Top 10 Email Mistakes in 2020 You Should Always Avoid

Email marketing still brings the highest ROI. So, no wonder it’s on the top list of the overall marketing strategy for each company. But these days, people receive so many emails that they might not only ignore them but delete immediately.

There is the reason why some emails immediately go into the trash while others are being carefully read and considered. And the reason is that the email senders make obvious mistakes and ignore the best email marketing strategies. 

So, here we are sharing top email mistakes you should avoid in 2020.

#1 Unprofessional email signature

While an email signature is the right way of showing your professionalism, when it’s done not correctly, it may fire back at you. 

An email signature is like a digital business card. So, when it’s done unprofessionally, no wonder that people will not take you seriously and, most probably, will ignore your emails.

So, before writing an email with the signature, take the time to think about how you would like your signature to look like. Start with trying out a free email signature. Experiment with different styles, different fonts until you come up with an email signature that represents who you are.

Consider looking at some email signature examples to get inspired. When you see the patterns, it’s much easier to understand what style will fit you the best and what elements you should include in the email signature.

#2 Unclear subject line

The subject line is the first thing to catch one’s eye – that’s why it shouldn’t be just Ok, – it should be catchy. Not to say that an unclear subject line will, most probably, turn recipients’ attention away from the email, and they wouldn’t have any desire to open it.

To come up with a perfect subject line isn’t so easy as it may seem at first. The ideal subject line should grab attention immediately, be not too short and too long, and should reveal what’s the message is about.

As a suggestion, you can create a subject line using the formula: X Tips (Pieces of Advice) For the Company to… People tend to pay more attention to the subject line with the numbers. Besides, when you write an email in the form of a list, it can easily be scanned with a glimpse of an eye.

Another variant is to create a hook in the subject line. For example, you can include word combination ‘quick question’ in the subject line; the reader doesn’t know what this question is about, and, thus, is more likely to open an email to find out.

Also, use your creativity and come up with something unusual. Not commonly done things have the potential to grab the attention as well, but remember not to be too vague.

#3 Too long email body

Let’s be honest: nobody is going to read long emails. People value their time more than anything else, and so wouldn’t want to waste it on reading too long emails. Take into account that people receive too many emails daily, and one has to choose which email to read and which one to skip.

Besides, a professional email should always be clear and precise. Emails with too much vague information create the wrong impression of the sender (and respectively, of the company).

So, think about every sentence you are writing and make sure that it adds some value to the overall message. Your main task is to hold a reader’s attention, and it can be easily lost if the sentences are too long. Make a habit of editing the email messages before sending them out.

You can also use email acronyms that help summarize what you are trying to say. They make it easier to keep an email body short as well as save time and make the communication easier.

#4 Being too pushy

No one likes to be pushed into some action. Everybody would like to make their own decision rather than listening to someone saying what to do. So, if you are writing too pushy emails, most probably, they will get rejected entirely.

Not to sound too pushy, avoid doing the following things:


  • stop stating in each email that ‘something is urgent.’  People might have some urgent things to do in the office, deadlines that keep them busy during the day. That’s why they don’t need any ‘urgent emails’ on top of that. Besides, when this word is overused, it becomes clear pretty soon that it’s a manipulation.
  • Stop click-baiting, especially don’t fill your subject line with click-bait. If you do it, you will immediately lose trust with your audience and make them angry. 
  • Never lie. Never lie about anything, be it a discount or a lottery or something else. It’s not easy to establish trust, and once you break it, your chances to reestablish it will be zero to nothing. That’s why if you’ve promised something, always do it.

#5 Being too vague

Your message should be to the point. People don’t have time to ‘decipher’ what you were trying to say. Being not clear enough often leads to frustration, as after reading such a message, people will ask: “Ok, what was it all about? Why did I waste my time on that?’ And after that, they will ignore all your further messages.

So, if you want to say something, be as specific as possible. Besides, you are also interested in getting your message across. If you aren’t clear enough, you will also waste your time. Every professional email aims to deliver information accurately and quickly.

#6 Using too many graphical elements

It might be useful to include some graphical elements into your email body. Visual language is as important as the words; besides, visual elements can strengthen the words.

Yet, if you use too many graphical elements, it might have a reverse effect. So, if you want an email to look personal and ‘written by a human,’ avoid fancy templates and sophisticated designs. 

Too fancy design (especially if it doesn’t go well with the business tone of the email) will only take the attention away from the actual message. And if not done correctly, it can make people laugh and, thus, they will not take you seriously.

#7 Never following-up

When you send an email for the first time, and it doesn’t yield any results, it doesn’t necessarily mean that people are not interested in your emails. Your email simply could have gone to a spam box. Or, maybe, people were way too busy to answer your email and then forgot about it. 

The reality is that very often people open an email only at the third follow-up or even more. Never assume that your recipients will get back to you just after your first email. You might be lucky, of course, and receive the response immediately, but it is not a good idea to base a business strategy on luck alone.

And even after the recipients answered you, don’t forget to follow-up with them. 

#8 Not using CTAs 

CTAs (calls-to-action) make it easier to understand what the email is about and how to proceed. 

While it’s not professional to be too pushy, without a clear CTA, a recipient might as well wonder what the whole message is about. 

Apparent CTA makes it understandable what you exactly want from the recipients. So, make it very precise what you would like your readers to take away from the message and what next steps you would like them to make.

#9 Bad spelling and grammar

It’s not uncommon for every person to make some spelling and grammar mistakes. And while it can even be Ok when you write a message to your friends, it’s not OK when it comes to a business email. Such mistakes diminish your professionalism and put you at a considerable distance from being treated seriously. 

So, always reread every email before sending it out. You can download some AI writing assistance software that can automatically correct misspellings and some grammar mistakes. Also, let the editor read and correct all your emails to ensure that everything looks the way it should be.

#10 Not thinking about mobile users

66% of emails in the US are opened on mobile devices, so you should optimize them and make mobile-friendly. These days, when you don’t take it into account, you will lose the vast majority of your audience. 

If mobile users have trouble viewing the email, they will simply skip it. So, make sure that your email will be properly read and displayed on the screen of the mobile phone.

We hope that you will not make any email marketing campaigns in 2020, and we wish you a new fruitful year and many successful email marketing campaigns!


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