Email marketing sometimes holds a bad reputation outside of the marketing world. It is often equated to spam or junk emails, which is just one of many email marketing myths that perpetuate the email marketing space.

Some myths have even made their way into email marketers ideologies. But beware… Don’t let myths stop you from testing your email campaigns or sending emails altogether!

Let’s debunk email myths so you can start understanding your subscribers better.

Popular Email Myths

1. Thursday morning is the best time to send an email.

Googling “best time to send an email” will result in an overwhelming amount of studies backed by data from everyone – popular Email Service Providers (ESP) to marketing agencies – detailing when to send emails to your subscriber list.

This would be helpful if they were using data from your subscriber list.

The problem with this myth is that the best time to send emails is going to be determined by each individual subscriber on your list. All your subscribers have different schedules and routines, affecting their open times. There is no universal best time to send an email.

How do we debunk this myth? Use subscriber level data to time your emails. Quality ESPs are able to optimize send times based on past successful opens. If you don’t have this kind of data yet, it’s acceptable to test different times, but in the end let your subscribers tell you when the best time is. Not the internet.

2. Unsubscribes are bad and sad :[

Unsubscribes are seen as the ultimate failure in email marketing, but in reality unsubscribes can be beneficial. Unsubscribes clean your subscriber list for you, saving time and effort. You don’t want to waste your time marketing to users who aren’t interested or worse, mark your email as spam. Debunk this myth by focusing on your conversion rates to judge successful campaigns. Which leads us to….

3. Open rate is the ultimate email marketing metric.

Marketing is about seeing ROI. Getting a user to simply open your email is not a return on your investment, even if you use a free ESP. Your time is valuable and your email campaigns should be serving some conversion purpose. Personally, I wouldn’t even report on the open rate metric and instead focus on the best metrics for your marketing goals. Try these:

  • Ecommerce: Average Revenue Per Email Sent (ARPES)
  • Lead Gen: Conversion Rate
  • Brand Awareness: Click to Open Rate (CTOR)

Pro Tip: What is open rate (OR) good for? Assessing your brand reputation or subject line quality. If your OR is low, one of those two things are not interesting enough to entice an open.

4. Shorter email copy/subject lines will hold a user’s attention.

Different emails types serve different purposes. A drip campaign is focused on nurturing the client after they have completed a desired action. These emails should be long, or at least longer than a traditional transactional email.

If you are sending a drip campaign to explain all the great benefits of your product, don’t skimp on the details. The same myth applies to subject lines. Test your subject lines. Not all subject lines fail because of length.

5. Don’t send multiples of the same email.

There is a caveat to this. Don’t send the same email twice to someone who opened it the first time, unless it’s an abandoned cart email or transactional email. Sending abandoned cart emails to remind users they still haven’t purchased anything can be successful, but set a max of how many reminders subscribers get.

If you find that users didn’t open your newsletter, it’s acceptable to re-send it. There was a reason they didn’t open it in the first place… like they were too busy or maybe your subject line wasn’t interesting. Try rewriting your subject line and resending.

6. Don’t use “spam” keywords in subject lines.

In the beginning of email, simply capitalizing could get your email sent straight to the spam folder. Now, spam filters are very sophisticated and do a much better job of understanding even the most intense spamming and phishing tactics. What hasn’t changed though is people still like sales.

So if your subscribers respond to “sale” words in your subject line, don’t shy away from it. If you don’t have that data, test your subject lines and content. Using “free”, “discount” and “sale” won’t automatically discredit your email efforts by sending them to the dreaded spam folder, but it’s important to understand what causes subscribers to click through!

Know other email myths that need debunking? Leave a comment below and let us know!

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