DON’Ts for Email Marketing: Experts Explain Their Top 3

Crowdfunding, Ecommerce

No matter what your email marketing goals are, yes, there are things you should do in order to grow in the right direction. However, knowing what NOT to do when launching an email campaign is helpful, too. To achieve targeted and sustainable results, eight Mailchimp Pro Partners share their top “don’ts” for any successful email marketing campaign.

Mailchimp Pro Partners Say Stop Doing These Email Marketing Practices

Email marketing can be a powerful marketing tool… if you know how to use it. If you receive marketing emails, you know spammy, complicated and uninteresting messages go straight to the trash or, worse—they go unread! Enventys Partners interviewed eight experts to share their top DO NOTs when launching a crowdfunding or ecommcerce email marketing campaign


DON’T: Buy Data, Focus on Industry Benchmarks, Assume You’ll Get Instant Results

1. Do not scrape data.

“This is a big no-no. The key here is to build your audience up over time and give them valuable content. Buying data is against every rule book, plus you won’t get the results you expect.”

2. Do not focus too heavily on industry benchmarks.

“Set your own benchmarks, then monitor and adapt these over time as you grow. It’s fine to take a look at other businesses in your industry to help shape your email marketing strategy, but don’t rely too heavily on their results of industry open and click rates.”

3. Do not assume you will get instant results.

“Email marketing is a long game. We still get folk who want instant results, and this is unrealistic. You need to nurture your audience and provide value. Email is about engagement, not sales.”

Doug Dennison, CEO & Co-founder, MailNinja


DON’T: Send Useless Emails, Purchase Data, Overcomplicate the Message

1. Do not send an email unless you have something of value to share.

“Sending an email with little to no value will have a far worse impact than not sending anything. When you send bad emails, recipients de-value your brand, stop paying attention to your message, or possibly even unsubscribe. So wait until you have something of value to share, and send your email then.”

2. Do not rent or purchase data.

“I’m not sure why brands feel that it’s a good idea to send an email to someone they don’t know, who never signed up to receive their emails, who is not expecting their email, and who doesn’t need what they’re selling. You’re better off putting your time and budget into lead generation, content marketing, SEO, or some other legitimate marketing tactic to attract the audience you desire.”

3. Do not overcomplicate your message.

“Keep it simple. One goal, one message, one action. If you try to get a recipient to take more than one action from an email, it will likely fail. Sending multiple messages when you need to drive multiple actions.”

Adam Q. Holden-Bache, Director of Email Marketing, Enventys Partners


DON’T: Buy Lists, Underestimate Onboarding Process, Write Less than Once a Month

1. Do not buy lists or scrape emails from the web.

“Bulk emails are not for cold calls, they are best suited for nurturing a relationship that has been actively initiated by the reader.”

2. Do not underestimate the importance of the onboarding process.

“First impressions are so important to build loyalty and a habit to open, read, click and possibly answer your emails, and the moment one subscribes to your list corresponds to a peak of interest, not to be wasted.”

3. Do not write less than once a month.

“By doing this, you’ll see the engagement rates of your audience decrease significantly over time.”

Alessandra Farabegoli, Digital Strategist, Co-Founder, Digital Update and Freelancecamp Italia


DON’T: Send Emails without Permission, Spend More Time Designing than Writing, Have Multiple Audiences

1. Do not send an email without permission.

“Consent is king, especially in a privacy/gdpr world.”

2. Do not spend more time on how an email looks than you do on content.

“Everyone likes pretty emails, but they love well written, useful and valuable email content.”

3. (This is a Mailchimp one)… Do not have multiple audiences in your account.

“Unless you’ve got a REALLY GOOD reason for it. Mo’ Audiences, Mo’ Problems is a phrase I’m known for.”

Robin Adams, Owner and Founder, Chimp Answers


DON’T: Not Send Emails, Make Your Links and Background the Same Color, Make Images Too Big

1. Do not, not send an email.

“In other words, send your emails, people!”

2. Do not make your link color in the same color family as your background color.

“Have your emails as user-friendly as possible with high contrast and larger text. Some people read their emails in low light situations, think in bathrooms, or bed, so they need that high contrast and larger text size, so they don’t get frustrated and close the email.”

3. Do not make the images in your emails too big.

“Optimize your images before you put them in your email. Gmail “clips” emails that are too big (over 102kb, but I think it’s lower, so I strive for around 92 to 98kb). If your emails get clipped, people won’t see the whole thing in their inbox.

One of the biggest reasons emails get clipped? The images are too big! Or they’re 2000px wide when an email is only 600px wide. Or they’re from a phone, and they’re print quality (300dpi), not web quality (72dpi).

Use a free program like Canva to reduce the width of an image to 600px. Anything more than 600px is overkill and doesn’t get used. Or use an image optimizer like https://tinypng to smoosh that file down to a reasonable size.”

Amy Hall, Email Marketing Strategist and Certified Mailchimp Partner,


DON’T: Buy Email Addresses, Use Only Images, Use Fancy Fonts

1. Don’t buy lists of email addresses, upload them and send out an email blast!

“Two things here: 1. Your email marketing account will be shut down for sure. And 2, we never started blasting. That phrase has to be wiped from the marketing lexicon. If that doesn’t count as three things here are two more.”

2. Don’t use all images in your emails.

“Seriously, that is a terrible practice. They might look ok but they’re not going to work as well.”

3. Don’t use fancy fonts.

“They won’t render and so your designer might revert back to point 2 to make them work. Choose web-safe fonts that fall back elegantly and keep your brand look and feel.”

Glenn Edley, Director & Email Strategist, Spike


DON’T: Worry About People Unsubscribing, Avoid Whitespace, Overthink Your Email Campaigns

1. Do not worry about people unsubscribing.

“That is inevitable and it’s actually OK. It’s better to not have people on your list that will be dead weight and won’t contribute to your open rates.”

2. Do not ignore using whitespace.

“Make sure to add some space (you can use a divider line and then remove the line) in between text and buttons and images and text. Make it easier to read.”

3. My biggest DO NOT is don’t overthink your email campaigns.

“The days of long, long newsletters are over. Keep them short and simple. You’d be surprised at how short some of the biggest brands keep their copy. One image, a few lines of text and a button can do the trick!”

Emily Ryan, Co-Founder and Email Strategist, Westfield Creative


DON’T: Cry Over Unsubscribes, Wait Until the Last Line for CTAs, Stop Growing Your List

1. Do not cry over unsubscribes.

“People will unsubscribe. List attrition is normal. I see too many marketing managers hesitate to send emails they should just because they are afraid of the unsubscribes. Do the job you’re supposed to do, if they don’t want more email, that’s OK. It’s not a personal attack on your career if they have a busy inbox that needs less traffic.”

2. Do not wait until the last line of the email to state your call to action.

“If you want the read to go to your blog, put the link in the text AND the button at the bottom. If you want them to watch a video, consider embedding it in the email (it won’t work for all systems, but Mailchimp’s embed feature does work for some email clients). Most readers will not make it to the end of the email, so put your action items near the top.”

3. Do not stop growing your list.

“The healthiest email programs are the ones with an active, engaged list, and that comes from continued list growth. Make sure you’re evangelizing your list on all your digital channels to encourage subscriber growth. Use POS incentives to build foot traffic into digital traffic. Prioritize list growth in your marketing programs.”

MaryAnn Pfeiffer, Digital Marketing Strategist, 108 Degrees Digital Marketing


DO: Email Marketing with Enventys Partners

Enventys Partners is passionate about email marketing and knows how to ensure your customers look forward to your emails with every send. If you need help with your email marketing strategy, reach out to the experts.


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