You may have heard that email marketing is the digital marketing strategy with the highest return on investment. That it works in any niche. That it gives you a direct line to your customers. You may also be wondering why in the world it hasn’t worked for you, then…
If you’ve heard about the greatness of email marketing, only to be let down when you tried to implement it yourself, the answer most likely lies in how you’re implementing it.
The main reason most businesses don’t get better sales through email is that they’re basing their strategy on marketing myths.
In fact, I guarantee that if you’ve come across any of these myths and believe them to the core, you’re killing your strategy game and directly affecting your potential profits.
But to rise above these strategy-killers, you need to be able to recognize them first.
That’s why today we’re going to analyze 10 myths about email marketing that are losing money you money… and show you how to overcome them.
1. “Email Marketing is dead”
If you’re an email marketing manager or another email marketing agency, you already know this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Actually, the fact that we have over 100 ecommerce stores seen results from email marketing year after year is living proof that email marketing works. In 2020 alone, 60 of our ecommerce store clients earned over 25% of their average store revenue from email alone. And there’re thousands of such stores.
It’s pretty much common knowledge that almost anytime we enter a web page, at some point or another a pop-up will appear asking for our email, whether it’s to subscribe to their newsletter or cash in on a nice discount. It’s rare to find a page that doesn’t have a pop-up. (And for good reason—if they don’t, they’re missing on major sales!)
Why is this common practice? Here’s a hint: $$$$$$$$$$$.
They know that a high number of conversions in their eCommerce comes from this channel. In fact, a fresh stream of new email subscribers almost certainly translates to a steady current of new sales.
Email is an intimate venue. Users read campaigns because they’re interested in what you can offer them, and no company should miss the opportunity of talking directly to their customers in such a personal way.
So yes, while email is an old marketing channel—even older than social media, if you can believe it—it is in no way obsolete. It’s still the most effective instrument you can use to convert people into loyal customers (while getting the best ROI along the way.)
2. “Having a big list is all you need to do email marketing well”
This is a commonly held conception in the email marketing world. And to be fair, it isn’t completely off the mark too. Having a big list helps and we have done an extensive research on how to grow your email list myth but while there is strength in numbers, a big list isn’t a surefire way to achieve email marketing success. It’s the base on which a great email marketing program is built, but not the only one. The real success of doing email marketing comes from the right strategy, right content and the right copywriting. No matter how big your list is, if you don’t get these basics right, even a big list will fall flat.
Memorize this: A small but active subscriber list will bring you more sales than a huge, impersonal list that no one interacts with. Focus on subscribers who really want to hear from you, that want to hear from you.
In fact while the big numbers are important, equally important is to clean your email list from time to time. Cleaning your email list essentially involves removing emails that have never interacted with you or unsubscribed months ago, protecting you against getting marked as spam and boosting your engaged rates.
3. “Having a high email Open Rate is your main goal”
To analyze the success or performance of an Email Marketing campaign, you have to take into account several metrics. And, of course, the open rate is one of the most important KPIs that you have to take into account.
At the end of the day, your strategy is not to send emails (this is a medium), but for people to open them. But while a good open rate is a good metric on determining that your emails are landing in the primary inbox, not in spam, and that your subjectlines are working, high open rates do not signify much else. In fact, just high open rates do not mean much by themselves, but they do set the base for possibilities for other metrics that actually matter. For example, on average a 50% open rate on an email list of 10,000 subscribers can mean a conversion rate of 5%, but an open rate of just 5% can mean a total conversion rate of less than 1%.
A good email marketing strategy focusses on improving the open rates to begin with, but the emails eventually need to convert – whether in terms of getting traffic to your website and/or actual purchases.
4. “Send your emails only at the best time of the day ⏰”
Email marketing consists of sending the right email to the right person at the right time. Whew, glad we got that settled.
The problem is that there are hundreds of studies whose objectives have been to answer the question “What is the best day and time to send emails?”
And unfortunately, none of them could agree. I’m not going to tell you that the best day is Tuesday, Sunday, or Thursday morning after breakfast… because the reality is that there is no universal answer to this question.
The best time to send your emails depends on your niche. Even deeper than that, it depends on your target audience.
So the only way to find the best time to email your list is through trial and error. Do different tests and measure the results. Soon enough, the answers will speak for themselves and you’ll see how to improve the ROI of your campaigns.
5. “You shouldn’t send the same email twice. “📨
I totally understand—you don’t want to bore people.
That’s commendable, no doubt.. But there are lots of differences between being a bore and missing the opportunity to let your subscribers know what you have to offer them.
If you’re worried you’re going to bore your audience, take my advice from the last myth. Analyze your campaigns and send your emails at the best time for your subscribers.
Because here’s the thing: what if they missed your email and didn’t even see the offer? You can do a “resend” with a new subject line and if you want, different words in the body of the email.
It depends on your strategy, but you could even opt-out the people that did open it the first time and just target those that didn’t open your email. With this practice, you can be sure not to re-target the ones that already saw your message.
Remind yourself that your subscriber may not have been able to read your email for any number of reasons. That’s not the same as not wanting to read it. Remember—they gave you their email to know more about you and what you do.
If they never see your email,, all the effort you put into sending that campaign will have been for nothing. And believe us, insisting works on most brands. You just have to try it out with good sending practices so you don’t hurt your deliverability.
When in doubt, think of this: An average FB ads show up at least thrice on your newsfeeds. Why should emails be different?
6. “Unsubscribes are death knell for your email marketing” 💀
Yes, upsetting as it may to be to see “unsubscribers” after your emails, they are a blessing in disguise. Contrary to what it may seem, that people decide to press the “unsubscribe” link or button that you include in all your newsletters is beneficial. In fact, the number of unsubscribes from your list is an excellent indicator of the interest of what you are communicating.
Whoever unsubscribes from your list is because they are not interested in what you are telling them. What’s wrong with this? Nothing! Why do you want to keep sending emails to someone who will NEVER buy from you? In fact it’s like a self correcting email list cleanup!
Whenever someone unsubscribes from your list, it’s because they’re not interested in what you’re telling them. What’s wrong with this? NOTHING! Why do you want to keep sending emails to someone who will NEVER buy from you?
Sure, you don’t have to throw a party every time someone unsubs, but it still has its advantages:
First, it improves your open rate. In proportion, there should be more people who open your emails than before. This benefits your reputation as a sender and you can reduce the chances of falling into the spam or promotions tabs of your subscribers.
Also, you avoid the risk of being marked as spam. It’s much better to have an unsubscribe than to be marked as spam. Again, your reputation will thank you.
Last, it’s cheaper. Remember that your email marketing provider charges you for subscribers and/or emails sent.
7. “The shorter the email, the better. “
This myth has its origins in the fact that people find it increasingly difficult to keep their attention on a single thing for a long time. We’re bombarded with information, and we simply don’t have the capacity to take it all in. Therefore, it seems that the most logical option from the point of view of email marketing is that the emails you send are as short as possible.
Of course, a short email can be very effective. But we cannot conclude that only short emails are effective.
The efficiency of an email marketing campaign doesn’t depend on the length of your emails. It depends on many other factors such as the design, the copy, structure, CTAs, and much more.
A long copy can bind your audience like a story, builds a beautiful narrative, and keeps them engaged. We frequently toggle between short visual-dominant emails and the ones with long copy. Sure, an email with long copy may not scream “SALE”, and that’s exactly why it works. It helps you tell stories and not necessarily sell wares. Not to mention, it helps maintain the ideal text to image ratio in your overall email marketing mix.
That’s why is so important to test this and find out how to connect with your audience, what resonates most with them, what gets the most sales, etc.
8: “I can send emails to anyone I want. “
This one bears repeating (and repeating.) In order to do email marketing—or any marketing strategy, both digital and traditional—you need permission.
It is not a recommendation. It’s an obligation. A legal one.
It is not a recommendation. It is an obligation. A Legal one. By any email marketing laws, be it the European GDPR, Canadian CALS or the American CAN-SPAM laws, sending emails to purchased email lists, or people that have not consented to receiving emails or have unsubscribed from your list can get your account in trouble. Some of the minor consequences of sending unsolicited emails includes hitting high spam scores but some of the serious ones include having your entire email marketing platform account or store being banned.
9. “Email Flows (Automated emails) are impersonal.”
Most people associate automation with something executed by machines or robots. But this belief is not applicable when we talk about automation with Email Marketing.
In essence, Email Marketing Flows are nothing more than automation of personalized emails. And, contrary to what it may seem, there is nothing impersonal about it.
If you define your strategy well, you can add many personal touches to an email. From the name of each of your recipients to specific content based on their preferences. Thus, you will ensure that, although the emails are sent automatically, your subscribers respond to them or carry out the actions that interest you in them.
There is a list of the most popular Flows that you should already have in your store, learn more about them in this article.
10. “If you send lots of emails, people will unsubscribe from your list. “
It’s not recommended you spam your list with more emails just for the sake of it. Apart from getting tiresome, you run the risk of getting unsubscribed. But this fear shouldn’t lead you to avoid sending the emails that you need to send when you need to send them.
How many is too many? Hard to say. You have to know your audience and figure out the best number of campaigns for your brand. You can also give them options of how many emails they get from you. Maybe they’re all in, or maybe they prefer just getting messages once a month.
Try not to get too worked up if they don’t want to hear from you all the time. Just like you’ll have occasional unsubscribers, you’re also bound to get people that don’t want to see your content very often. As long as it’s not excessive, it doesn’t really mean you’re doing anything wrong.
Each company is unique, which means there’s no one-size-fits-all in email marketing. That said, by directing your efforts towards your target audience and following through with your findings, you can be way ahead of the game.
Email is undoubtedly here to stay. Make the most out of it.
Book a call with us to see all these email myths busted, and be surprised by how much email can achieve for your store.