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10 Email Marketing Myths

10 Email Marketing Myths Which Are Pushing Your ROI Down

Are you relying on email marketing myths and letting your ROI go down the drain? Here's an enlightening article to help you...

Any marketing guru today will tell you that out of all the marketing channels, Email marketing has the highest ROI. If we consider social media as its closest competitor, emails generate about 40 times more customers than social media. No surprise then that today the email marketing industry is growing by leaps & bounds with each passing day. Almost every business is betting its money on email marketing for generating more sales and revenue. But the interesting part is that not all of them are able to generate the right ROI.

The reason behind this is there are innumerable myths related to B2B email marketing as well as B2C email marketing floating around among marketers and businesses. And these very myths affect the ROI of business organizations who believe in them. It is high time that these myths are busted so that business organizations can reap the rewards that come with executing email marketing in the right manner. With this very view in mind, here are 10 email marketing myths you can’t afford to believe. Read On…

Myth 1: The more the number of subscribers, the better!
Fact: If you are associated with the email marketing industry by any means, you might have heard the above statement many times. You might have also taken the statement to be true at face value. But the fact is that this is one of the most common myths. A majority of businesses believe that building a BIG list of subscribers is half the game won, and hence they channelize all their efforts towards collecting sign-ups.

But the major point they are missing in this process is that this obsession of collecting sign-ups and building subscriber list is actually preventing them from serving people who matter the most: their existing customers. And doing this can be highly counter-productive since existing customers are the ones who actually spread word about the brand and are responsible for generating long-term profits. You, as the marketing manager of your organization, should understand that a small active list brings in higher ROI than a huge list of disengaged or inactive subscribers (which can also lead to email deliverability issues), and hence should focus on serving the active subscribers first and foremost!

Myth 2: Open rates are everything.
Fact: When it comes to analyzing the success of any email marketing campaign, many metrics have to be considered. But out of all these, ‘open-rates’ are regarded as the metric that makes or breaks a campaign.

But as a marketing manager, you need to understand that focusing solely on open rates as the deciding factor of the success of a campaign is inappropriate. The ultimate purpose of email marketing is not to make the recipients open your emails but to make them take the ‘required’ action: downloading your e-book, buying your product/ service, signing up, etc. The ultimate conversion rate is what matters the most!

Myth 3: Send the email only on the “best” day or time.
Fact: Many studies have been done to find the answer to this 1 question that every email marketer has on his/her mind: Which is the best day or time to send an email? Majority of those studies point to the conclusion that Tuesday is the best day to send email, followed by Thursday and Wednesday in that order. But in reality, there is no universal ‘best day’ or ‘best time’ to send emails.

According to industry experts, the best day and time to send emails vary from industry to industry and also depend on the target audience. Hence it is suggested that you test run your campaigns on different days and different time slots, and then zero-down on your conclusions. This will bring in a far better ROI than trying to apply the general method to your campaign.

Myth 4: Sending the same email twice is counter-productive.
Fact: It has been said over and over again that sending the same email more than once to the same subscriber is useless and can be counter-productive as well. But this is again one of the most common myths associated with email marketing.

This is because there are chances that the subscriber might not have read the first email sent by you. And in such a scenario, if you believe in the above myth and don’t send the email again, all the hard work and efforts put in by you to design and code the emails will go waste. Thus there is no harm in resending same emails to your subscribers. Resending emails can actually do a world of good to your marketing campaign as suggested by a popular research which states that 10% to 40% more opens per mail are registered by simply resending them.

Myth 5: It is bad if people unsubscribe.
Fact: Contrary to this popular belief, people hitting the unsubscribe button may actually be a boon for your campaign. This is because managing an email list requires both money and time. And you can gauge the interest level of the recipients by keeping a tab on the total number of people who have unsubscribed.

Now it is a foregone conclusion that those who unsubscribe from your email list are not interested in your brand/ product or service. And hence they unsubscribe from your list since they no longer want to receive emails from your end. So what is exactly “bad” in this? NOTHING!! Because it is actually very beneficial for you both in terms of money and time if people uninterested in your brand decide to unsubscribe. Moreover, when such recipients unsubscribe, they are making space for others who are eager to be a part of your brand. Isn’t this a great thing?

Myth 6: Removing inactive users from your list is a must.
Fact: Almost all email marketers might have come across people who sign-up just to get the free vouchers and discounts on offer and then never take part in any activity initiated by you. Such people are termed as “inactive” users, and the first thought which comes to every marketer’s mind is to remove them right away. A majority of them even do so thinking it to be the most logical thing to do. But this again is a popular myth that engulfs the world of email marketing.

Even though you might be tempted to remove the inactive users from your list in order to cut down on the expenses, it is not the right step to take always. What you can do instead is to just give them a little nudge to wake them up from their slumber. You can do this by sending them short re-engagement emails and offering special incentives.

Myth 7: Keep the emails short.
Fact: This is one myth which has its origin in the fact that people’s attention spans have shrunk rapidly over the years. Thus, email marketers have started to believe that people would no longer read lengthy emails and hence have stuck to creating short ones.
But the effectiveness of an email campaign does not depend on the length of the email; it depends on many other factors such as the phrasing, the format, the pattern, the design, etc.

Apart from these factors, it is how you connect with your recipients and what value you are providing to them. Thus, don’t let the number of words in your email template be a major factor while developing your email marketing strategy.

Myth 8: Keep the subject lines short as well.
Fact: Isn’t this the most obvious thing when it comes to email campaigns?! Isn’t this what you as an email marketing campaign manager have always done – keep the subject lines short and click-bait? Moreover, the fact that nowadays more than half the emails are checked on mobile devices with smaller screens makes short subject lines the most preferred ones.
But recent studies and researches throw some surprising results – Emails with 61-70 words long subject lines have the highest read rate! This shows that longer subject lines are as effective if not more when it comes to ROI.

Myth 9: Automated emails are impersonal.
Fact: Most people associate the term “automated” or “automation” with something executed by robots. But this is not true when it comes to email marketing automation. Marketing automation can simply be defined as systemizing customized emails. And contrary to the myth stated above, there is nothing impersonal about it.

This is because email customization is all about adding a personal touch in the form of individual salutations, specific product suggestions, etc. Hence, even if the emails are automated, the subscribers will definitely reply or initiate the action you expect of them. And if this happens, you need not worry about ROI, do you?!

Myth 10: Sending too many emails will lead to more unsubscribes.
Fact: It is never advisable to spam your recipients with emails because doing so can lead to the possibility of unsubscribes. But this very fear of people unsubscribing from the list holds many marketers back from shooting emails that are necessary at that point of time. Is this the right thing to do? Well, No.

Sending frequent emails doesn’t necessarily lead to unsubscribes always. It all depends on the type of campaign the emails are part of. There are many instances and examples where the hike in the number of emails sent has actually been very productive. For example, last year, Loot Crate, a geek and gaming merchandise provider adopted a strategy of sending out 2 mails every day. Many industry experts were of the opinion that this strategy will backfire but to their surprise it worked so brilliantly that Loot Crate was Inc. fastest growing company of 2016!

Wrapping Up

Every business is unique and hence there can never be one right way of doing email marketing. You, as a business owner or a marketing manager, should prepare your direct email marketing strategy on the basis of your target audience, your brand persona, your past email marketing results, and the message of the email itself.

Even though there are some email marketing best practices you can follow, you should not follow them blindly without testing them out first. It is said that in the world of email marketing, only you yourself are the best judge of what works and what doesn’t, and hence ultimately the onus is upon you to come up with a strategy that takes your ROI to greater heights!

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Kevin George

Kevin is the Head of Marketing at Email Uplers, one of the fastest-growing full-service email marketing companies. He is an email enthusiast at heart and loves to pen down email marketing content. You can reach him at or connect with him on LinkedIn.



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