5 Things You are Probably Doing Wrong in Email Marketing

By Carrie Cousins

Thank you to Valley Business FRONT for featuring our Director of Digital Marketing, Carrie Cousins, in their February 2024 issue.

Are you sabotaging your own emails before they ever hit the first inbox?

While we all send hundreds of emails each week, sending an email as a brand is a lot different than communication with a colleague or friend. Email marketing is a bit of a relationship that you establish with customers and to do it right you need planning, goal setting, and a dash of technical know-how. 

Some of the most common email mistakes can cause even your best customers to delete messages or might even prevent them from getting there at all. Are you making any of these email marketing mistakes?

1. Sending from a Person’s Name

Do your customers know the names of your employees? For most businesses, it is unlikely. That means sending an email from a person, rather than from your business name could render your emails unopened. (It can also lead to tricky situations every time an employee leaves the company.)

Here’s why this is a problem: Most spam emails are sent from a person’s name (often unknown to the person who gets the email). By sending from your business name, you’ll establish brand recognition and credibility, leading to more potential opens. 

  • Use a generic address for your business, such as info@ or hello@
  • Send from your business domain, such as leadpointdigital.com
  • Include your business name in the “from” field, such as LeadPoint Digital

2. Using too Many Spammy Words

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Email deliverability is greatly impacted by “spammy” words, odd characters, or unusual fonts; almost ensuring your emails go straight to spam filters. 

Start your email with a subject line that’s between 30 and 50 characters and provides direct value for your target audience. 

3. Writing Longform Content

Last time you opened a long email, did you read it? (Or did you roll your eyes and move on?)

Email is not the proper place to share longform content, and it can impact whether the email is even delivered. The ideal file size of an HTML email is 20 to 102 KB. (Text and media contribute.) 

The best way to reduce the overall weight of your emails? Edit that content! An email should have a direct goal, giving the recipient one thing to do, such as clicking a link to learn more about something or buy a product on your website. 

4. Neglecting to Set SPF/DKIM Records

Even if your email content is perfect, it might still need some help to ensure delivery. Every business sending email needs to set SPF and DKIM records. (This may require technical assistance.)

SPF authenticates the sender to ensure that only authorized servers can send emails from your domain. DKIM is used to verify messages haven’t been tampered with in transit. Together, they show that your business is a trustworthy email sender, helping messages bypass spam filters. 

5. Not Using a Schedule 

We are all creatures of habit; therefore, planning an email schedule will help customers know when and what to expect from you, increasing deliverability and open rates. But it’s a bit of magic – send too frequently and your messages won’t have value; send too sporadically and subscribers might ignore the unexpected messages. 

Just the right frequency depends on your business and goals.

If you are making any of these mistakes, don’t fret. Correct your errors and with any luck, you’ll see a boost in email delivery and open rates.

Carrie Cousins is the Director of Digital Marketing at LeadPoint Digital in Roanoke. For 15+ years, she has helped businesses tell their stories and get better results online with practical digital marketing strategies. She also an active leader in AAF, serving on the local and district boards, and is an adjunct professor at Virginia Tech. 

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