Email Marketing: The 7 Deadly Sins

  1. Don’t Be Spammy. Don’t add people to your list who have not expressly opted in. There are laws that govern this, and the salient point of these laws is that you must have an explicit opt-in to your list. The read must know what they are signing up for and what they will receive. Their should be no surprises. It’s a good idea to read up on these laws. Learn about the CAN-SPAM act — and how to comply with the General Data Protection Act (GDPR).
  2. Don’t Think of Email as a “Blast.” Don’t use that word, and get rid of that way of thinking. If you’re doing it right, your email campaigns are not a blast; they are personalized, specific emails tailored to your contacts’ behavior and preferences. If you’re in California and are planning a local event, your users in Arkansas don’t need to read about it. Segmentation is your friend.
  3. Don’t Ignore Mobile. If your email looks awful on my phone, forget it. We can’t be friends. There’s simply no excuse not to send a mobile-friendly email. You’re alienating most of your readers. According to Campaign Monitor, poor formatting is the number one complaint about mobile email. If an email displays poorly, no matter how good the content is, it’s likely to be deleted in under three seconds (in >70 percent of cases). Think about that — 70 percent of your contacts won’t even read your message. Get mobile friendly now.
  4. Blindly following trends. There’s lots of debate about plain text vs. HTML formatted emails. Should you use images or not? No expert can tell you what’s going to work better for your audience. The only way you’ll ever know is to test, test, test. When you’re testing, only test one element at a time so that you know exactly what’s influencing your results.
  5. Too many words. I don’t know about you, but when I get an email with multiple paragraphs that I have to scroll to read, I hit “delete” right away. I don’t care how good you are are copywriting, no one is that good. Break up walls of text with subheadings, images or other visual cues.
  6. Sell Sell Sell. Letting me know about a sale on a great pair of boots is fine, but don’t be constantly selling. There is a time and a place for sales emails, and it’s only after you’ve built trust with your reader. Provide content that’s helpful, fun, or interesting — make me glad I signed up. Make me trust you and consider you a resource; then I’ll buy from you.
  7. Don’t Neglect Automation. What happens when someone subscribes to your list? I mean right after. Send automated welcome emails that arrive soon after the subscriber finishes the opt-in process. Make them feel welcome with a special offer, or tip, or just a warm note from you. Welcome them, introduce them to you and your business, and let them know what’s in store.

Want to read more about email marketing? Check out these posts:

You May Also Enjoy …

How to Build an Email List

How to Build an Email List

Add “build an email list” to your to-do items for customer retention. Email marketing has the highest ROI of any other channel.


Talk Back to Me