5 Email Marketing Strategy Mistakes Businesses Make


Email marketing is the channel that will return the highest ROI when done right, clocking in at 38x the dollar investment you put in.

The important part of email marketing is the phrase we snuck in above: when done right. Email marketing requires conscious decisions that guide your strategy, as well as ongoing monitoring and updating in order to be successful. You’ll need to consider components like data on what matters to your target market, a strategy for creating high-quality content, and the timing for when to send marketing messages.

Jumping into email marketing without a full understanding of what a good strategy looks like — or without a strategy at all — is like throwing darts aimlessly at the board.

Good email marketing strategy requires a nuanced, thoughtful approach. One of the reasons email is so powerful for businesses is that this channel allows you to collect a lot of data and use it to guide your efforts, continually adjusting your aim to target the bullseye.

If you’re ready to enhance your email marketing success rate, start by auditing your own email strategy to identify gaps or mistakes, and make a plan to resolve those areas. This is a good way to find some quick wins that can make a visible impact on your email metrics.

Here are five of the most common mistakes we see when it comes to email marketing strategy.

1. You Haven’t Segmented Your Audience or Created Buyer Personas.

Your audience is probably at least somewhat broad, comprised of people from different backgrounds and with varying interests. Because of this, you’ll need to segment your audience and come up with buyer personas, so that you can figure out how to connect with each different type of consumer you might have.

For example, a millennial woman who recently graduated from college and is looking for a job in NYC is likely going to have very different pain points than a mother of two in Houston who works from home or a female COO at a Silicon Valley tech firm. If you send all of these women the same generic email, you run the risk of not connecting with any of them.

A stronger approach would be to segment your audience by categories like location, lifecycle stage, and job title — and then craft a buyer persona for each segment, to determine how to speak directly to each of your segments.

2. You Don’t Use the Customer Data You Have to Sufficiently Nurture Leads.

Once you’ve got your buyer personas, what do you do with that information? You want to capitalize on your data collection efforts by taking every opportunity to meaningfully personalize content and nurture your leads, no matter where they are in the funnel.

As we pointed out above, the three women in the example are very different. You could use what you know about them to select different products to market to each; for example, if you are a provider of office supplies, you could market your more affordable options to the recent grad, your most durable products to the Houston mother, and your new trendy, cutting-edge collection to the tech firm COO.

There are so many reasons why this is important. Nurtured leads make almost 50% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads do, and personalized emails boast 6x higher transaction rates than ones without. You’ll also get much better open rates on your emails overall if you speak directly to your consumer.

3. You Haven’t Included High-Quality Content Within Your Email Strategy.

Your subscribers need to feel like your emails add value to their lives, or they won’t remain on your email list for very long—and you need them to stay, so you can continue to nurture them! Developing interesting, engaging content that your consumers will be happy to receive in their inboxes on a regular basis is no small feat, but we’d be willing to bet you’ve got existing content that you can put to use in this way or repurpose for email marketing.

4. You’re Doing Tasks Manually When Your Platform Can Automate Them.

Automating your email marketing processes saves you time and ensures that you never miss an email or opportunity to connect. By setting up automated email campaigns using the information you’ve gathered and decisions you’ve made when it comes to personalization, you make sure the right people are getting the right messages at the right time.

You can set up email automation campaigns to send emails based on specific criteria or even a user’s actions or behavior within your funnel. For example, when a new subscriber joins your email list or a lead becomes a new customer, you can have a series of 2-3 welcome emails set up to send automatically on a pre-scheduled timeline (like once a week for three weeks after that person joins). After you do the work to set up the drip series, it is completely automated and you can monitor the results.

You can also use marketing automation to make customers feel like part of the family, communicate with loyal customers and reward them for their continued support, or for lead scoring purposes. With lead scoring, the system looks at how engaged a customer is with your website, content, and more to determine a lead score.

5. You Think Once You’ve Set Everything Up, You’re Good to Go.

We say this all the time, but email marketing isn’t just “set it and forget it.” If only it were that simple! Monitoring, analyzing results, and adjusting accordingly are all part of the long game here if you want to be successful. We recommend most marketing teams report on email marketing metrics on a monthly basis and do a full analysis each quarter, to assess whether to make any changes to the strategy. Remember to be consistent and keep communicating with your customers so you can stay top of mind. You’ll also want to incorporate new information you learn about your customer as you interact with them so you can update and improve your email marketing strategy.

Partnering with a professional consultancy like RelationEdge is a great way to ensure that your strategy is clear and your darts land close to your target. We’re experts in marketing automation software, digital and email marketing — and more. Our team of email marketing specialists will take the data you have and determine what knowledge gaps exist. Then we’ll work with you to craft a plan to fill in those gaps and create winning email campaigns that convert your leads into loyal customers. We offer the full spectrum of digital marketing services, including content, which means we’re not just making recommendations on what you should do — we’re executing on it.

Reach out to us today to discuss how we can improve your email marketing aim.