Mukesh K. Singhmar

Mukesh K. Singhmar / October 18, 2022

6 Outdated Practices That Could Be Hurting Your Email Marketing Results

Lead Generation


It’s no secret that email marketing is a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes. In fact, according to a study by the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing generates an average ROI of $38 for every dollar spent.

However, in order to get the most out of email marketing, it’s important to use best practices that are up-to-date and effective. Unfortunately, many businesses are still using outdated practices that are no longer effective. Here are six of them, along with tips on how to modernize them:

1. Sending plain text emails

Let’s face it: sending plain text emails is about as modern as using a rotary phone. In today’s world of instant messaging and video calls, there’s simply no excuse for sending an email that doesn’t at least include a few emojis. And yet, many people continue to cling to this outdated practice. If you’re one of them, here are a few ways to modernize your email game.

First, try adding an emoji or two to your emails. A few strategically placed smiley faces can go a long way toward conveying your tone and making your message more engaging. Secondly, take advantage of email signatures to add a little personality to your messages. Include a quote, your favorite emoji, or even a link to your website or social media profile. Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of email content. In addition to traditional text-based messages, you can also send audio clips, video recordings, and even images. By broadening your email repertoire, you’ll be sure to stay ahead of the curve.

Many people now use smartphones, and the default email client on most smartphones is set to receive only text messages, not HTML messages. As a result, your recipients may not even see your email if it’s sent as plain text. To avoid this issue, always send your emails as HTML. This way, you can ensure that they are displayed correctly on all devices. Additionally, you should use a responsive design template so that they look good on all screen sizes.

2. Not segmenting your email lists

Anyone who’s ever worked in marketing knows that email lists are essential for reaching customers. What’s less well-known, however, is the importance of segmenting those lists. In the past, it was common practice to lump all subscribers into a single group and send them the same generic message. However, modern marketers have realized that this approach is outdated and ineffective. Customers are more likely to engage with an email that is relevant to their interests, and they’re also more likely to open an email that arrives in their inbox at a time when they’re likely to be checking it.

As a result, segmenting your email list is essential for ensuring that your messages are seen and read by your target audience. There are a number of ways to segment your list, and which method you choose will depend on your goals and your customer data. However, some common methods include segmenting by location, age, or purchase history. By taking the time to segment your email list, you can vastly improve your chances of reaching your target customers.

Email list segmenting

3. Failing to test and measure results

If your email marketing strategy is stuck in the past, it might be time for an update. One outdated practice is failing to test and measure results. Without testing, it’s impossible to know what works and what doesn’t. Are your subject lines effective? Do people open your emails? Are they clicking through to your website? By testing different elements of your email, you can find out what works best and make the necessary adjustments. Additionally, modern email marketing platforms make it easy to track results and analyze data. Many marketers fail to properly use tracking tools such as UTM codes, which makes it difficult to determine the ROI of their campaigns. To modernize your email marketing, be sure to test different subject lines, send times, and content types. With this information at your fingertips, you can make informed decisions about your strategy and ensure that your campaigns are effective. 

4. Lack of timing control

One of the most outdated email marketing practices is the lack of timing control. This refers to the fact that marketers used to send out emails at whatever time they felt like it, without considering when their audience was actually more likely to be engaged. As a result, many people would simply ignore or delete these emails without even reading them.

However, there are now many ways to modernize this practice. For instance, you can use email scheduling tools to choose the best time to send your emails, based on when your audience is most likely to be online. You can also use automation tools to segment your list and send different emails to different people based on their interests and engagement levels. By taking these steps, you can ensure that your email campaigns are much more effective and that you’re able to connect with your audience in a more meaningful way.

5. Not offering enough value in your emails

There’s nothing quite like opening your inbox to see a message from a company you really like. You eagerly click it open, only to be disappointed by an offer for 10% off your next purchase. It’s not that you don’t appreciate the discount, but it feels a little… insulting. Like the company doesn’t think you’re worth their time or effort. If this sounds familiar, then you’ve experienced the outdated email marketing practice of Not offering enough value in your emails.

In today’s competitive market, companies need to do more than just offer a discount to get customers to engage with their emails. They need to provide value. This can come in the form of interesting content, helpful tips, or even just a friendly message. Letting customers know that you value their business will go a long way toward building loyalty and fostering engagement. So if you’re still stuck in the past when it comes to your email marketing, it’s time to modernize your approach and start offering more value. Your customers will thank you for it.

6. Not using automation efficiently

Email marketing has come a long way since the days of cc’ing everyone on your mailing list and hitting “send.” These days, there are a number of ways to automate your email marketing to make sure that you’re making the most of your list. First, consider using an email service provider that offers automation features. This will allow you to set up automatic emails based on certain criteria, such as whether someone is a new subscriber or has made a purchase. Second, take advantage of segmentation to send more targeted emails. Segmenting your list based on interests and demographics will help you create more personalized content that is more likely to resonate with each reader. Finally, make sure to use testing and analytics to measure the success of your email campaigns and make necessary adjustments. 

Many businesses rely too heavily on automation, and as a result, their emails can often seem cold and impersonal. If you want your customers to feel engaged with your brand, you need to take the time to write personal messages that are relevant to their interests. You can do this by using automation to send out targeted messages based on customer data, or by writing personalized greetings for each individual subscriber. By taking the time to personalize your messages, you’ll show your customers that you care about them and their interests.

Automation in Emails

Bonus tip: Sending emails with an unsubscribe link

Including an unsubscribe link in your emails is essential for keeping your customers happy and preventing them from feeling overwhelmed with messages. It also helps to keep your email list healthy by removing inactive subscribers.

Make sure that the unsubscribe link is easy to find, and be sure to honor unsubscribe requests as quickly as possible. This will show your customers that you respect their wishes and that you’re serious about providing them with valuable content.


Email marketing is a powerful tool, but it can be easy to fall into bad habits. These six outdated practices are hurting your email marketing program and preventing you from reaching your full potential. Luckily, there are modern solutions that will help you overcome these hurdles and reach new heights with your email marketing efforts. Implementing these changes will take time and effort, but the results will be worth it! Are you ready to get started?

If you’re looking for more information on how to create an effective email marketing program, please contact our team of experts. We would be happy to help!

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