in the first place and give them MORE of the content that they find valuable. 

If you’re guilty of this one, a good first step would be to perform a subscriber list scrub and then work on sending a re-engagement campaign.


While there’s a lot to learn when it comes to email marketing, building a list of eager readers is often the first step in creating a solid customer pipeline for online business offers.

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