5 Horrid Email Marketing Myths That Are Holding You Back

“Email marketing is dead.” 

You’ve probably heard this one before…

…so you’ve been hesitant about leaning deeper into your email list and using it to grow your impact. 

The truth is, email marketing being “dead” is probably one of the biggest email marketing myths out there (along with five others, which I’m going to bust in this post!). 

According to recent statistics, email marketing generates $36 for every dollar spent, which is an ROI of a whopping 3,600%. 

(Yup, 3,600%. You read that right.) 

79% of marketers rank email in their top 3 most effective marketing channels and 44% of online shoppers say that email is the biggest influence on their buying decision, followed by social media posts (18%) and influencer marketing (7%). 

All of this to say — 

Email marketing is thriving, and it’ll continue to bring strong results to business owners and entrepreneurs. 

That said, YOUR email marketing may not be doing so hot right now because you believe in 5 common email marketing myths that are holding your campaigns back. 

Let’s unpack them 👇

Ditch These 5 Infuriating Myths About Email Marketing for a Better Connection to Your Audience and Higher Revenue

1. Open Rate Is the Most Important Email Marketing Metric

To understand your email marketing performance, you need to track key email metrics that show whether your campaigns are working or not. 

Your open rate shows you the percentage of your email list subscribers that opened a particular email, and it often makes the #1 spot on email marketing metrics lists. 

Now, here’s the thing. 

Your open rate is an important metric, but it’s not the most important one. 

You can use it to: 

→ Figure out whether your subject lines are working or not 

→ A/B test to find out which subject lines your segments are most likely to open 

→ Get a sense of whether your email list is interested in your emails 

That said, read your open rate data with a grain of salt because it can — and often is — unreliable. Here’s why. 

Typically, your email is counted as “opened” when the image in that email is downloaded (as in, it loads in the email for the reader to see). 

Many email users have their images blocked by default (often without even knowing it!), which means that even if they open your email, you won’t see it reflected in your open rate. 

As a result, your open rate can be significantly lower than what it actually is. 

Moreover, some people open emails by mistake without actually meaning to do it, which can inflate your open rates. 

It’s useful to track open rates, but one of the biggest email marketing mistakes is believing that it’s the most important metric and basing your entire strategy off of it. 

Instead, focus on tracking multiple email marketing metrics, such as click-through rates, conversion rates, and list growth rates, and seeing them all as a part of a bigger picture. 

2. Sending Too Many Emails Is Annoying

You may have heard that emailing your subscribers too often is an email marketing mistake to avoid at all costs. 

And while it’s true that bombaring your list with 5 emails a day can result in some lost subscribers (or, worse, may even get your emails marked as spam)…

…it’s important to get clear on how many emails are “too many.” 

Some business owners believe that to avoid getting labeled annoying, they should email their list once or twice a month. 

That couldn’t have been further from the truth. 

There are multiple studies out there on the most optimal email sending frequency, but the average shows that emailing your list two to three times per week gives you the best results. 

Sending marketing emails less often (ex: once per week) or too often (four to five times per week), seemed to result in less engagement and a higher unsubscribe rate. 

So, don’t make the common email marketing mistake of leaving your email list hanging. 

Email them often, but make sure that your emails are high quality

Because the truth is, what’s actually annoying is getting poorly-written emails in your inbox, no matter how often. 

3. Having People Unsubscribe Is Bad

Seeing leads unsubscribe after reading an email that you’ve just worked for hours on is disheartening…

…but what if you looked at unsubscribes as a natural and healthy email marketing process? 

The truth is, people unsubscribe for various reasons, and most of them don’t have anything to do with you

Maybe some people on your list were interested in your product or service before, but have since pivoted in their business or embarked on a new path altogether. 

Or maybe they didn’t even realize they were signing up for your email list when they downloaded your freebie. 

Lastly, it’s entirely possible that your unsubscribers genuinely did dislike your content, but did you a favor of unsubscribing instead of marking your emails as spam. 

The truth is, you’re not for everyone. 

It’s significantly better to have a few highly engaged subscribers than a lot of disinterested ones. 

Having people unsubscribe may actually increase your open rate, click-through rate, and conversions because you’ll be reaching out to people who are actually interested in what you have to offer. 

That said, if your unsubscribe rate is over 1%, you may want to take a closer look at your email marketing strategy and try to identify a deeper issue. 

4. Your Emails Must Have a Beautiful Design

Your email doesn’t need a sophisticated, out-of-this-world design to convert your leads into paying clients or customers. 

In fact, the only three things your emails need to be successful are: 

✅Persuasive copywriting (and if it’s not your thing, we can help you with that!) 

✅Solid marketing strategy

✅Clean & easy-to-read look 

Sending plain text emails may actually give you better results because they are more personal and genuine. They feel less like marketing and more like a conversation with a friend. 

So, don’t feel pressured to spend a lot of time and resources on creating the most aesthetically-pleasing design out there.

Instead, focus on the things that truly matter (aka, the quality of your message). 

5. There’s One Perfect Time to Send Emails

One of the most common small business email marketing mistakes is spending too much time trying to figure out when you should send your email marketing campaigns. 

The truth is, there are a myriad of marketing studies out there on the best days and times to send your emails to get the best engagement…

…and almost all of them contradict each other. 

One study by GetResponse claims that the best days to send emails are Tuesdays and Fridays. 

This article by Mailchimp suggests that newsletters sent on Sunday can get higher-than-average engagement rates. 

And then, there are articles getting really detailed and establishing that the best time to send emails is Thursday 8am-9am and the worst is Tuesday and Wednesday 8am-10am. 

I mean?! 

The truth is, no two audiences are the same. 

Instead of chasing after contradictory statistics, experiment with YOUR audience and figure out what works for YOUR list.

How to Get Started with Email Marketing

As we’ve established in this article, when it comes to email marketing, the most important thing is to create high-quality content. 

Take our storytelling quiz to discover your secret weapon in marketing and improve your email campaigns with high-converting, story-driven copywriting. Start now! 

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We created this piece to be a reminder that, no matter what we're doing: our words matter. We can’t live a meaningful life or run a successful business without positive words. And the words we use can make or break us. So, grab a piece and allow yourself to be inspired and reminded that...your words matter.


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