The Seven Deadly Sins of Email Marketing

by Victor Green
3 mins read

There’s no denying that email marketing is one of the fastest, most productive ways of making a splash with your audience. Unfortunately, all the great aspects of this channel can lead to opportunities for misuse and abuse, creating some serious ill will with your targeted customers. With that in mind, let’s take a moment to go over the seven “Deadly Sins” of email marketing and what your brand can do to avoid the temptation of falling into these traps.

Relying on Promotional Fluff

First up on the list is all about what’s going on in the body of your emails. While there’s no denying that these messages are promotional in nature, that’s no excuse for offering little to no value in your emails. In addition to the basic offers of discounts, coupons, and sales, be sure to add in content that relates with the reader and goes beyond the simple “buy this now” approach. Things like weekly newsletters and even previews of your latest blog post fit this niche perfectly. Not only will this save your readers from promotional fatigue, it’s also a great way to build a lasting connection that keeps your contact list healthy and full.

Forgetting about Your Mobile Customers

Once you have your message in order, making sure you go beyond desktop optimization is the next part of the process. While standard emails are still going to be the bread and butter of most marketing initiatives, not giving the mobile portion of your audience its due, is an easy way to miss out on a great opportunity for conversions. The worst part about falling prey to this marketing sin is that it really doesn’t take much effort to build a proper mobile message with the rise of templates and professionals who can help you along the way.

Poaching or Copying Content

Like pretty much any other facet of your business, taking the easy way out and copying or poaching content isn’t a strategy designed for the long haul. Obviously, there’s nothing wrong with leaning on the work of others to build a message or flesh out an idea. However, continuing along this path without giving credit where it is due, is a one way street that leads straight to email purgatory and a dwindling fan base that’s less than thrilled with your brand’s marketing efforts.

Going Overboard with Email Word Counts

When it comes to the length of your message, more is better, right? While this sounds good on paper, the truth is that most readers don’t have all day to sit around and read a novel delivered directly to their inbox. To really connect with your audience, keep this promotional content short and to the point, leaving out filler and unnecessary information when possible. By saying goodbye to forced word counts and shifting your focus toward brevity and impact, your brand can go above and beyond competition that’s still stuck writing long after your emails start hitting consumer inboxes.

Failing to Adapt Your Content to the Cold, Hard Facts

Much like the original Deadly Sins, there’s no place for pride in a proper email marketing campaign. Although it might be a hard pill to swallow at times, few email initiatives start off perfect. As the results from your latest series come back, don’t be afraid to face the facts and follow the lead your customer data illuminates. Sure, it might not be the best feeling in the world to admit that your content needs a little tweaking. However, when it comes to increased conversions and brand awareness, putting pride on the side and adapting to the cold, hard facts is always in the best interest of your marketing goals.

Succumbing to Link Overload

When it comes to proper linking, you’re probably looking back up the list and wondering how this fits in with poaching or copying content. Essentially, if you reference or cite something, there’s nothing wrong providing a link back to the source. Where you can really get in hot water with your audience is turning half of your email into hyperlinks back to your site and landing pages. When wrapping up the final tweaks to your message before it goes live, try to keep the links to a minimum. Not only can you avoid link overload this way, you’ll also be able to use the limited number of redirects to really emphasize a call to action or time sensitive offer as your email hits its crescendo.

Disregarding Spam Laws and Regulations

Of course, the biggest sin any brand can commit when it comes to firing off promotional emails is to run afoul of the government’s anti-spam laws. With the recent changes in the Canadian spam regulation, it matters now more than ever to get things right the first time. Failing to stay on target not only damages your reputation with customers, it also can lead to some serious penalties and fines. Aside from keeping up with the latest developments straight from the source, having an expert opinion on your side can help you avoid this sin, as well as the rest, once you’re ready to start harnessing the power of email marketing.

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