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AAAHHH, how do I overcome email anxiety as an email marketer?

· 6 min read · Email marketing · Nov 17, 2020

Do your hands get a little sweaty before pressing send on an important newsletter? Or do you keep your fingers crossed each time you use subscriber segments for your campaign?

Fearing that your subject line personalization still says {$name} to links that redirect to a 404—almost every email marketer has been there.

Email anxiety is real, and when you’re sending messages to thousands of subscribers, it’s completely normal to experience it from time to time.

If your anxiety has gotten the better of you, this article is for you. We’ll discuss the different situations in which email anxiety shows up and pair each example with a fitting solution. 

Are you ready to tackle your fears and handle your emails with more confidence?

Email anxiety can show up both when managing your private emails and business newsletters.

In your personal life, you might go into fight or flight mode each time you open your Gmail to check new emails. Ideally, you’d like to see inbox zero, but in reality, your email inbox looks like a tornado has just passed. There are unread emails, flagged messages and follow-up reminders waiting on you. 

How can you possibly organize this email communication chaos and spark joy?

And in your professional life, sending your weekly newsletters might cause you to break out in a cold sweat. Will the images look good? Do the URLs work correctly? And let’s hope people open the campaign and click on the call to action!

Like any fear, the best method to overcome email anxiety is to tackle it head-on. 

If you feel stressed every time that you have to send your weekly newsletter, you need actionable steps to lower this anxiety so it doesn’t affect your mental health.

Let’s look at all the ways email anxiety can show up when sending email campaign newsletters. And more importantly, what to do about it.

1. “Will the images show correctly?”

For many promotional newsletters, images are a vital part of the email layout. When images aren’t showing, the message will go up in smoke and the impact won’t be as desired. A legitimate fear of many email marketers is that email clients won’t load images.

The cure

Make sure that whatever information is conveyed in the image is also repeated in the text. Important information like dates or discounts should be mentioned in your text as well. 

To minimize the chances of images not showing, try keeping each file size preferable under 100KB. As a backup, always add a descriptive ALT text for each image.

2. “Can people see my newsletter on mobile devices?”

You’ve created this beautiful weekly newsletter! On the desktop, everything looks great. But what about mobile? If you’re feeling anxious about what your newsletter content will look like on other devices, there’s an easy solution.

The cure

Use an email software (we know of this great one called MailerLite). Nearly all email tools have an email builder that automatically makes newsletter layouts responsive to adjust to different screen sizes. 

If you’re importing your own HTML email template, you can use your email tool to check the preview or refer to online tools like HTML email check to see what your code looks like on mobile.

3. “What if the personalization goes wrong?”

Email personalization is a great tool to build a more personal bond with subscribers virtually, as you can’t see them face-to-face. However, a lot of us get anxious wondering whether the placeholders will be replaced correctly for all readers. Though it’s a legitimate fear, do know that this mistake is a common one. Almost all of us can dig up an email thread somewhere that says “Hi {$name}”, or similar.

The cure

Personalization works with variables that automatically take information from custom subscriber fields. The easiest way to double-check what your personalization will look like is by checking those fields. 

For example, if you use name personalization, download a list of the subscriber group you’ll send your email campaign to. Then open the list in Excel and apply a filter. You can sort from A to Z or filter for blanks to check the number of empty fields. This will tell you where the personalization will appear as blank. If there are many cases, you might want to adapt your text and, for example, use “Hi {$name}” without a comma, to avoid the personalization appearing as “Hi ,”

4. “Am I sending this email to the right people?”

Segmenting your email list is a great way to send better-targeted emails, but if you use segments often and in a large number of emails, it can get confusing. You can easily get anxious, doubting whether your email will appear to the right subscribers.

The cure

You need a good system for email segments. Make it a habit to name each segment clearly, stating the conditions used to create the segment. For example: “Signup <30 days” or “Free user, NY, <30 y/o”. 

Though you don’t want to make the title too long, try to add the conditions within the name so you see at one glance what the segment is about. Of course, you can always double-check how the segment is set up, but a descriptive name will help to make things clearer when creating your targeted campaign and browsing through the list of titles.

5. *Send* “Fingers crossed there were no typos!”

Are you nervous about sending emails because you’re not sure about your grammar? This one is easy to tackle!

The cure

Meet Grammarly! This add-on automatically checks your email texts and highlights grammatical errors. You also get instructions on how to write better, including sentence structures, word usage and punctuation. With this plugin installed, you can be certain your email texts are free of typos. Easy peasy!

6. “What if no one engages with my newsletter?”

When you’re an email marketer, your job is to send email campaigns that drive conversions. It’s understandable that with each sent campaign, you’re hoping for a high level of engagement—such as people clicking the call to action (CTA). If the desired result is disappointing, this can definitely lead to anxiety.

The cure

Don’t panic! Email marketing is all about learning what types of emails work for your audience—which takes time and constant tweaking. There’s not one email strategy that fits all (yes, you can use this quote to show your boss). There are, however, email reports.

Great email marketers aren’t fixated on a specific number, but on running tests to continuously improve numbers. Only through testing different subject lines, CTA buttons, layouts, etc. can you gain valuable insights about your email performance (more on this below). 

But testing comes with trial and error, therefore, you need to have “bad” results in order to reach better email performance. See it as part of the game, as long as you take notes and learn from the insights.

We hope the above tips help you to get from email anxiety to email positivity! 

Tackle your fear one step at a time and in the meantime, keep calm and carry on. Don’t get too worked up when you sent out a wrong link or your unsubscribe rate increased. We all occasionally make email mistakes or get disappointed with our email results, but these mishaps are only there to improve your craft!

What makes you anxious about your newsletter campaigns?

Jonas Fischer
Jonas Fischer
I'm Jonas, Content Manager at MailerLite. I’m not the 4th Jonas Brother, but I do write content (which is similar to being a teen heartthrob). After writing for a bunch of companies over the years, I discovered my professional passion—helping add some humanity to B2B marketing. Email is the perfect place to start!