Although email seems like such a simple tool to use to reach your potential or current customers, it's easy to make some common mistakes that can either hurt your email marketing strategies or derail them all together.

Here are five common errors that you should stop making right now.

Mistake One: Using Bad or Old Email Addresses

Obviously, if you have outdated email addresses because your list is too old or you're trying to contact people who have asked to unsubscribe, you're just asking for failure. Instead, update your contact collection system so that you can take advantage of every prospect who asks for more information.

Incorporate a request for email addresses on your corporate web site through a landing page or offer special, insider deals to those who subscribe to your email newsletter to refresh and refocus your contact list.

Mistake Two: Failing to Automate

It's easier than ever today to automate certain email outreach with prospective or current customers. It can be as simple as sending a welcome email when someone subscribes, a confirmation email when an order is placed, or a shipping notification when a package is sent. Each of these simple, easily automated communication efforts improves your relationship with your customer.

If you want to get more sophisticated, plenty of tools can help you send automated emails based on browsing activity, an unfinished shopping cart or the most likely time of the day when emails will be opened.

Mistake Three: Ignoring Metrics on Customer Behavior

Email automation tools today can give you a great deal of information that can help you improve future email campaigns. For example, some tools allow you to beta test two subject lines to see which one generates more opens or clicks or even which one leads to more sales. You should able to see what day of the week or time of the day generates the most activity for your campaign as well.

Be sure to study these analytics so that you can continue to change and tweak your campaign on an ongoing basis. The information can be collected and reported quickly, and your campaign should be able to pivot immediately, allowing you to make the most of your email marketing resources.

Mistake Four: Sending Useless Information

No one likes receiving junk emails that simply fill up your inbox with virtual noise. Avoid sending emails for the sake of sending something.

Instead, invest some time in creating a content calendar and plan the information you want to share in a regular, professionally done newsletter. Customers love special deals and discounts and will tolerate some interesting business news or product announcements. Depending on your audience, you may want to provide related tips, helpful solutions or other valuable information so you are viewed as an expert.

Mistake Five: Devaluing Appearances

It's easy to throw some information into an email to get communication out to your customers or prospects, but you don't want to ignore appearances. Take the time to make sure your communication is well-written and has an easy-to-read format.

No one likes huge blocks of text; instead, keep an email newsletter light with lots of graphics, pictures and visually appealing data. You want to hook your reader with not only great information, but a quickly scannable product that is worthy of passing along to a friend or two.

By putting together your email marketing strategies based on your business objectives and avoiding these common email mistakes, you will find that email marketing is a cost-effective way to generate new business, re-engage former customers, and develop long-term customer relationships.

Author's Bio: 

Chris Mcdonald has been the lead news writer. His passion for helping people in all aspects of online marketing flows through in the expert industry coverage he provides.