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9 Devastating Mistakes to Avoid in your Outbound Email Marketing Campaigns

December 8, 2022

Do you open a cold email when you get one? Be honest.



We’re guessing you might not. After all, only 44% of cold emails get opened on average.



That means that over 55% of your emails do not even meet the human eye. So, the click-through and response rates on your outbound email marketing campaigns may very well be under 5%. That’s pretty grim. And yet—that’s the truth for most marketers worldwide.



But that doesn’t mean outbound email is a waste of time.



It just means you need to make sure you’re doing it right and stay away from old-school strategies that just don’t work.



The truth is, outbound email marketing is still the best way to reach a higher ROI and acquire customers. It requires less time and effort but delivers a high ROI of $36 for every $1 spentーhigher compared to other digital marketing channels.



Unfortunately, most marketers fail to maximize the full potential of email marketing. They make the same old outbound email marketing mistakes, preventing them from achieving a higher ROI.



To help you out, here are the 9 devastating outbound email marketing mistakes you need to avoid.



Mistake #1: Not Having a Mobile-Friendly Email Template


In the first quarter of 2021, nearly 60% of all emails were opened on a mobile device. Yet, many marketers still don’t have a mobile-friendly outbound email template.



Smartphones are here to stay and likely carried out by most of your target consumers, so there’s no reason to keep sending emails that aren’t optimized for your mobile audience. Mobile-friendly email templates are designed not just to look good, but also to be easily readable.



What You Can Do: Optimize your emails to be mobile-friendly. Your emails should have a single-column layout with large font sizes to make them easier to read on smaller screens. Make the call-to-action (CTA) button big and prominent so that people can easily click on it without zooming in.



Mistake #2: Not Personalizing Your Emails


Did you know personalized emails drive 6x more transactions than generic emails and have a 26% higher open rate?



Yet, many marketers still make the mistake of not personalizing their outbound emails. Instead, they either use generic greetings like, “Dear Sir or Madam”—failing to use the recipient’s name at all. Due to the impersonal nature, you’re not making your customer feel like you care.



So, even when 74% of marketers know that personalization increases engagement, only 5% of companies personalize extensively.



What You Can Do: Take the time to personalize the outbound emails you send. This means using the recipient’s name in the greeting and throughout the email. It also means tailoring the email content to match the recipient’s needs and interests.



You can do this by using data from past interactions to segment your list and then send them targeted content. For example, if someone on your list has visited your pricing page but hasn’t signed up for your service, you could send them an email with a special offer or a discount code.



Mistake #3: Not Creating a Sense of Urgency


When people see an outbound email in their inbox, they usually don’t have a lot of motivation to open and read it right away. After all, it’s not like you’ll lose out on anything if you don’t read the email immediately. 



So, it’s crucial to create a sense of urgency in your outbound emails to get people to take action and actually open and read your email. 



What You Can Do: You can create a sense of urgency through your subject line. Use words and phrases like “last chance” or “act now” to let people know they need to take action quickly. Another way is to use an expiration date by offering a discount that expires in 24 hours.



Mistake #4: Not Offering Something Exclusive


People are more likely to take action when they feel like they’re getting something unique or exclusive. So, offering something to your readers in your outbound emails is essential.



What You Can Do: Offer a discount code only valid for people on your email list. Or you could provide early access to a new product or service. You could even offer a freebie like an ebook or white paper.



The key is ensuring that whatever you’re offering is valuable and relevant to your target audience.



Mistake #5: Not Asking for a Response


Many outbound emails simply state what the sender has to offer, but they don’t ask for anything in return. Asking for a response is important because it tells the recipient what you want them to do next.


  • Do you want them to click on a link?
  • Sign up for your newsletter?
  • Follow you on social media?
  • Make a purchase?


What You Can Do: Ensure that all your emails have a CTA that tells the recipient what you want them to do. And make it easy for them to take action by including a link or a button.



Mistake #6: Not Following Up


Many outbound email marketers make the mistake of not following up with their recipients. This is a mistake because it’s often the follow-up email that gets people to take action. Just sending one follow-up email can boost your reply rate from 9% to 13%.



What You Can Do: Send a second email a few days after your initial outbound email. It’s important to send the followup while you’re still top of mind. 



Mistake #7: Sending Too Many Emails


No one likes drowning in emails, especially cold emails. When your customers receive more and more emails from you weekly, chances are they can’t keep upーand they won’t want to.



What started as an effective way to connect with your customers can quickly be why they unsubscribe. Around 46% of customers flag emails as spam because companies send emails too often.



What You Can Do: Be sure to space out your outbound email campaigns so that you’re not bombarding people with too many emails. A good rule of thumb is to send one email every two weeks. But, of course, this will depend on your list size and the frequency with which people engage with your emails.



Mistake #8: Not Measuring Results


Now, it might be a rookie mistake, but it’s still far too common. No matter how optimized your emails are, you can’t improve your results if you don’t know what’s working and what’s not.



Before sending emails, make sure that you understand your goals by asking yourself these questions:


  • Do I want to grow my subscriber database?
  • Do I want to generate more leads?
  • Do I want to convert more prospects into customers?


What You Can Do: Be sure to track your open, click-through, and unsubscribe rates. This will give you a good idea of how your outbound email campaigns are performing.



You should also keep track of the number of leads and customers you generate from your email campaigns. That way, you’ll know how profitable your email marketing is and be able to inform everyone if it’s paying off.



Mistake #9: Not Segmenting Your List


Finally, the last mistake that email marketers make is not segmenting their lists. In other words, they’re sending the same email to everyone on their list—regardless of their interests or needs. And when you try to appease everyone, you’ll just end up with no one interested.



This is a mistake because people are more likely to engage with an email that’s relevant to them.



What You Can Do: Segment your list so you can send more targeted and relevant emails. You can divide your list into different groups based on demographics, interests, or past purchase history.



Nail Your Outbound Email Campaigns


Outbound email marketing remains to be the most effective tool to generate leads and convert prospects to paying customers. But to maximize the full potential of email marketing and achieve a high ROI, it’s vital that you avoid making these common mistakes.



You can’t expect to have different results when your strategies aren’t changing. So, spend a little more time personalizing your emails and optimizing them for mobile users.



Do you need help with your email marketing efforts? Contact ScaleUpSales for a free consultation on how we can help grow your business.