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6 email mistakes that are slowing down your sales! (or annoying your subscribers…)

Email is one of the most important marketing tools in your business as it can bring you a much bigger direct ROI than any other channel–think $36 for every $1 spent according to HubSpot. 

50% of people buy from marketing emails at least once per month and 77% of marketers have seen an increase in email engagement over the last 12 months. 

Even if you use paid traffic, email is the thing you use to sell to people further down the line and it can help you build a fanbase of loyal paying customers. 

But most businesses make at least one of these six mistakes which has a negative impact on sales. Some of them even annoy your subscribers.

Keep reading for the 6 biggest mistakes online business owners make with their email lists and what you can do to avoid them.

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Mistake #1: Not removing new subscribers from your launch sequence

Mistake number one is not removing new subscribers from your launch sequence. It's a mistake even established business owners make and I’ve recently experienced this from several 6-figure creators.

When you're in the middle of a launch or promotion, your new subscribers are coming in right in the middle of the action. And they don't have any context around your offer or your launch. 

They might not even know who you are or what you do yet. 

So at this point, they probably don't care that there are only three spaces left for your signature program or whatever it is that you're selling, because they just got here and they're getting settled into your world. 

By instantly selling to them, you're probably annoying them. 

Think of your email list like your home and your readers as a guest you invited over for coffee they come in, they kick their shoes off, and then you're right in their face trying to sell them a bunch of Tupperware when they really just came for coffee and a chat. 

When you send launch emails, only send them to people who joined your list before a certain date. Maybe a couple of weeks before your launch started. Or tag new subscribers who may still be going through a welcome funnel and exclude them from your launch campaign. 

This will help you see your conversion rates go up and it will help stop some pesky unsubscribes. you want to keep as many people happy as possible. 

Which brings me nicely onto mistake number two…

Mistake #2: not having a welcome sequence

A welcome sequence is an automated sequence of emails that are sent to brand new subscribers onto your email list. It's one of the most important email sequences you’ll write for your business as it helps introduce subscribers to your world and get them bought into your business, your values and your story. It helps them see who you are and whether they want to stick around. 

I don't care what industry you work in or if you send a weekly newsletter, you need a welcome sequence as well. 

According to Mailmodo, welcome emails on average have a 4x higher open rate and a 5x higher click through rate than standard email marketing campaigns.

The average welcome emails open rate is 68.6% vs 20-30% for a traditional email campaign. This means four times more of your subscribers see these emails than any others you send. 

You have the opportunity to get them hooked on your brand before they even have a chance to get bored, or before they get distracted by their busy inbox. 

A good welcome sequence will train your subscribers to look forward to your emails so they continue to open them. Which means that when you send sales emails, they're more likely to see them and therefore more likely to buy. It's a no brainer. 

Mistake #3: Not using any segmentation

Segmentation is the backbone of a strong engaged email list, with good open rates and click through rates, and therefore good conversion rates. If you segment your emails well, it means your audience only see relevant content to them. 

Why? Because if the content people see from you is always relevant to them, they'll want more of it. But if you always send irrelevant content, you'll train them to STOP  opening and reading your emails, which is bad for sales and the health of your overall email list. 

It may even trigger unsubscribes or people flagging you as spam, which is bad for your business. 

The first way to segment your list is to separate people who already have products or offers of yours by tagging buyers of every individual thing you sell. So you never sell someone an offer they already have.

And we already spoke about welcome sequences – I tag people who are going through my welcome sequence and then remove the tag automatically when they finish the welcome sequence so I can remove them from any other emails until they finished it. And as soon as they're done, they'll automatically get my regular updates or any launch emails that I'm sending. 

Another way you can use segmentation is to separate your audience by problems that they need solving. To do this, tag your audience based on actions they take. Like if they check out a specific blog post, you can probably assume that interested in the topic of that blog post. If they click on a link to a specific sales page or an offer, you can probably assume that they are slightly interested at least in the topic of your offer. 

Once they’re tagged, you could potentially send some retargeting emails to follow up and sell to them. 

You can also send emails with the sole purpose of tagging people into categories, so you can then make sure you only follow up on relevant topics. 

This is a great tip if you launch or run promotions regularly as you can use the technique to build a large list of interested buyers or a waitlist. 

Mistake #4: Not sending enough emails

I can't tell you how many people are guilty of this one. This is huge. If you email your list 1x a month, your audience only hear from you 12 times a year. That's only 12 opportunities people have to buy from your emails…. 

And that doesn't account for the fact that people need to be nurtured as well. 

So if you don't have time to nurture and sell, it can take well over a year for people to buy from you, if they do at all. 

Now add the fact that people need to see your marketing message at least 7 times before they're ready to buy–and that's a conservative estimate for 2024. For B2B brands, it's often closer to 50 touch points–then it's going to take at least seven months, sometimes maybe up to 50 months of talking about one thing to get them to buy. 

And that's if they even open your email, and assuming they don't take a holiday or forget you exist in that time…. 

To add another layer of complexity here, on average, people receive 120 new emails per day. So if you're not emailing more frequently, you're going to get forgotten. People might not remember who you are, or they might find another solution to solve their problem from a different business because you didn't ask for the sale and someone else did. 

My recommendation is to email at least once a week if you can. This helps you stay top of mind and increases your audience's touchpoints with your main marketing messages. 

Mistake #5: Only sending sales emails

Only sending sales emails is a surefire way to increase unsubscribes and annoy people on your email list. Sometimes your audience needs some value, whether that be a way to build a relationship with you, some education, or some entertainment. 

Yes, you can sell in every email, but the focus of every email shouldn't be sales or a launch email.  Sometimes you need to soften it a little. 

You can still link to products or services in every email, but there doesn't need to be any urgency or discounts or “only one spot left” in every single email. Sometimes it needs to be a little more subtle. 

I normally recommend running a sales promotion once a month, like an email launch or a flash sale.

And for the rest of the month, send email sharing value, stories, content, and other updates that will keep your audience engaged and on your side. This will help keep your audience in touch with your brand and business while still helping you make consistent money in your business. It is all about balance. 

Mistake #6: Ghosting your list between launches

Yes, this is similar to mistake number 4. But I want to talk specifically about the importance of how you treat your email list in between launches or any other heavy periods of promotion. 

If you only show up three times a year to make sales, and then you disappear, it can feel rude. 

It's like that friend who only shows up when they want something–do not be that person. 

Instead, implement a regular email strategy that you can keep up with and mix up value emails with your sales promotion so your audience feels taken care of. It's like building a relationship with a new friend and you have to be sensitive to their feelings, to not just take what you want - it’s a two way street and balancing the given and take benefits your business in the long term. 


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