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8 horrible common email mistakes you need to avoid

A poorly written email can ruin your chances of closing a major deal. Here are the 8 most common email mistakes and how to avoid them.

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7 minutes

    By James

    James has seven years' experience as a Content Marketer, bylines on Left Foot Forward, Submittable, and INOMICS, and a Master's in History. In his free time he likes to read, play guitar, and write for his personal blog.

    Writing great emails requires a lot of copywriting knowledge if you want to hear back fast. However, even expert copywriters sometimes make mistakes in their emails.

    A poorly written email can ruin your chances to close a major deal. Here are some of the most common email mistakes you can easily avoid:

    Having a weak subject line

    A subject line is your customer’s first look at your email, and a misstep here is a common email mistake. This means that whatever you place in your subject line is what should persuade them to open your email.

    If it’s weak, generic or boring, they won’t open your email. However, if it’s relevant and engaging, sparking curiosity in them, it should work like a charm for your email open rates.

    However, don’t be a trickster either - never use methods like creating a subject line that mimics something a friend would say, sounding like clickbait and so on.

    A subject line should also be invigorating and promise value. For instance, “Unlock exclusive deals!” can be more inviting compared to a bland “Newsletter Issue 4”

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    Not having a call to action

    A call to action is an important element of your email. This is what your email is leading up to - that one link that will lead your clients straight to the product or the service you are trying to sell.

    However, if you don’t have it, don’t think your clients will search for a way to purchase it because they most likely won’t.

    They will think about it for a while but then your product will get lost somewhere in the trash bin just like your email.

    Include a CTA so that your customers can get to your product quickly. A clear, compelling CTA can significantly improve conversion rates. It's a small yet powerful segment of your email that guides the recipient on what to do next.

    Not writing about benefits

    Features are really important but even more important are the benefits your product has to offer.

    This means that you should list the features but then take the time to say what benefits those features will bring.

    For example, having a 20mp camera on your phone is a great thing but that doesn’t mean anything unless you state that your reader will be able to capture their memories and live events with clarity.

    It's essential to strike a chord with your reader's desires and show how your offering can alleviate their pain points or fulfill their needs.

    Not writing accurate and engaging emails

    Grammar and spelling mistakes are huge issues in emails, and are common email writing mistakes that can turn readers away. They can make your readers think that you are a scam or that your product is just like your copy - full of errors. This is why you should use some of these tools.

    Engaging emails are not just free from errors but also spark interest and encourage the reader to take action, making them a powerful tool in your marketing arsenal.

    Using tools for grammar checking and style improvement can significantly elevate the quality of your emails. A well-crafted email not only reflects professionalism but also builds trust with your audience, enhancing the likelihood of positive responses.

    Not formatting your content

    Formatting your email content is crucial, especially since so many people nowadays only skim the content in order to get information. So, use plenty of bullet points, subtitles and so on.

    Well-structured content can guide the reader through the message effortlessly, making it easy for them to grasp the key points and take action.

    A visually appealing format can hold the reader's attention longer, making them more likely to respond. Effective formatting also demonstrates a level of professionalism and consideration for the reader's time, which can be appreciated and reciprocated.

    Being vague about your offer

    When writing about your offer, you should do it with clarity. Your readers shouldn’t have to go back several times to realize what you are trying to sell them - in fact, they most likely won’t go back.

    So, use simple words and make sure that there is no complex jargon. A clear explanation supplemented with compelling visuals can better convey your offer, making it more appealing to the recipients.

    A well-articulated offer reduces the chances of misunderstandings, which could potentially lead to lost sales. Providing clear, concise information alongside a compelling narrative will help to capture and retain the reader’s interest, nudging them closer to a favorable action.

    Not using personalization

    Not using email personalization

    One of the best ways to persuade your customers to buy from you is to use their name. If you fail to do so, it will be much harder for you to persuade them. Plus, it’s a valuable tool that you shouldn’t miss.

    You can use other methods of persuasion too - signing emails with your own name and using a friendly email address so they can reply to. This all makes your email look a lot better.

    It will be personalized and a lot more persuasive than it would have been without this.

    Personalization goes beyond just using the recipient’s name; understanding their needs and tailoring your message accordingly can significantly enhance the email’s effectiveness.

    Misspelling information

    When you are done writing an email, you should go back to the most important information in your email and make sure that it’s accurate. If not, fix it.

    Of course, most people are unable to catch this the first time they re-read their email, so you should take the time to read your email with focus and attention several times before you send it.

    For example, if you misspell the person’s name, it can come off as very rude and they won’t respond to your email.

    A good thing to know is that even if you make a mistake in your email, there are ways you can fix it: Undo Send is an excellent feature you can use as it can undo your sent message to avoid some of the more common errors.

    But you should always strive for perfection in your emails and this means checking for these mistakes thoroughly.

    Make sure to also check out our series on How to Master Sales with Mailbutler. Or, if you would like to explore all of our posts on email tips and tricks, you can find them on our blog.

    Mailbutler can help you out with the help of AI

    Here is where the Mailbutler's Smart Assistant comes into play. Using advanced AI technology, the Smart Assistant can review your emails, offering suggestions for corrections and enhancements. It's not just about grammar and spelling, the Smart Assistant can even help improve your email's tone, ensuring it's appropriate and engaging for your intended audience.

    Smart Improve by Mailbutler's Smart Assistant

    Smart Improve by Mailbutler's Smart Assistant

    The tool is capable of identifying and highlighting common email mistakes, giving you a second pair of eyes and making your emails error-free. Whether you're crafting an initial outreach email or following up with a prospective client, the Smart Assistant ensures your communications are polished, professional, and compelling every single time.

    Common email mistakes FAQs

    What are the common mistakes in email writing?

    Some of the most common email writing mistakes are:

    • Writing a weak, generic subject line
    • Misspelling the recipient’s name
    • Forgetting to include a call to action
    • Not formatting the email content
    • Not using personalization in the subject line and/or the email body
    • Not being clear about what you have to offer
    • Including inaccurate information
    • Not explaining how the recipient can benefit from your offer

    How do you professionally correct an email mistake?

    The simplest and easiest way to correct an email mistake is to go through your email several times before you hit send.

    Asking a colleague to carefully proofread your message and suggest improvements is an even better option because a fresh pair of eyes can provide new ways of thinking.

    Unfortunately, these tips won’t be useful if you realize you’ve made a mistake after you click on the send button.

    The safest way to correct your mistakes in such situations is to recall your email.

    With Undo Send integrated directly into your email inbox, you’ll have the chance to retrieve your emails and make edits if you spot any mistakes.

    What is the biggest mistake in email writing?

    This is an interesting but difficult question. Different people would give you different answers, but most would agree that one of the biggest email writing mistakes is imperfect grammar/spelling.

    Sending an email with multiple spelling and grammar mistakes (for example, “then” when you’re doing comparisons) will diminish your professionalism and intellect in the eyes of your recipient.

    Another horrible email writing mistake is spelling the recipient’s name wrong.

    It’s disrespectful and shows you’re not really paying attention to all the important details.

    How do you handle common email mistakes?

    If you make a serious email mistake and don’t have the necessary tools to retrieve the message and edit it, the smartest thing to do is explain how the mistake happened and offer a sincere apology.

    For example, if you forget to attach an important file, include a helpful link, or talk about key points, own up to your mistake and provide the necessary information as soon as possible.

    You should also reassure your recipient that you will never repeat that mistake.


    In conclusion, mastering the art of email writing is crucial for sales success, and being mindful of common email mistakes is the first step toward improvement.

    By investing time in crafting engaging subject lines, clear calls to action, accurate content, and personalized messages, you enhance your connection with the recipients, making your emails more effective.

    Using tools like Mailbutler's Smart Assistant can further polish your emails, helping to avoid common email mistakes and elevate your email communication to a professional level.

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    Comments (2)

    1. great content very helpful

      29 Apr 2021
      • Thank you very much, David!

        05 May 2021

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