5 risky email Marketing mistakes you’re making [Plus, the secret solutions you need to fix them.]

(7 min. Read)

Sending random emails once you commit to email is a frustrating experience for most. You think “they signed up for my email list, they know this is a company, why aren’t they buying from my emails?”

But the truth is…

Your email content is random, low quality, not mobile optimized and not very well planned out. Yet, there are dozens of things that could lead to a disconnect with your audience and your content.

Let’s review 5 fatal email marketing mistakes you’re making causing this disconnect: 

  1. Not creating a lead capture strategy 
  2. Not personalizing your email content
  3. Sending emails too often
  4. Not using an email preference center
  5. You’re trying to sell to your email subs 


If you want more insight into email marketing, download this Email Marketing Tool Kit. For an interactive training in email, checkout this Virtual Email Marketing Training.

How to use popups to capture emails from website visitors.

Tip #1: Not creating a lead capture strategy 

Believe it or not, you shouldn’t have pop ups on every single page of your website. This can get annoying fast for most people.  

Test this out by installing a heat-map on your website to see how people engage with it (try lucky orange).

Once you watch recordings, the results will  shock you. Many people exit them because they’re irrelevant, disruptive or ill timed. You can combat this with proper pop up placement, timing and embedded CTAs.

Here’s a free lead capture strategy you should try instead: 

  • Product pages: use embedded CTAS to avoid disrupting a potential sale. Embed it in the description, at the top of the menu bar or in the footer, and as a clickable button next to add to cart. Read this article for examples: The top 10 Marketing strategies used by Savage X Fenty by Rihanna
  • Blog & about pages: use embedded newsletter options. Embed freebies and sign up options within the text for a flawless reading experience.
  • Cart page: only use an exit intent pop up. Popups aren’t necessary here unless the viewer tries to leave without purchasing.
  • Home page: Allow the user to scroll through 25% - 50% of the page before a pop up appears. They should have the opportunity to browse and get a vibe from the brand before you ask for contact info. Also, did a newsletter subscriber option to the footer menu of the homepage. If you can, try adding a newsletter subscriber embed into the menu bar so that it’s at the top of the page as well.

It’s important to note that this isn’t a set it and forget it model. You need to update your CTAs and popups at least quarterly. You also need to track the data and compare results to optimize your CTAs.

This is the only way to improve and learn what works best for you. Remember, this is trial no error with a lot of time dedicated to testing. Your first pop up won’t look anything like your newest ones 6 months from now (or at least they shouldn’t anyway).

A lead capture strategy can also use simple forms, like here in The Free TBT Library. With these forms, you can create freebie downloads that help segment your viewers. 

Watch this tutorial to see how to create the forms, the  files and setup social proof campaigns.

Using all 5 methods together will make it super easy to grow your list, nurture everyone, and eventually see a return on your investment in developing these strategies. 

Using a lead capture system without a strategy means you can’t personalize your content. Let’s go over why this is critical to your success.

How to increase email engagement and click through rate?
Tip 2: Not personalizing your email content 

Personalizing content for your email list means understanding the buyers journey. But, what is the buyers journey? 

“The buyer's journey is a framework that acknowledges a buyer's progression through a research and decision process ultimately culminating in a purchase” (Conductor, 2022). 

Typically, this is a 4 step process:

  • Awareness: Customer learns about your brand via Google search, social media, referrals, events etc.
  • Research: The customer acknowledges a problem they have and begin looking for solutions 
  • Decision: The customer is ready to decide if they want to solve their problem with your offers.
  • Purchase: the customer has decided to do business with you.

By knowing this, you know what kind of content the customer needs and why. Now, you’re ready to start making the experience personalized to their needs. 

Let’s review some examples of content you can send to leads at different steps:

  • Awareness: introduction to brand, invite to community, free downloads, invite to follow on all socials. 
  • Research: acknowledge their pain, share industry tips, highlight crazy facts, provide free resources, share tutorials, prioritize nurturing via educational content (like this blog 😉), webinars.
  • Decision: Start sending relevant customer reviews, share screenshots of results, try to get videos from happy clients to embed here, Send data that influences their decision to see your value.
  • Purchase: Send-offers, get creative. Offer exclusive bundles & use short team deadlines for discounts to boost a sense of urgency. Be direct, ask for the sale. This is the best time to use product photos, invite them to exclusive social media lives.

Here’s an example of content for a customer at stage 3 from a referral:  

If a customer gets your information from a referral, they’re already in step 3. This means they know enough about your brand to become a warm lead.

So, you should send them content specifically relevant to their needs and avoid sending unnecessary sales announcements, irrelevant restock alerts, and offers that don’t help them.

Start with a brand introduction, then go into sharing expertise, then customer reviews and ask for the sale. Keep in mind, this level of personalization can only occur with proper tagging and segmenting.

If you’re unfamiliar with these terms, watch this quick crash course for a brief overview.

You can also review this article for more clarity: What is email segmentation?

With relevant tags & meaningful segments, your email strategy becomes very easy to personalize. Which means your chances of converting and boosting your CTR (click thru rate) grow exponentially.


If you want more insight into email marketing after reading this article + get matched with the best tools for you, download or register this Email Marketing Tool Kit. If you want an interactive training instead, checkout this Virtual Email Marketing Training.

How to reduce email unsubscribers?

Tip #3: Sending emails too frequently

When someone signs up for your email list, the expectation should be set of when they’ll hear from you, why, and how this benefits them.

If you go against what you initially promised without permission, you’ll break their trust. This is often why people unsubscribe from email list, the constant changes get overwhelming after a while.

Most email subs don’t want to hear from you more than once or twice a week. The most loyal and engaged readers will want to hear from you almost everyday, especially if you’re sharing high value content.

You should also consider that committing to making too much content can be overwhelming and may lead to burnout for you.

For some creators and entrepreneurs, this leads to ignoring their email list and randomly sending discounts to shop. Which leads to mass unsubscribes & spam reports, ultimately hurting your deliverability.

To avoid this, create realistic goals for your time commitment to email marketing. If you can only dedicate 2 hours a week to it, start with a small commitment of 1 email a week. Creating valuable email content isn’t only writing emails, but also doing research, graphics, A/B testing & structure.

To help you get started, use this Email Marketing Checklist. 

What is a email preference center?

Tip #4: Not using an email preference center

An email preference center is “a tool that helps you establish a healthy communication cadence with your subscribers. It provides an easy way for your subscribers to manage their email by giving them a centralized portal to control what they receive and how often they receive your messages” (SendGrid, 2014). 

Email preference centers should be simple, easy to use and relevant to your email content.

Here’s an example of one of our email preference centers.

What is an email preference center?

What is an email preference center?

What is an email preference center?

If you want more insight into email marketing after reading this article + get matched with the best tools for you, download or register this Email Marketing Tool Kit. If you want an interactive training instead, checkout this Virtual Email Marketing Training.


How to make email content engaging?
Tip #5: Only Using Sales Content

If you only talk to your email subs when you’re trying to sell something, they’ll eventually stop opening your emails. Discounts are awesome, but they don’t magically convince people to buy things they didn’t already see the value in.

Also consider that because aren’t value added content, you aren’t nurturing your audience. Since you aren’t nurturing your audience, someone else is. That “someone else” is also  building trust, establishing authority and actually selling to them.

Here’s some ideas of email content you can send:

If you found this blog and resources helpful, please leave a comment highlighting how you plan to use everything. Also, don’t forget to share it on Twitter and tag me @Marketingbully_ .

If you want more insight into email marketing after reading this article + get matched with the best tools for you, download this Email Marketing Tool Kit. If you want an interactive training instead, checkout this Virtual Email Marketing Training.

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