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Richard Vohsing

Top 5 Common Mistakes of Small Business Email Marketing

Nov 05 2013, 06:00 AM by


I’m not sure if “Marketing Critic” is a unique title. While I am very critical of all marketing efforts that I come across, the same could be said for pretty much anybody else. Though our values may differ, the end result is the same. If the marketing works, you want the product. If the marketing doesn’t work, then the advertisement is probably annoying you. Either way, I am very sensitive to marketing efforts, and it’s almost become a game for me to weigh the performance of how those efforts affected me.

Sadly, this means that most of the time, commercials are even more annoying than one might imagine. Not only am I now uninterested in their product, but now I have a sort of vendetta against the company as having a generic and lackluster marketing department. In my world, if you want to stand out, you need to make me laugh, cry, or stupefy me with some amazing or emotional revelation.

This doesn’t happen very often, but that only makes those special companies appear that much brighter when it does. So, without further ado, here is a list of the most common mistakes that one can make when using email to market their product:

  • Ignoring the basic premise of deliverability. You don’t need to be an expert to understand deliverability. There are no secrets, and it’s not about who you know. It’s all about how much you respect your recipients. A proper email marketing department will take every measure to maximize recipient engagement, and ensure that their experience as being part of your mailing list is an enjoyable one.

  • Ignoring Data. The amount of data that Email marketing can offer is tremendous. Open rates, and click rates can be compared against hundreds of other data points that you may have available to help find trends and patterns. For example, plotting a map of all recipients who opened a certain email might help you recognize that recipients based in Montana probably do not have as much interest in surf-boards as compared to recipients based in California. This is a pretty broad example, but even the minute details can improve your marketing efforts. This data is invaluable, and it’s surprising how many senders are oblivious to it.

  • Sending too many emails. This almost speaks for itself. Just remember that your recipients have a life outside of buying your products. In my years as a marketing professional, I have never seen any reason to send more than one email per day to a recipient. Even then, in most cases, once a week is more than enough.

  • Sending too few emails. The direct opposite to the above, maintaining consistent contact with your recipient base is also key. Just like a television show, recipients tend to expect emails at a certain date or time. Focusing your efforts on consistency and reliability will improve open rates and recipient engagement.

  • Content & Design. This is more common than one might expect. While we offer some pretty awesome templates to use, investing some time and effort into creating emails that match your companies branding is well worth the effort. Check out our “Emails that Do Work” blogs for examples of what great campaign design is all about.


This might also be a good time to point out that Benchmark Email also offers a custom template service. For a one-time fee of $299, our team can assemble a template that perfectly matches the branding of your company.

Posted in Email Tips

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