Spookiest UX Design & Email Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

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Scariest UX Web Design and Email Marketing Blunders to Avoid

Hello everyone and welcome to Engage University episode 13! We are here to discuss the spookiest mistakes that people make when it comes to UX and user experience as well as email marketing. We’ll start with UX design.



UX Design Mistake 1: Cumulative Layout Shift

One of the spookiest UX mistakes is cumulative layout shift (CLS). Imagine you’re on a website trying to get a recipe or read an article. You’re scrolling along, and then the page jumps because somebody decided it’s more important to put an ad in the middle of the page or have something load after the fact. Then, the page jumps all over the place and you get mad and leave. That’s one of the worst things you can do.

Also, prioritizing ads loading above the rest of your content is also a mistake because that will cause a cumulative layout shift. So many businesses are guilty of it and it could be hurting your website traffic.


UX Design Mistake 2: Autoplay

Any video or audio that autoplays when you load the site is a mistake. Do not do that. First of all, it’s annoying. With accessibility in mind and just thinking about how different people interact, don’t hit your users with something moving or audio. Ease them in. Ask them to consent to hear your video. That’s probably the best advice I think for most things.

Even with the cumulative layout shift issue, a lot of websites want to give you everything at once. It’s better to ask people if they want that thing. I get spooked easily and I will leave your page.


UX Design Mistake 3: Excessive Pop-Ups

Multiple pop-ups or forms is another UX mistake. Users come to your website, you hit them with a “Give me your email because you can get a discount.” Then, further down the page, something pops up and it says, “Are you sure?”

Then, users will go to leave because now they’re annoyed. And you hit them with an exit intent pop-up. That creates a negative user experience. They’ll likely never come back to your website as a result.


How Does Your Website Measure Up?


UX Design Mistake 4: Non-Responsive Design

If your site’s not responsive at this point, that’s like a haunted house. Responsive website designs will automatically adjust based on the screen size the user is on. If the site is responsive but provides an inconsistent experience across devices, that’s also a mistake. Some people use an abbreviated mobile. Don’t do that either.

Just let users do everything they can do on the desktop. Sometimes you have to change the way you present the website information so that it works better for mobile. Businesses need to have the right approach per device.


UX Design Mistake 5: Hard-to-Read Content

Ugly, hard-to-read fonts and low-contrast text are common UX mistakes. If users have to squint and can’t see what your content says, they’re already distracted. You’ve already lost the user because they’re not thinking about what the copy says. Instead, they’re thinking about why your brand would make that choice.

The second that users have to stop and think about things that they’re not there to think about, you’re going to lose them.


UX Design Mistake 6: Ignoring Accessibility

When it comes to ignoring website accessibility, we’re at the point where it’s spooky and it’s – I don’t want to say evil – but it’s starting to go towards villain territory. The Internet has been around long enough, so we’re hopefully moving into a space of empathetic thinking as a society at large. From a UX standpoint, lots of different people access the Internet in different ways.

Don’t get in your own way. Don’t prevent somebody from being able to use your site. But then from a human perspective, there are resources everywhere that you can use to make your website more accessible. It’s important to make sure that everybody can use the Internet in the way that they need.


Email Marketing Mistake 1: Not A/B Testing Subject Lines

Your subject line is the first thing that people see when they receive your email. That will tell them whether or not they want to open the email at all. If you want more people to open your emails, then you’ll want to A/B test two different subject lines against each other.

One of them can be the standard format that you typically use. The other version could try some new elements that you haven’t before such as first name personalization. When people see their name in the subject line, they’re more likely to click on it.

Try testing emojis. Oftentimes, when businesses think of using emojis, they think, “Oh, well that isn’t really my brand. I’m not fun and silly, so I can’t use emojis.” But there are some that will help your email stand out in people’s inboxes, such as a handshake emoji or a thinking emoji.

If you have a webinar coming up and they’re running out of time to sign up, consider including an hourglass emoji. That doesn’t read unprofessional. It just helps set your email aside from others. Try A/B testing your next email to avoid frighteningly low open rates!


content calendar download call to action


Email Marketing Mistake 2: No Clear Call-to-Action (CTA)

Another scary mistake that businesses often make is not having a clear call-to-action in their emails. It’s like being in a haunted corn maze. You don’t know where to go. There’s no signs anywhere. You’re like, “Ah I’m lost!” That’s how users can feel when they’re entering your email. They won’t know what to do, so they’ll leave without taking action.

People aren’t going to see the most important items that you are trying to promote if you don’t have a clear call-to-action that clearly states, “Please click here to get this.” If your audience doesn’t know what you’re offering, then they’re not going to click on anything.


Email Marketing Mistake 3: Not Using Segmented List

Another scary mistake is not using segmented lists to send highly targeted messaging. A lot of times, businesses will promote multiple different services in one email. It really helps to break down what items people are clicking on and then taking lists – we use HubSpot ourselves – of who clicked on what service.

Then, you can create separate emails to target those individuals with future emails about those services. Users are going to be much more likely to click on your targeted email when it’s about a topic that they’re already interested in.


Email Marketing Mistake 4: Not Leveraging Automation

Setting up automated email workflows saves a lot of time. I mentioned using lists in order to target individuals. That can be set up very easily using automated workflows. We use HubSpot, we have clients that use MailChimp, Constant Contact, Zoho. On all of those, you can set up automated workflows to help continuously engage with individuals using targeted messaging.

Setting up workflows can take maybe an hour. But that’ll save you hours and hours of time manually sending those emails one at a time. Workflows can be built based on what people are interested in, what they’re clicking on, if they’re a new customer, if they just signed up for your email, and many more automation triggers.

Even if you send automated birthday emails, that can make people feel really special. They’ll think, “Oh, they remembered me. They took the time to create an email for me specifically.”

Within the design of your emails and any subsequent landing pages that you send your users to, make sure to avoid the above UX mistakes as well. Then, you can have a successful campaign!


Avoid Digital Nightmares with a Trusted Agency

With a trusted digital marketing agency in your corner, you can avoid being haunted by low engagement rates. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel to get all the latest tricks, treats, and tips to manage your spookiest campaigns. Thank you!

Lauren DevensOctober 27, 2023by Lauren Devens