Not everyone is an email marketing expert, even though many people think that they are. Email strategies are constantly changing, which makes it difficult for a company to be on top of the newest tactics all of the time. Although there is nothing wrong with practice and experience, people can get stuck in repetitive cycles that are ineffective for creating an engaged audience.

“Because of this constant evolution in email, marketers may be using old bad habits when they create a new email marketing campaign,” writes Paul Ford from Entrepreneur.

Despite the fact that there are some email marketing methods that have stood the test of time, there are 4 common misconceptions that are way too prevalent in modern email strategies.

Longer Mailing Lists Mean Better Response Rates

One of the most common misconceptions in email marketing is that long mailing lists are essential for success. However, this belief is faulty and likely to actually lead to a lower response rate.

“You’re far better off sending emails to a smaller, but highly engaged, list of recipients, as opposed to a million subscribers who want nothing to do with your message,” says Ford. “”Good-list hygiene” is a key best practice for any email program.”

It is better to be constantly evaluating mailing lists, so that a company can eliminate dead addresses and any disinterest in the customer base. Metrics can be negatively impacted by inactive recipients, which can skew the perceived effectiveness of crafted emails.

The Goal Line is the Reader’s Inbox

This is another misconception that is all too familiar in email strategies. Of course an email that doesn’t end up in a recipient’s inbox is ineffective, but one that is not read by anyone is just as useless. Avoiding spam filters is an inherent quality to good email marketing, but getting potential customers to open and engage with an email is essential to the success of a campaign.

“Good email deliverability comes from knowing how to send the right message to the right person, at the right time, with the right frequency,” says Ford. “Dig deep into your engagement metrics to determine if you are sending to the right person.”

Images make More Compelling Emails

There is no doubt that images are important and effective methods of engaging with an audience. However, emails that are packed with multiple images and flashy graphics usually overlook the importance of sending out a message that is clear and direct.

“Marketers are often tempted to go big on visuals, but forget that; they increase the risk of emails being classified as spam,” writes Ford. “If images are unavoidable, emails should be sensibly balanced, with at least two lines of text per picture.”

Subject Lines Don’t Matter

Although this may seem obvious to many marketers, it is surprising how many people still believe that a subject line does not impact deliverability.

“Subject lines can make or break the open rates for your email,” recommends Ford. “Therefore, it’s imperative to continuously test the content, tone and length of your subject lines to see which ones work better.”

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