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4 of the Most Common Email Marketing Myths

Posted by Phil Davis

June 20, 2017


Maybe it’s because it’s been around for so long, but it seems as if there is a plethora of misinformation and contradictions surrounding email marketing.

One blogger will make a flawed (though likely well-intentioned) claim about the best email marketing practices, his article will get shared by thousands of other publications and before you know it, millions of marketers are building their campaigns based on a strategy that is straight-up wrong.

We’d like to dispel some of the more widespread misconceptions. Here are four of the most common email marketing myths (and why you shouldn’t believe them.)

1. Unsubscribes are always a bad thing.

Good email list hygiene is essential to improving email deliverability and campaign success. And when users unsubscribe from your emails, they’re actually doing you a favor by scrubbing your list for you.

Many unengaged subscribers simply ignore your emails and never get around to unsubscribing, leaving you with a number of email addresses that are just taking up space in your database and hurting your campaign performance. But when a recipient removes himself from the list, it improves your engagement rate and, in turn, sender reputation. As long as your unsubscribe rate is under 1 percent, there’s nothing to worry about.

Pro Tip: Give your subscribers more choices. Provide options for opting down in addition to opting out.

2. Marketers can’t send the same email twice.

You put a lot of time and energy crafting relevant, high-quality marketing emails. So when only 30 percent of your audience opens your message, it can sting a little. Don’t give up. Rather than spending time writing and designing a brand new email to communicate the same message, you can just resend the original. However, there are three caveats to this:

  1. Change the subject line before resending
  2. Wait at least 72 hours to resend
  3. Resend the email only to subscribers who didn’t open it the first time.

Most importantly, don’t take this approach with every single campaign. Only resend emails for your highest potential campaigns.

3. Email marketing doesn’t bring in new customers.

If you have someone’s email address, then either a) they’re an existing customer, or b) they’ve already expressed an interest in your brand. For individuals in the first group, the goal of sending emails is to encourage repeat purchases and inspire brand loyalty. And for those in the second, it’s to drive them to become part of the first category. Either way, your emails aren’t bringing in new customers, right?


Your subscribers will forward your emails to their friends and family who aren’t already in your database. They’ll also share your messages on Facebook or Twitter. Both of these actions allow you to reach new consumers who may not have otherwise been introduced to your content. Be sure you make it easy for subscribers to share your emails by including forward and social sharing buttons.

By the way, this also applies to B2B companies. Email marketing isn’t just for nurturing leads already in your database; it’s great for generating new leads, as well. Just be sure there’s a lead-generating call-to-action in your email.

4. Email marketing is obsolete.

We’ll end with the most prevalent email marketing myth: It’s going the way of the dinosaur.

Many companies shy away from email marketing because they think it’s an outdated approach, opting to focus more on social media. But the numbers certainly tell a different story:

  • McKinsey Insights found that email is 40 times more effective for customer acquisition than Facebook or Twitter combined.
  • Of the nearly 1,500 consumers who participated in ExactTarget’s Channel Preference Survey, 77 percent said they prefer email for permission-based promotional messages (only 4 percent reported they preferred Facebook, and only 1 percent preferred Twitter).
  • E-commerce software provider Monetate reports that while 4.24 percent of visitors from email marketing will make a purchase, only 0.59 percent of visitors from social media will.

“Newer” doesn’t always mean “good,” and “older” doesn’t always equate to “bad.” Email marketing may have been around for a while, but it’s constantly evolving, and when used correctly can be a great tool for growing brand loyalty and generating revenue.

What are some of the other email marketing misconceptions you’ve come across? Let us know on our Facebook or Twitter!

Make sure your database is spic and span and free of invalid addresses. Get your free Email Address Validation Report now!

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