5 email marketing myths you need to stop believing

FactMythThere are plenty of email marketing myths circulating around the internet that are presented as best practice fact. I’ll be surprised if you aren’t shocked by at least one of these myths

Myth #1: Email marketing is about optimising open rates

Open rates are a poor measure of email success. There are many reasons, including higher open rates do not reliably translate to higher click rates, in fact 53% of the time higher open rates don’t increase campaign success. A second issue is open rates don’t measure the revenue impact of email frequency across time and campaigns.

If you need convincing read how email open rates are as useful your appendix and how campaign metrics are not customer focused.

Myth #2: The right ISP contact gets you to the inbox

The ISP spam filter processes are automated and based on data analytics. The ISPs are not interested in allowing what they have already analysed to be poor quality email marketing into the inbox.

You can’t talk Yahoo, Google or anyone else into letting you in. The best long term deliverability strategy is to follow sound email marketing practices that avoid you bursting your deliverability balloon and give high inbox placement rates.

Myth #3: You should only split test one change at a time

Following this advice stops you from re-thinking and taking a totally different approach that is ultimately more successful than tweaking what you’ve got.

We like to say that you can’t A/B email split test to convert a pig into a swan one small change at a time. You need to re-think the animal from the outset.

Myth #4: Subject line lengths must be under 55 characters

This is related to Myth #1. There is evidence shorter subject lines can create higher open rates, however, those higher open rates don’t necessarily translate to higher clicks or conversions.

A longer subject line can beat a shorter one, since it can have higher clarity and appeal. Which means the question of the right length for a subject line is not a simple make it less than 55 characters rule.

Myth #5: Emails must be beautiful to be effective

The Obama digital team, who raised $500m of donations for the 2012 election, ran extensive, email split testing and are on record saying “the more ugly the email the better it worked”. In fact the Obama team deliberately created Frankenstein emails.

An email doesn’t need to be a creative work of art. It must make impact and get a message across quickly. A beautiful email that doesn’t do that won’t be rescued by beauty.

Bonus Myth: Email is dead

We work with brands driving £100K’s of revenue per month from email. Anyone who sees the revenue driven by email knows email is doing very nicely thank you.