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Sometimes you focus so closely on what to do right, you forget to look out for the things that can go wrong. That’s like driving safely under the speed limit, but ignoring the Road Closed warning sign. Here are the top 5 email design errors you need to stay away from.

1. Image only emails

This one is tempting, but it’s the only way to make certain every recipient with every email program sees your emails exactly as you so painstakingly designed them, but it’s still an error.

First, because the filters can’t read your email, they are likely to assume you don’t want them to scan the email because it’s spam. Therefore, they’ll assume it’s spam. Your recipients won’t see it, and you harm your reputation.

Of those people who do receive the emails, many still won’t see it because Outlook and other clients don’t display images by default. Other clients automatically turn images off.

Also, they are not mobile-friendly. If a mobile user opens your email while they’re offline, they won’t see anything so they’ll probably just delete it.

2. Not having a fast-loading, brand-consistent header image

You want every email you send out to contain a header image. You want it simple, powerful, clear and consistent with your brand. That will signal to the recipient the email came from you and your company, and to expect more of the great content you send.

3. Too many Calls to Action

Every email should contain a Call to Action, and many marketers err by acting too cautious. However, others go too far to the other extreme. Just one or two buttons and a link within the email text is enough to send your reader to the landing page.

4. Gray walls of text

Just like website readers, email readers are skimmers. If you send them a solid wall of text with long, long paragraphs, you will make their eyes glaze over. Email is not the medium for long, thoughtful scholarly articles.

You can’t bore people into doing business with you.

  • Use a headline to alert them to the main point.
  • Use subheads to break up the subject matter
  • Use short paragraphs. Get to the point.
  • Organize your information.

5. Hiding the Unsubscribe link

Think you don’t want people to get off your list?

You’re wrong. You do. If they want off, you want them off. So you should let them get off and encourage them to unsubscribe. Point them to the Exit.

Remember, they cost you money.

They give you the illusion your list is bigger than it actually is.

Every list attracts tire-kickers who will never buy, and you pay for every single one. Granted, some people will eventually buy. If they’re at all interested in your product and the content you send out, they’ll stick around.

Email remains one of the most effective forms of online marketing because it’s the prospect or customer allowing you into their most private and intimate online space, their inbox. Respect their space, and they’ll reward you with their business.

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