There are 269 billion emails sent every day throughout the world; a colossal figure that yet again proves how popular this form of digital communication is in modern society.

Unfortunately, it also has its fair share of detractors who will do all they can to convince companies that investing in email marketing simply isn’t worth it.

What about the fact that there are an estimated 4.3 billion email users worldwide? Does that not constitute an audience worth targeting?

Of course it does! But if you’ve recently been convinced by someone that email is best left to inter-departmental communication and as a vehicle for Uncle Dave to send the rest of the family jokes every five minutes, we’d like to debunk six of the most common myths…

Myth 1: Sending loads of emails just annoys people

Well, that’s undoubtedly true; none of us want to receive a constant barrage of emails (particularly from Uncle Dave), but that’s why the most successful email marketers know how to balance frequency with value.

Providing your email marketing messages are timely, relevant and personalised, recipients are unlikely to get particularly fed up with receiving them. On the contrary, they’ll look forward to the next message if you can demonstrate real value with everything you send them.

Whenever you plan an email marketing campaign, ask yourself: what’s in it for the recipient?

Myth 2: Open rates tell you everything about your campaign

No, they don’t. Granted – they’re an important metric, but just because 85% of your subscriber list opened the email doesn’t mean it was a resounding success.

It should also be noted that open rates aren’t an exact science. Given the varying ways they’re measured, they’ll never be one-hundred percent accurate, and that’s why you should instead pay more attention to the metrics that indicate how engaged the audience is.

Click-throughs and forwards are the numbers to focus on. What are people doing with your emails? More importantly, are they ending up on the all-important landing pages?

Myth 3: Short subject lines are better

No two email marketers will tell you the same thing when it comes to the most effective length of subject lines.

In reality, the best subject line is the best subject line. Providing it’s somewhere beneath fifty characters and eye-catching enough, it’ll work. That might mean it’s just one word or five – whatever it takes to draw recipients in.

Myth 4: Tuesdays are the best days to send marketing emails

Steer clear of advice that suggests a particular time or day that’s best for email marketing engagement. There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to this part of the process.

The best time to send your email campaigns will depend on the industry in which you operate, the subject of the email in question and the demographics of your subscribers. It also depends massively on the latter’s past behaviour.

Study previous campaign results to get an idea of the peak times people engage with your messages, and work from that advice, rather than something you’ve read on a marketing blog.

Myth 5: Unsubscribes prove you’re getting it wrong

People will unsubscribe from your mailing list – that’s a fact of life in business. But it isn’t a bad thing – far from it.

Unless you’ve got your message catastrophically wrong (you’ll know if you have by examining campaign metrics), the reason you’ll see a few unsubscribes here and there is because there’s always natural wastage in email marketing. If people decide to leave your list, they’re better off not being on it, because they’re clearly not your target market.

Don’t get too hung up on subscribers that leave – it’s all part of the process.

Myth 6: Never use ‘spammy’ keywords in your subject line

For many people, email marketing 101 starts with the lesson that you should never, on pain of death, use the words ‘save’ or ‘free’ in your subject line.

These days, spam filters are much smarter and use far better ways to detect malicious messages. If you’re genuinely offering something that is free and the email has been constructed ethically and for the benefit of the recipient, it’ll still get through!

Wrapping up

Don’t be swayed by those who say email marketing is a dying art – it remains as relevant today as it ever was, and the six myths above are just a few examples of the many misnomers that often prevent business from taking advantage of an incredibly powerful marketing channel.

About 

Mark is one of mailingmanager's email experts. His contributions to this blog openly share the tricks, tips and best practices he's learned while running multiple e-marketing campaigns.

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