No matter how hard we try, there’s just no way around it – we’re going to make mistakes from time to time. It’s a way of life and something we shouldn’t beat ourselves up over too much. If you’re an email marketer, however, mistakes can be crucial. While some are a part of the learning experience and have a minimal impact, others can be detrimental and make it next to impossible for you to succeed. Following are the top three email marketing blunders you want to avoid:

1. Sending without Permission

Receiving an email newsletter you didn’t subscribe to feels like a major invasion of your privacy no matter how relevant and valuable the content may be. Now imagine how someone else feels when you send them an offer without their explicit permission. B2B marketers can technically get away with this, but if you’re targeting consumers with communications of a commercial nature, sending without permission is equivalent to email marketing suicide. This is a habit you can easily fall into when purchasing or renting a list. Instead of taking the shortcut, build your list internally (from the ground up) and stay away from the big bad list vendors.

2. Being Irrelevant

It takes far more than greeting your subscribers by name and sending along a good deal for your content to be considered relevant. Just because your audience members joined the same mailing list doesn’t mean they have the exact same interests. For instance, someone who signs up with a travel agency in search of information on family vacations will likely find offers on trips for singles and couples irrelevant. Even if the info on family packages comes later down the road, they will probably be ineffective because the reader has already lost interest. It is essential to make sure your communications are as laser focused as possible. Failure to do so could compel your subscribers to reach for the “Mark as Spam” button ISPs make so convenient and easily accessible.

3. Failing to Track Performance

You just fired off a huge email campaign to hundreds of people. Do you know how many of your messages were opened? Or how many of the links in them were clicked? What about the number of them that resulted in soft or hard bounces? Outside of the sales or conversions you defined, how do you know how your campaign performed? Without tracking your success, you won’t know, it’s as simple as that. Email marketing is very accountable, but it is up to you to stay on top of your performance. A commitment to measuring and analyzing your campaign activity can help you figure out when is the right time to send, compose the most compelling subject lines and ultimately create content your audience is more likely to respond to.

Mistakes are common, but they are also best avoided. While no email marketer is perfect, your campaigns can flow much more smoothly when the blunders are far and between. This should give you all the incentive to watch your step and keep the mishaps to a minimum.