ink splot

So much work goes into the writing of e-mails, the designing of the layout and the programming of templates that sometimes, the small things get overlooked. But as the saying goes: the devil’s in the detail.

In the following, I want to point out a few newsletter errors that can happen to the biggest companies. The illustrated examples are fictitious but are based on real newsletter errors.

The cryptic subject line

Placeholders are great tools for e-mail templates and testing but if you don’t double-check, they might end up in the final e-mail. And as most placeholders go, your customers will immediately know that this wasn’t intended.

By the way, even emojis in subject lines can lead to mayhem given that not every e-mail browser is able to read them. Therefore, testing the final look for different browser should be standard practice. By the way, most e-mail-tools as well as marketing automation-systems are able to give previews for the most popular browsers and devices.

messed up subject line

The vague salutation

A personal salutation makes the difference but only if it is truly personal. Quite often, companies don’t have all the contact info, especially, if they want the sign-up form for their newsletter to be short.

However, if you don’t work with an alternative, neutral greeting that is used automatically as soon as your automation software can’t find the right salutation and/or name, you will end up with the kind of salutation that is the direct opposite of personal.

bad salutations

The missing alt text

Many e-mail browsers don’t show images to protect users from spam and viruses. It’s therefore important to use the alternative text of images to convey what the image shows. However, quite often, instead of alt text or nothing, users see big chunks of incomprehensible text, whether it’s the name of the image, a hyperlink or something else. Check your e-mails without images, to see how well it looks.

missing alt text

The endless link

The same goes for using links that are bloated by too many queries. Query strings are used to track the link. Companies who use queries, can add certain information to it, like the campaign, channel, date, etc. where it’s been used. This way, they can see how successful their link was. A query string is therefore a pretty handy method to track your content.

However, in e-mails, these links can seem quite intimidating if they are not „hidden“ behind hyperlinks or images. Make sure that your „smart“ links don’t show in the final e-mail or are shortened, so they don’t overwhelm e-mails.

long link

Testing your marketing e-mails

There are many things that need to be checked before you send out an e-mail. The text, the links, the imprint, subject lines and e-mail lists … it’s easy to overlook details. However, there’s certain seemingly small errors that give your e-mails a worse look than any typo ever could. A wrong salutation or a placeholder text in the subject line suggest that you didn’t check the e-mail before it went out, giving the impression that you don’t really care.


Marketing Automation software helps with organization, testing and optimization your e-mail marketing but it can do so much more. Find out how your marketing can be transformed with our blog article.