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5 Common eCommerce Marketing Email Mistakes and How You Can Fix Them

5 email mistake and how to fix them

Done right, marketing emails will win customer attention and conversions, so make sure you’re not making these common mistakes.

All eCommerce sellers know that email marketing is a powerful and cost-effective way to engage customers and generate more sales. That great potential can be lost, though, if the emails are not set up correctly. Here’s our guide to avoiding mistakes and getting the most value out of your marketing emails.

You need to get these five things right:

The subject line

The subject line is the first thing that your target audience will look at when deciding whether to just hit delete or to open the email. So it’s very important to get it right. That means getting their attention without sounding spammy.

There are several many ways to get the subject line wrong. Look over what you have to make sure you don’t fall into any of these mistakes.

Making it too long or too short

When it comes to length, you have to think like Goldilocks; it has to be just right. One-word subject lines look like spam. But making them too long will break them up when viewed on a smartphone.

Instead: Remember lucky seven. The sweet spot for length is between 25 and 41 characters, which is about seven short words. Carefully craft the subject line to keep it simple and on point.

Shouting at customers

Of course you want to get their attention, but doing it by putting everything in caps or using three or four exclamation points is not the way to do it.

Instead: Get their attention in a positive way by including their name in the subject line — something Remarkety makes very easy to do. You can also use a couple of emojis to make your subject lines stand out so long as you don’t overdo it.

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Resorting to clickbait or spam tactics 

Don’t put in phrases like “Want to save big money?” or resort to deceptive subject lines like “About your order” when there was none. Making customers feel tricked or ticked off by your email will almost guarantee you an unsubscribe.

Instead: Put in incentives that match what you’re offering, whether it’s the first look at a new line of products, the announcement of a sale, a reduced price on something they’ve looked at, or personalized recommendations for things they would likely be interested in.

Failing to double-check for errors

This is not just about catching typos but catching broken links and embarrassing mistakes like showing the code that was supposed to insert the name rather than having the name of your customer show up. If your customer clicks but doesn’t come through, you’ve just lost a potential sale.

Instead: take the time to test out your emails BEFORE sending them to avoid frustrating your customers or embarrassing your brand. Testing is such a key part of getting emails right that it merits its own section as the final step. 

A clear CTA  

The CTA is the call to action that defines what you want from your customer. When your customer opens your message you want to direct them to a specific form of action that should be identified in the subject line and lead up to a clickable action.

The point is to make it almost effortless for the customer to convert to that step, whether it is clicking over to visit your site, activating the coupon code, subscribing to your newsletter, assigning a rating to something they’ve bought, or opting in for your brand’s text messages.

What’s the ideal number of CTAs for an email? Just one.

It’s pretty simple, really. Yet many emails fall into the mistake of either failing to include any clear CTA in the message or putting in so many that the message becomes confusing and loses impact.

You know when people say, “You had one job to do?” The email is focused on that one job with a clearly defined CTA.

This is what you’re hoping to get your customer to do now. There are other things you may like your customer to do, but those can be addressed in another email.

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One of the major mistakes retailers make is sending everyone the exact same message. Unless your products are incredibly niche, though, likely there will be significant differences between your different customer segments that should be addressed on their own terms.

Instead: make your recipients feel the email is personalized to their interests. You do that by drawing on their data and that of look-alikes to offer messages that are designed to resonate with that specific segment.

Anyone who has shopped on Amazon or ordered online from the likes of Target and Walmart has received emails with the message, “We thought these may be of interest.”  They’re drawing on their vast amount of data on millions of customer transactions and selections to predict what is likely to draw your attention.

Smaller businesses don’t have that kind of Big Data to draw on. But Remarkety puts its power within their reach.


Basic segmentation categories include the following:

  • Age and gender
  • Income bracket
  • Geographic location
  • Household situation, i.e. single, with a partner, with children, etc.

Segmentations get even more complex when you start considering individual behavior that includes:

  • Preferred devices, i.e. PC, tablet, smartphone
  • Participation in social
  • Taste, style, interests, and motivation

On top of the difference between individuals is the consideration of differences in their relationship with your products or stages of the conversion funnel. Variables on that end include the following:

  • Your most valuable customers who spend the most with you
  • Customers who buy regularly but are not your biggest spenders
  • Customers who only buy when they receive a promotion
  • Customers who purchase only specific categories of items
  • Shoppers who have signed up for communication but haven’t bought anything yet
  • Customers who have only bought once but have since become inactive
  • Customers who have put things in their cart but failed to purchase them

It is simply not humanly possible to keep on top of all these categories for all your customers. But it is possible with automation, and that is what Remarkety delivers.

Remarkety leverages data both from the individual customer and the customer’s segment, drawing on browsing and purchase history to deliver different options for relevant recommendations to your customer. One size does not fit all, and neither do recommendation messages.


You can craft a great email with a clear subject line and CTA and still not optimize your results if you get the timing wrong for that individual customer. That could be due to missing the boat on a seasonal event, sending out messages on a wrong day, or failing to use trigger events effectively.

Instead: use Remarkety to track purchase history and send out emails to your customers at the time they are interested in making the purchase. That way the ones who go back to school at the end of July can get their back-to-school emails at the beginning of the month, and the ones who only go back in September can get them in August.

There are also general trends one can identify to capitalize on optimized timing. Monday through Wednesday are the best day for most. Some purchases also spike on Sundays.

Time of day also makes a difference. Business hours, including commuting time, are peak hours for purchases via email. Do bear in mind that if you are sending your emails out across the world or even just across the continental United States, you are targeting people in different time zones, so be sure to adjust your timing to that of your recipient rather than your own.

Do use behavior-triggered emails

Those are real-time reactions to your customers’ behavior. These emails are more likely to be opened than standard ones and can be used to effectively upsell, cross-sell, welcome a new customer, or re-engage an old one.

One form of trigger email is an order follow-up that can be sent a few days or weeks, depending on the product,  after the order is sent. Follow-ups can be used to ask customers for feedback on the item’s delivery, its performance, and possibly even ask for a review. It can also occasion a new order when it suggests complementary products.

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For example, Remarkety users can automate response to a trigger action with the subject line personalized with both the customer’s name and the order ID in the subject line: “Hi, Robin! We hope you’re enjoying your new items (Order #43345)” That can work for asking for feedback and for recommending other complementary products.

If they didn’t place an order but got close to it by putting items in the cart, then you have the trigger for the abandoned cart email that should be sent within a couple of hours of abandonment and followed up on the next day and the next.


One of the biggest mistakes marketers make is launching their campaigns without testing them out. As mentioned above, that can lead to mistakes in the subject lines or broken links in the CTA.

Instead: You need to test, test and test again to be sure that your messages are optimized for all devices and delivered at times that get the best results. You can track success and ROI by looking at open, click and purchase rates.

Remarkety takes the tediousness out of testing because it makes it easy to track your results. You get access to a dashboard that shows you the relevant numbers: how many people got your message, how many people opened it, how many clicked the link in it, etc. to give you insight into the effectiveness of your content and reach.

Try Remarkety for free or book a demo

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