When business owners complain about poor results from their email newsletters, I can usually predict what these newsletters look like before opening them. Time after time, I see the same mistakes which land emails in the trash, or worse, the spam folder. I’ll be honest, before I knew more of the ins and outs of email marketing, I was tempted to make a few of these mistakes myself.


This is the least welcoming welcome you could give someone. Some people think this ‘trick’ will grab attention in the inbox. If it does grab attention, it’s shouting at the person “I AM JUNK MAIL”. Emails with all capital letter subject lines have a much lower open rate and are often tossed into the trash folder without a second thought.

As you start writing your next email stop and think about which subject lines grab attention in your overly crowded inbox. Keep the message clear, succinct and persuasive to get readers to open your email and read what you have to say.

From: admin@yourcompany.com

“Aw, how sweet, it’s been so long since I heard from my dear friend admin”, said no one ever. Emailing from an admin account feels impersonal and fails to make a connection with your audience.

Use an email address that is recognizable. This doesn’t need to be your day to day email address, but it does need to let your audience know who is sending the email.

Unprofessional Appearance

When it comes to email marketing, looks do matter. I am not saying that every email needs to be highly designed and visual, they don’t. Emails just need to look professional and let viewers know that the content is trustworthy and valuable. Using multiple bright, flashy colors doesn’t send that message.

A carefully crafted color palette will go a long way to make email newsletters look polished. Bright colors can be useful in attracting the eye, but too many in an email newsletter has the opposite effect and leaves the reader wondering where to look or click next.

Too Much Text

After our Great Email Marketing test, we proved in most cases less is better. One of the biggest mistakes I see is too much text. Emails are the perfect place to present what you have and hook readers into wanting more. Email newsletters make great bait, the hook is a little taste of your content and reel people back to the website. Who knows, they might spend some time looking around once they get there. Too much text in an email also makes it difficult to read on a mobile device which is where a lot of people will be reading it.

Too Many Links

Of course email newsletters need to have links, but these links should be carefully selected and placed to help people identify what’s important and where they should click. I see a lot of emails that try to fit in as many links as possible with the hopes that viewers will click at least one.

Clearly identify what is important with 2-4 links that call readers to action. We recommend using buttons with colors that grab attention to let people know, without a doubt, what you want them to do next.

Non Responsive

I know, I know, again with the mobile thing, but honestly that’s how important it is. More than half your readers are opening email on their mobile device. Non responsive design makes brands look unprofessional and oblivious to the fact that many people are checking their emails on the go.

To make the emails more readable on mobile devices limit the amount of text, use headers to break up the copy, and use buttons instead of links.

Not sure if your email is creating the best impression? Give us a call and we will be happy to audit one of your campaigns.



Roundpeg is an Indianapolis marketing strategy firm.