If only email marketing were as simple as typing up a few lines and shooting off a draft to all those subscribers on your list. But as service marketers, you’re all too aware of the nuance required to produce that ideal email all but guaranteed to increase conversions. And success depends just as much on what you’re doing wrong as what you’re doing right. To this end, here are 10 email marketing mistakes you might be making that you’re not even aware of.

You don’t include a call to action

You may have crafted the perfect personalized email, but it’s a moot point if the reader doesn’t take action after finishing it. Without guiding the reader to the specific outcome you want, you may as well have not sent the email in the first place.

What exactly is the outcome you’re looking for? Maybe it’s to convert a lead, or promote a launch or event, or inform the reader of a sale. Make sure the CTA is clear, enticing, and directs the recipient to this outcome. Rely on direct, strong wording, like “read more now,” and “get your free offer.” Also, strategically place this CTA in more than one location in the email. But make sure it’s incorporated naturally into the text. You don’t want to turn your readers off with repetition.

 

You send emails too frequently, or not frequently enough

Maybe your email list has swollen with people eager to hear about regular offers for your service. Perhaps you promised them you’d send out promotions and special offers once a week. Fail to live up to this and not only will it turn off your audience, they’ll forget about your brand as well.

Conversely, if you send out emails more frequently than you initially promised, you risk coming on too strong and scaring them away. The last thing you want is a spike in folks unsubscribing from your list. The best thing is to be clear from the start. Tell your readers in your introductory message what your goals are with these emails, and how frequently you plan on sending them out.

 

You overlook professionalism

An unprofessional email can potentially cause the reader to automatically think that you don’t really care. Perhaps you just spent so much time focusing on the optimization and personalization of the email that you overlooked the smaller details. Always proof your emails for spelling and grammar mistakes, and always use professional language. Moreover, don’t include stock images (they lack originality and will leave your readers unimpressed),

 

You don’t stay on message

The purpose of email marketing is to keep the brand you’re promoting on people’s minds. You want them to be aware of your service. If a piece of content in your email doesn’t serve this end, then it’s best to omit it entirely.

Simply put: always consider the reader of your email. What’s going to keep them engaged? Ask yourself if every bit of information in the email was crafted to keep them engaged.

 

You don’t talk about yourself

This is similar to the above point, but where it differs than merely promoting a message is in the nuance. Talk about the reader of the email, not yourself. When discussing your brand, frame it in a way that it directly speaks to the reader and how it will benefit them. If you’re promoting a special offer or discount, talk about how the reader can claim it (CTA) as well as how it will affect them personally.

 

You include attachments

Professional service marketers don’t include attachments in their emails. The reason is that it’s a tactic most commonly used by spammers. You may have come across that authoritative white paper perfectly encapsulating the benefits of your service, but that’s still no reason to attach the PDF document in an email. If you must include it, then instead add it as a link.

 

You don’t write purposeful subject lines

There’s something to be said for a clever, eye-catching subject line. That said, clever doesn’t necessarily translate into conversions—especially if the subject line doesn’t speak directly to the reader. A clickbait line like “5 Ways We’re Crushing it in 2018” may seem intriguing on its surface, but look closer and you’ll see there’s no substance. Even worse, it’s not specific and it doesn’t focus on the reader. A line like that won’t lead to many opens.

Crafting an email subject line that engenders opens is an art unto itself. It doesn’t rely on any one tactic, either. A good subject line will be personalized, eye-catching, relevant, and peak the reader’s curiosity. Even better if you can work mention of a special offer into that subject line. For more on this, HubSpot does a good job breaking down the elements of a great email subject line.

You don’t optimize for mobile

Society reached a milestone in 2016 when, for the first time, mobile internet searches surpassed desktop searches. If you’re still ignoring the popularity of mobile it will only spell death for your marketing efforts. And yes, that goes for email as well.

Hazards of not optimizing your email marketing for mobile include text bleeding off the screen, and images not loading or becoming too large. Test your mobile optimization before you launch your campaign. Ensure that all text is readable, all images are clear, and there is plenty of white space so the text isn’t cluttered.

You rely too heavily on automation

Don’t get us wrong, email marketing automation is a great thing. There are a number of automation tools out there that excel at helping you create scalable campaigns that convert. But even in today’s technologically advanced age, automation still requires human oversight.

For example, it’s not unheard of for marketers to archive a completed campaign only to have a simple software update reactivate it. This can flood your subscribers with unwanted emails, thus eradicating all that painstaking and sensitive work you put in. The solution: disconnect all source campaigns from automated campaigns once you retire them. Use stop-blocks and ensure your automation tools have accounted for unwanted looping.

 

You start late

And finally, one of the most fundamental mistakes you can make in professional services is waiting to pull the trigger on email. We understand that there are other channels that require attention (SEO, social media, etc.) but to prioritize email lower than those others is to shoot yourself in the foot. The second you decide to embark on digital marketing, in general, is the second you need to start crafting your email campaigns. Do this right from the get-go and all channels will be feeding off each other in service to what is surely your ultimate goal: increasing conversions.