5 Email Marketing Mistakes + How to Fix Them

Photo by Mimi Thian on Unsplash

You know you need an email list. You hear it all the time that email marketing is the best way to grow your business. But you are stuck on the strategy part and end up avoiding it instead because you just don’t know what to do.

I’ve been there.

But now that I’m on the other side of the email marketing struggle, I see that I was making it harder than it needed to be.

Email marketing is one of the most profitable strategies for any business — but most creatives are doing it wrong.

Here are 5 mistakes you might be making and how you can fix them.

Mistake #1: Avoiding your list

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when it comes to email marketing is avoiding your list altogether. It won’t do any good if you don’t use it.

Most business owners shy away from email marketing because they just don’t know what to do. So instead of trying to figure it out, they just don’t send any emails because they don’t know what to say.

The people on your email list should be your VIPs and you don’t want to neglect them. Even if you don’t know much about email marketing or feel intimidated by the scope of it, you have to start somewhere. Create a simple and consistent strategy that you can keep up with to get started and refine your strategy as you go.

Mistake #2: Talking about yourself more than your customers

I see most business owners struggling with what to send to their subscribers after they are on their list. Your initial reaction might be to just send info about your products and services. You want your offerings to be front and center so people will purchase from you.

But in reality, this strategy will push people away.

People don’t want to hear about you. That sounds a little harsh, but it’s the truth. They want to know how you can solve their problem and make their life better. If you can’t tell them that quickly and clearly, then they will move on to the next person.

If you’re sending emails talking about yourself and your business and what you do, then you’re making a mistake. Instead, feature your customer as the hero. Talk about their problems and what they want and then tell them how you can solve their problem.

Mistake #3: Communicating an unclear message

One of the biggest downfalls of any marketing is an unclear message. If you are confusing your audience, then they will stop listening. Communicating a clear message will increase your engagements rates.

Clarify your message first. Once you know your message like the back of your hand, you will be able to talk about it whenever, wherever, and with whoever is in front of you without hesitation.

To avoid confusion in your emails, try addressing one specific problem at a time. You could also show them the transformation that you foster, show how current customers are having success, and be sure to talk about features as benefits.

Communicating your message in this way will help with clarity.

Mistake #4: Not building a relationship

If you are just using your emails to sell things to people, you’re making a mistake. If you try to sell something to someone before you’ve built a relationship, then you likely won’t make many sales.

It’s like asking someone to marry you on the first date. Not going to happen.

A big focus of email marketing should be on building a relationship with your audience. You are connecting with them personally, sharing value with them, and eventually converting them into paying customers or clients.

The key is to help them with their problems before offering a paid solution. You want to gain their trust before you try to sell something to them and emails are the perfect way to do that. It allows you to get in front of them and have a conversation with them on a regular basis, which ultimately builds a strong relationship.

Mistake #5: Never ask them to act

A relationship takes two people. If you are working to build a relationship with someone, you have to prompt them to take action too.

So many business owners miss this important part in all of their marketing. If you never ask them to act, they probably won’t.

You can use a call to action to get them to engage in some kind of action. This could include asking a question to prompt a response, sending them to a blog post or page on your site, or more directly asking for the sale.


Ready to have email marketing do the heavy lifting for you? Get our Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing here.

Rachel Green

Rachel Green is the owner + designer behind Intentionally Designed. She is a graphic designer specializing in lifestyle + branding design for busy women and business owners who are working towards creating a more intentional life and business. Her mission is to give you the tools and encouragement you need to design a life of joy + intention so you can focus on the things that matter.

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