Successful email marketing requires more than powerful copy and appealing design. Before words and images can start helping you connect and convert, they have to get a chance to reach real individuals. Many marketers forget that, and they still make mistakes that cost them opportunities. The good news is that it’s all in your power to make sure your emails land in the intended inbox. In this article, I'm going to identify the top 3 most common email marketing mistakes that sabotage performance and explain how you can fix them.

Not separating the types of emails you send

In email marketing, your sender reputation is paramount – much like in real life, your brand perception can precede who you really are. Sometimes, your reputation as a sender suffers for various reasons, such as a messy email list or low engagement metrics. What matters is to not allow your potentially tainted reputation to affect your transactional communication. This is why separating the types of emails you send is best practice.

As both IPs and domains contribute to your sender reputation, you should have a dedicated IP and domain name for each type of email you send.

  • for critical, transactional messages, use the name of your company in the domain, like
  • for all other emails – newsletters and marketing communication – choose a similar, but different domain name. Example:

These emails should go out from a different IP. This way, if you encounter reputation and deliverability issues with your marketing campaigns, your business emails won’t be impacted. You wouldn’t want receipts or other important transactional messages to end up in people’s spam folder or not be delivered at all.


Not warming up your IPs

There are lots of dubious players online. A growing portion of the Internet is directed to capture sensitive information, generate click fraud, track user behavior, and use email for questionable purposes. As email grew as a medium, inbox providers became more and more reluctant in trusting senders. Actually, they distrust everyone until they prove their legitimacy.

As a marketer, no matter how good your intentions are, you don’t get the benefit of the doubt. You have to first gain inbox providers’ trust, and the only way you can do that is by warming up your IPs (and then keeping them warm).

What matters most for your sender reputation is your IP and the actions associated with it. If you’re just starting your email marketing program, or you’re suddenly sending an unusually large number of emails, inbox providers consider that a red flag. So don’t take them by surprise, but instead, warm up your IPs by sending smaller batches in the first few days. Then, you can increase the volume – keep in mind that each provider imposes certain limitations.

Warming up your IPs is crucial to getting your emails in the inbox. However, it’s not enough to ensure that people are receiving them. If your bounce rate is high and your open rates seem low, you should take a closer look at your list. You may need an email validation system to filter out invalid and dormant contacts.


Sending emails at irregular intervals

Sending emails on an irregular schedule reduces open rates and reputation. Despite its immediate consequences, many marketers continue to ignore regularity. If you email your list once a week for a month, go silent for six weeks, then pick up where you left off, you’ll get more spam complaints and lower open rates.

Emailing erratically is not a clever way to secure a spot in your subscribers’ inboxes. First of all, people signed up for your emails and most likely expect them to arrive timely. When they don’t, you lose credibility and you lose the ability to connect – how close can you get to someone you only hear from every once in a while? Then, if your (late) email is a promotional one, chances are some people will label you as Spam before they decide to get off your list.

So, how often are you planning to email your subscribers? Make your sending frequency a rule that you don’t break. Stay disciplined and send your emails on the same day. Ideally, at the same time.

You’ll reap the benefits soon enough:

  • Your IP stays warm, and that supports your deliverability big time
  • You’ll build a much better connection with your subscribers, which will result in higher open and click-through rates
  • Spam complaints? There’s always a chance, but less likely when you show up in people’s inboxes all the time and they’re familiar with your content
  • Better conversions: people buy from brands they like and trust. The more punctual your emails, the more trust and familiarity you build with your list.

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