Email is a powerful marketing tool. That said, the full benefits of email marketing are only truly realized when it's used as part of an overall marketing strategy, as opposed to a vehicle for one-off messages.
Like anything powerful, email can be used for both good and … spammy ("evil" seems a mite harsh) campaigns. Make the most of your email marketing campaigns by making sure you avoid these common mistakes:
1. Blasting the same message to all contacts. Chances are, the interactions you have with prospects are not all the same, and perhaps you have more than one product. Some prospects may already be fans and follow you on social media; others may have never heard of your company before. Prospects are different, and have different interests—and email marketing is wonderfully customizable. Take advantage of that, and avoid blasting the same message to all contacts.
2. Neglecting buyer needs. Does the CEO of a major corporation in California have the same needs as a small marketing team in the Midwest? Probably not. Incorporating segmentation strategies can help target campaigns to buyer needs. Targeting will allow you to provide relevant content that addresses the pain points of your potential customers. That not only catches their interest, but positions you as a friendly company that's paying attention (and you are).
3. Failing to adapt messaging. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Start paying attention to your response rates and you'll prevent some of the head-banging insanity that can result from a bad email marketing strategy. Split testing allows you to test copy and other factors, so you can adapt your messaging based on response rates. This not only creates better open rates for your campaigns, but also allows you to reach prospects more efficiently.
A last bit of advice: Email marketing is even more effective when you use it in concert with other marketing automation tools. In particular, it can amplify demand generation and really enable better lead nurturing.