Everyone makes mistakes - even email marketing geniuses (hard to imagine, we know).

Yet with a checklist of things to double and triple-check before distributing a campaign, it's easy for important components to slip the minds of experienced pros and newbies alike.

In fact, The Retail Email Blog regularly posts about the mistakes and "oopsies" of massive email marketers on their blog, so if in fact you do make a mistake from time to time, you are in the game with the big boys!

All joking aside, it's always best to avoid a mistake before it happens. Here's a list of things to sidestep in order to make your marketing run more smoothly than you ever thought possible.

1. Buying Email Lists

Successful email campaigns cater to specific demographics, tastes and interests. Using confirmed opt-in to obtain the proper permission from people who are truly attracted in your targeted emails ensures that they really want to receive marketing from you.

When you buy an email list, there's no way to ensure that those people are really interested in your messages, so you must avoid purchased lists at all costs. You can never presuppose anything about the addresses of random people that are not given to you personally by their owners.

2. Hard to Recognize "From" Names and Subject Lines

Once subscribers are on your list, you want to make sure that they open your messages frequently. Your subject line and from name/address are your only chance to get subscribers interest in their jam-packed inboxes.

To help jog their memory, always use the same email address and contact name so that there is no confusion when your messages get there. Your subject lines must clearly present the value of the emails while staying reliable with your past subject lines to evoke recollection and familiarity.

3. Avoiding CAN-SPAM Compliance

The Can-Spam Act requires that all messages contain the sender's valid physical postal address, but some home-based and international businesses are hesitant to include this information in their emails.

Aside from the legal obligation, putting your contact address in your emails is the best way to show subscribers that you have a legitimate identity and that you won't run for the hills as soon as they make a purchase from you.

4. Inappropriate and Infrequent Emails

Sending emails that don't relate back to their primary request for info irritates readers and is a fail-safe way to rack up a high number of unsubscribes. Add an erratic schedule to the previous scenario and you have a recipe for email failure.

As a rule of thumb, if you haven't contacted subscribers in 6 months, delete them from your list. Revisit your landing page occasionally to assess your email subject matter and make sure it matches up with your original offer. Establish expectations so that subscribers know what to look forward to from you, and when to expect it.

a. Create Subscriber Expectations Before the Opt-In.
b. Create and Emphasize Expectations Right After The Opt-In.
c. Create Subscriber Expectations Over Time.

5. No Call to Action

With all of the emphasis placed on quality content and sharp design, it's understandable that marketers occasionally miss the obvious. When a prospect clicks on a message and they're interested in learning more, don't forget they will be wondering, "What do I do next?"

Give them a way to move forward easily. Include multiple calls to action and links back to your site so you don't lose them. Set up your products positively, and remember when creating your messages that there must be a logical sequence of events - you want readers to open, read, click-through and eventually buy.

6. Not Testing Before Sending

With all of the time spent prepping marketing emails, typos can easily go unseen. Testing your messages before sending them only takes a minute or two and can help you identify problems before they show up.

Send test copies to test accounts at various email providers to ensure that the message is legible, the images are viewable and the links work.

Are You Making These Mistakes?

We know email marketing isn't always easy. Like we've said from the get-go, everyone has a moment.

If any of the situations on the list above have happened to your, try shifting your method; you'll be amazed at the impact a few simple alterations can have on your campaign.

If you implement changes into your campaigns, please come back and post a comment. We enjoy hearing from you and sharing your experiences will help others.

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