The 7 Deadliest Sins of Email Marketing

Posted on May 5, 2011

The 7 Deadliest Sins of Email Marketing

Email marketing is a fantastic way to provide useful information to your customers and to keep in touch with them. When done correctly, it can help to create loyalty and keep you at the top of your customers’ minds when they make their next decision to purchase products in your industry. When done incorrectly however, email marketing can be a recipe for disaster. We don’t want you to fall into the trap of hurting your business in your marketing efforts. So, we are pleased to present you with the 7 deadliest sins of email marketing:

1. Being un-likeable. If you sound like a news reporter, you’ll only gain casual interest in your emails. Even worse, if you sound disconnected or stuffy, that’s how your business will be thought of as well. Take the time to consider the voice you’re using in your email and the subjects that you choose to write about. Make sure you emulate the kind of business that your customers will want to interact with.

2. Spamming People. No matter how incredible your email newsletter is, if it lands in the spam folder, your customers will never see it. Besides, nobody wants to be bombarded with a bunch of sales-pitchy jargon in an ‘email newsletter’ anyway. A couple ways to make sure that you’re not unintentionally spamming your customers:

  • Consider your wording. Make sure it doesn’t sound like ‘hype’.
  • Send the email to yourself and others to see if anyone’s spam filter catches it.
  • Test your email with a spam filter such as E-filtrate.

3. Being Too Safe. In the email newsletter world, Safe = Boring. Be different. Stand out. Be memorable to your customers, but not in a controversial or annoying way. Provide them with fresh insights and timely information. Refresh your newsletters with each issue so they don’t become too ‘standard’.

4. Copying Other People’s Work. Borrowing information and insights from other sources is okay (as long as you acknowledge that source when necessary), but you need to make sure your emails sound like yours and not someone else’s. Make sure the voice of what you’re saying communicates the personality of your business and it will strengthen that image in your customers’ minds.

5. Selling, Not Emailing. Don’t use your email newsletter to solely push your products on people. If you do that once, your audience will lose interest. This is not the time to praise your business. It’s a time to be useful and helpful to other people.

6. Failing To Test. What your email looks like in the template you build may not be what it looks like what it reaches your customer’s inbox. Test out your email using multiple destination addresses if possible. Make sure the look and feel you’re going for is successfully transmitted.

7. Not Knowing What Works. You won’t have any idea whether your newsletter is effective if you aren’t looking at whether people are reading it. Tracking things like open rates, click-through rates, what time of day you get the best response, and so on can improve your email marketing efforts many times over.