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24 of the biggest email myths exposed

Email Myths

This post is about to debunk the 24 biggest email myths that simply refuse to die in 2021!

Are you scared to use CAPSLOCK in your email subject lines? Afraid to send an email campaign on a Sunday? Do you think your millennial audience doesn’t use email anymore? In this post, we debunk these and 21 email myths that are alive and well in 2021.

  1. Subject lines have the biggest impact on whether someone opens your email – In actual fact it’s the sender name that has the most impact. 42% of people use the sender name as the primary reason for opening an email vs 34% using the subject line.

  2. Pretty emails work better than plain text – The truth is 60% of consumers have images disabled by their email client. So you need to be careful your only calls to action within an email aren’t reliant on a big shiny button…..

  3. The goal of a subject line is to get the most opens – False, the goal of the subject line is to engage the subscribers most likely to convert. Sometimes the right subject line can have lower than average open rates and convert at much higher levels as the content is hyper-specific to a segment of your audience.

  4. High unsubscribe numbers have an impact on your sender reputation – There is no publicised correlation between unsubscribes and ISPs or email clients penalising your reputation. That said it’s obviously a red flag that your content is not engaging with your audience as it should.

  5. Tuesday is the best day of the week to send email – The truth is the day of the week is directly tied to your subscriber’s preferences (similarly to frequency) Repeated studies have shown that the variance between days only fluctuated on average by around 1%.

  6. Millennials don’t use email and prefer instant messaging apps, putting the future of email in doubt. – Actually, millennials prefer to use email for commercial transactions in the same ratios as other age groups. They actually dislike their messaging apps being clogged with marketing messages. In fact in recent studies millenials spend more time on email than any other age group!

  7. Consumers are spending less time on email – In fact, consumers spend more time than ever on email, largely due to the success of the smartphone.

  8. When sending an email you only have to abide by the laws of the country you’re sending from – Incorrect, you must follow the law that relates to your subscribers country.

  9. You are limited to standard fonts within your email designs – False. You can use web fonts for your email just be sure to have a fallback design that works for your brand for email clients as not all of them support all web fonts.

  10. Consumers don’t check their spam folder – According to Litmus email analytics, 60% of consumers routinely move email out of their spam folders.

  11. Double opt-in is a requirement under EU law – Wrong. Only Germany requires double opt-in and this isn’t legislated (at time of writing) it’s under case law.

  12. An unopened email is the worst result of your email campaign – Nope. An email that’s opened and fails to deliver what’s promised will often lead to unsubscribes or complaints.

  13. Spam definition is clearly understood – Incorrect. Although email marketers may understand the law related to spam, consumers often regard irrelevant or unexpected email as spam as well.

  14. Changing your sender IP address can fix your reputation – ISPs often use domain reputation alongside IP address as a way of monitoring senders. So simply changing where you send your emails from wont help repair the damage done by misusing your email list.

  15. Using CAPSLOCK, exclamations marks or emojis can trigger spam filters – This is a huge myth that’s been around for decades. The truth is spam filters are generally triggered as a result of previous behaviour. So yes if you spammed people with all caps in the subject line and got lots of complaints then your next email is likely to get filtered (and rightly so)

  16. The number one issue with deliverability is the inbox provider – The number one cause of deliverability issues is down to your own list management. Make sure your email list is kept in top condition by regular cleaning and maintenance.

  17. Emails must always be 600 pixels wide – Although it’s good practice to design around this scale, wider and narrower designs can work as long as you use responsive design tools which scale with the device being used to read the email.

  18. Morning is the best time to send email Mailchimp conducted a study of over 1 billion emails sent and discovered that most recipients engaged with their email after 12pm. The hours 2-5 were in fact the most active time period. (Our advice is that each audience is different and should be treated as such. Test yours and use data to see what works best for you)

  19. Sending too many emails will annoy your audience – This is entirely linked to your own email list. Clearly, someone signing up for stock market tips is expecting a higher frequency of emails than someone looking for an annual festival guide.

  20. Short emails work better than long ones – Although consumer attention spans have been falling for some time. There is no clear evidence that long or short copy performs better than one another. Again the type of audience is the deciding factor that will work best for you. If in doubt split test two designs and see which offers the best engagement for your audience.

  21. Removing bouncing email addresses is cleaning your email list – We covered this topic in-depth last week, but suffice it to say that you need to do more than just remove bouncing email addresses to clean your list. (https://www.leaddigital.com/blog/its-time-to-scrub-your-email-list/)

  22. Shorter subject lines work best – No longer the case. The Adestra study revealed that subject line length performance in fact varied greatly by industry. So don’t feel you need to conform to industry averages. A/B test and see how your audience responds to each.

  23. Informative content is the reason people sign up for email – A survey after survey has revealed that the vast majority (over 80%) of consumers provide an email address in the hope of a discount. (Tailored and exclusive offers is at number two) So don’t feel like you need to have a team of journalists on staff to keep your audience engaged!

  24. Higher the email frequency means more unsubscribes Hubspot put this myth to bed in their study which showed that in fact when companies increased their email frequency from 1 to 4 emails per month they actually increased open rates, email revenue, and saw a reduction in unsubscribe rates. (Again this of course will depend largely on your own audience preferences and what they expect to receive from you.)