5 Common Email Mistakes Costing You Sales (and How to Fix Them)


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There’s a lot to take care of when you’re just launching an online store. Between product development, raising money, and hiring a team, where does the time go?

It’s no wonder that new storeowners feel overwhelmed and unsure how to prioritize marketing activities. They often wonder where email marketing comes into play, and if it’s more or less important than PR or social media.

Color me biased, but I’d say that the proof is in the pudding. According to eConsultancy, 68% of companies say email is “good” or “excellent” at driving revenue. So it’s well worth your time to pay attention to it and to develop a great email marketing strategy for your online store.

In this post, we’ll try to steer you in the right direction and help you avoid common email mistakes as you build that strategy. Let’s dive in.

Common Email Mistake #1: Not Taking Email Seriously

This is the most common mistake of all – flat out ignoring email – and it’s a big no-no.

To understand why email marketing is important, it’s good to consider the sales funnel for a moment.


At the top of the funnel, other marketing channels like PR are great for building awareness. Similarly, social media engagement is especially great for community-building and customer support.

Those things indirectly lead to sales over time.

However, in the beginning, you customer feedback, sales, and runway. And you need them yesterday.

You need to do is get those visitors that come from your other marketing activities to convert. Email is how you nurture them and do exactly that.

How to fix it: Make email a priority! Sign up for Klaviyo (It’s free for lists fewer than 250 people). Use Klaviyo signup forms and email signup fly-outs on your website and blog. Set goals for building your list each month and hold yourself accountable for those goals. Find ways to incentive signups, like through free content or discounts.

Common Email Mistake #2: Not Measuring Results

Here’s another one that is common for new email marketers. If you’re just cranking out emails without a clear goal in mind, you’re constantly going to be in distress about your sales and wondering if you’re spending time on the right stuff.

How to fix it: I’d recommend thinking about it this way: You have your core metrics, like revenue. Then you have metrics that are supportive to that main goal and help drive it forward. A supportive metric would be something like “open rate” or “number of subscribers.”


The idea is, if more people are subscribing to your emails and opening them, then you’re going to sell more stuff.

Figure out what the core metrics and the supportive metrics are at your company, and where email falls in. Track those metrics on a weekly and monthly basis. Hold yourself accountable by reviewing those metrics with colleagues and/or making them visible in your office.

Common Email Mistake #3: Sending Too Much Email

Too much of a good thing is enough.

Some people don’t pay attention to email at all. On the flip side, some people love it a little too much.

Daily emails work for some companies. Judging by my inbox, J.Crew, Banana Republic, and Groupon are all on board with frequent sends. You’ll have to decide if they are working for your company.

How are your open rates doing? What about your click-through rates? Are you making money from all that email? If people aren’t engaging with your email content, something’s up. The frequency, email content, and time of day that you send are all things that you can test to fix it.

How to fix it: Start with a clear goal in mind for what metrics you want to fix, be that the open rate or click-through rate. Then, try pulling different levers, like subject line copy, email frequency, and time of day, to try and solve the issue.

Common Email Mistake #4: Sending The Same Emails to Everyone

This is tightly related to #3.

Sending the same emails to everyone generally isn’t the most effective strategy, but in certain cases it can work.

Receiving the same email newsletter as every customer can make you feel like part of a community, or part of something bigger than yourself. That said, other emails such as product promotions and discounts can and should be tailored to people’s on-site actions and interests.

How to fix it:

Here are a few examples of segmented email campaigns that you can try:

  • Tailor the content of emails based on products viewed.
  • Send different emails to people based on the timing of their last purchase. Focus discounts on people who haven’t bought yet or haven’t been to the site in a while. Rely on the brand credibility and product to drive repeat sales from engaged customers.
  • Upsell and cross-sell. Promote new products to old customers.

Common Email Mistake #5: Ignoring Mobile

At least 50% of email is opened through mobile these days, and email is actually the number one user activity on smartphones.

To ignore the user experience on mobile is to ignore a major sales opportunity.

How to fix it: When you’re designing your emails, be sure to also check how they look on mobile. Nowadays, a good email editor, like Klaviyo’s, will show you how your emails look on mobile right as you are designing them. If your provider doesn’t do this yet, you can also send test emails to yourself and check them on your phone.

What are other common mistakes you see storeowners make? Let us know in the comments.


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