Are You Making These 5 Email Automation Mistakes?

January 14, 2019 Henna Javed

woman looking at laptop

It’s 2019, and it’s time to get with the program. Sending emails manually is so last year! Let’s automate everything!

Wrong. Let’s not.

Automation is a great tool, and it’s everywhere. It can help your business reduce costs and increase productivity. You can reach thousands of consumers with a click of a button.

But, there are mistakes that can jeopardize your entire campaign, reputation, or business. Thus, it is imperative to follow best practices recommended by email marketing professionals. It is also important to harness your own common sense and creativity with your campaigns.

Let’s go over five major email automating mistakes to avoid.

1. Automating Everything

Some emails, such as welcome, birthday, or holiday emails, are easy to automate. But, it’s not always best to set it and forget it. You should always check up on your campaigns and how they’re doing.

Every email marketing program measures the performance metrics of your email. This means you can see how well (or not well) your email did. Keep an eye on your metrics and use the results of prior campaigns for future campaigns.

Also, it is important to remember your contacts are human beings. They do not want to always receive robotic automatic emails. It’s better to nurture your contacts by sending emails with a personal touch. For example, signing off with the name and title of the person who the email is coming from. This will make your brand come across as more authentic and genuine rather than salesy.

You should also keep track of how your database is managed. There may be missing fields which your automatic emails are trying to use in a message. For example, let’s say your database doesn’t include your contacts’ last names. If your email starts with, “Dear Mr. LastName,” the recipient is either going to get a blank for that field or a code. This will look unprofessional and your customer may even get annoyed and unsubscribe.

2. Sending Too Many Messages (aka Spamming)

Since it’s so easy to set up automatic campaigns, it can be easy to set up too many. Just because you can send ten emails a day, doesn’t mean that you should. Do not abuse the power of automation and become a spammer. This can shrink your contact list as you annoy potential prospects and customers. It can prompt them to unsubscribe, or worse, report your emails as spam to their email client.

But how many emails are too many? According to a survey by , 86 percent of consumers prefer to receive promotional emails once a month. Different industries have different standards, so be attentive to your contact list. Test out what works best with your audience.

3. Not Segmenting Your Contacts

We like to stress the importance of organizing and segmenting your contacts. Segmenting your contacts means to sort them by a shared characteristic. This can actually prevent spamming with automatic emails. Customers will be set up to receive relevant content according to their segment.

It’s always a good practice to hone your lists and then set up automatic campaigns. Create content according to the list’s interest, status, or relationship with your company.

4. Not Setting a Goal

Each of your automated campaigns should have a clear goal. Map this goal out before you do anything else. Keep the goal in mind while creating the campaign.

For example, your goal for a campaign could be to have customers like your agency’s Facebook page. You can then use this goal to focus your emails on your call-to-action. The call-to-action is the most important part of your campaign. It defines what you want the result of your campaign to be.

To learn more about the dos and don’ts of calls-to-action in email marketing, click here.

5. Not Being Compliant with CAN-SPAM Regulations

Your email marketing must comply with the CAN-SPAM Act (or, your country’s regulations).

According to the FTC, the CAN-SPAM Act is a “law that sets the rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have you stop emailing them, and spells out tough penalties for violation.” These rules apply to all business communication messages, and not only automated campaigns.

If you do not follow these rules and get reported, you can be liable for fines and penalties.

But, there is no need to be fearful. Your agency’s email marketing program will help you stay in compliance of the rules. A good system will inform you if anything is out of order. Also use good judgement when setting up your campaigns. If you were the recipient of these emails, how would you feel? Create your emails with that in mind. Last but not least, review the Federal Trade Commission’s CAN-SPAM Act Compliance Guide for Businesses.



About the Author

Henna Javed

Henna is a marketing automation expert at ITC, providing support to ITC's email marketing clients. Her work consists of AgencyBuzz training, helping design email templates and newsletters, blogging, and content creation. Henna holds a Bachelor of Science in political communications from the University of Texas, is a member of the Society of Professional Mediators, and is licensed in property and casualty insurance. Her passions include conservation, social media, photography, writing, gastronomy, travel, and beaches.

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