These Four Mistakes Will Shipwreck Your Email Marketing Campaign

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You have a very small window of opportunity to capture your reader’s attention with an email.

Imagine being at the beach on a bright sunny day. As you sit back and take in the magnificent view, enjoying the sound of the birds chirping and the waves crashing onto shore, you see a message in a bottle addressed to you. You don’t mind a quick interruption, and your curiosity leads you to pick up the bottle. All of a sudden, more bottled messages appear. The anticipation is now replaced with a feeling of being overwhelmed by the sheer number of messages and the realization that you can only read a few, as you are eager to get back to your day.

This is how viewing a typical email inbox feels. People receive approximately 75 emails a day. You have three to four seconds to grab their attention.

Here are four common mistakes and how you can increase your chances of standing out in a vast sea of emails.

  1. Emails sent from an unfamiliar person are often ignored. The email should come from a company name rather than a personal name (unless you’re famous or your personal name is the company name). Readers will easily recognize who the message is from instead of being confused and sending your email to the trash or marking it as spam. Also, use an email address that readers can actually respond to instead of “[email protected]
  2. Ineffective subject lines don’t compel readers. As Will Rogers is said to have said, You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.”It’s a great reminder when writing your subject line. A carefully planned and well-thought-out subject line will provide the reader a compelling reason to continue reading. If you ignore the subject line, then all of the hard work of designing an email and writing great copy will go to waste. A general rule of thumb is to use no more than 50 characters, keep it to the point and avoid spam filters.

    Here are a few ideas when writing a subject line:

    • Ask a question
    • Emphasize benefits
    • Use a list
    • Make an announcement/invitation
  3. A boring first paragraph can prompt a reader not to open an email. A preheader is the first line of text of the email’s content when previewed. When used correctly, it complements the subject line and creates another outlet to entice readers to open your email. Don’t waste this extra marketing space by using the default “view in your web browser” or repeating the subject line as the preheader.

    Here are some of the best uses of this space:

    • Tease readers with a short summary of your email
    • Add more context to the subject line
    • Feature a call to action
  4. Trick emails will anger readers. Don’t make false claims that will trick people into opening your email. That is a sure-fire way for people to unsubscribe and to sink your reputation.

Become the captain of your email marketing campaigns by navigating through these common email marketing mistakes. It’s what separates the messages that get read with the ones that get tossed back into the sea.

Alan Del Rosario is the email marketing &social media coordinator with Wealth Management Marketing, Inc., a firm specializing in outsourced marketing department services to Registered Investment Advisors and fee-only financial planning firms. For more information, visit

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