The comprehensive list of Email marketing No-No’s

email_marketing_no_nos

The comprehensive list of Email marketing No-No’s. The tactics, antics and (un)written law breaking behavior to avoid. Do you know your email marketing No-No’s?

If you notice any Email marketing No-No’s I missed, let me know! I will continue to update this list so everyone can use it as a reference.

  1. Never conduct Email marketing without a good plan.
    Have a plan. A specific email marketing plan will outline what you want to achieve and how you are to execute it as a part of your online marketing strategy.
  2. Never Spam 
    Everybody hates Spam. Don’t send to people that haven’t given consent for you to email them or subscribed to your newsletter.
  3. Never send email without an unsubscribe link. 
    Each email should contain an unsubscribe link, make it as easy as possible for people to leave your list if they want. So no hiding it either!
  4. Do not use confusing subject lines. 
    Want people to open your email? Write persuasive subject lines. Want them to act on it too? Be clear about the contents of your email.
  5. Do not assume Email marketing is profitable. 
    Email has a great ROI on average, but that doesn’t mean you have. Track your own revenue and costs to calculate your own ROI and profits.
  6. Don’t treat every subscriber the same.
    The one fits all email philosophy hardly ever flies. Use segmentation and personalize the emails to fit the recipient better.
  7. Don’t send people to generic landing pages. 
    Landing pages should have a seamless connection with your email. Think again before you make the  clicker think.
  8. Don’t stuff your email template.
    Let’s add a lot of elements and more and more! Beyond one point, you are not adding value at all. But just confusing people.
  9. Never forget to test your email before sending
    Everything should work as intended. Test your email, your landing pages, your tracking, your personalization. A mistake is easy to make.
  10. Don’t view your email as something separate
    Your clients interact with you in multiple ways. Make sure your email marketing is part of the complete marketing plan and works together with other channels and touch points.
  11. Do not send one big image
    It’s tempting to just send that one big image, but don’t do it. Here is why: (Can’t read the reason? Please load your images)
  12. Do not forget to report 
    Measure, track and use that data. Just measuring isn’t enough, use the knowledge  to improve your email marketing.
  13. Don’t use a no-reply address
    If people want to contact you, let them. No-reply isn’t customer friendly, the minimum you can do is set an automated email that points to where they can contact you.
  14. Never send “Wemail”  (Email that’s only about yourself )
    Your recipients aren’t interested in everything you do. Count the number of times the words “we”, I, “Us” and Brand name are used. Replace with a message about the customer.
  15. Don’t overlook mobile email
    A large part of your email is being opened read on mobile devices (15 to 45% according to mobile email stats). Your email and landing pages should be ready for to the always-on, mobile crowd.
  16. Do not assume your audience knows what you are talking about
    Words and terms that are over obvious to you, might seem like gibberish to your recipients. Avoid using jargon and complex phrases.
  17. Don’t do everything by hand
    Email marketing is especially suited for automation. Don’t get caught up doing tasks like imports and repetitive weekly sends when your time is better spent in adding real value.
  18. Don’t forget to add the links
    Always think about your links. An email that can’t be acted on is a waste of time and money. A strong, active email has a strong Call to Action.
  19. Never lie
    Mother told you that the truth lasts longest, it’s the same with digital (email) marketing, and social media brings bad behavior into the open.  So don’t lie, cheat or overpromise.
  20. Don’t forget to clean up your list
    Unsubscribes, remove them as fast as you can, same goes for bounced and invalid email addresses. Emailing them can damage your email reputation and deliverability.
  21. Do not let your email marketing get boring
    If your email  is not interesting in some way or another, results will suffer. This doesn’t mean all brands should “go popular”. Just try and keep them interested.
  22. Do not assume your Email Marketing company is doing it right.
    Not all companies that offer email marketing services know their stuff. Be very wary of agencies that don’t deliver or can’t offer solid references.
  23. Don’t forget to run a render test
    How does your email look like in different email clients like Yahoo, hotmail, gmail and outlook? Check it using an email render preview service like litmus or emailonacid.
  24. Don’t confuse Email Marketing experience with technological knowledge or a checklist.
    If email marketing is an important part of your business, consider getting some help of an Experienced Email marketing Consultant or your vendor. It is a good idea to use an email marketing checklist though.
  25. Don’t be bombastic
    Never use the word blast in regards to an email campaign. It’s not nice, it’s not needed and it usually means that email marketing is just a way to shoot out a bunch of emails (while you know ithere is more to it).

If you NOtice any Email marketing No-No’s I missed, or have any remarks let me know in the comments!

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  • http://twitter.com/stephanhov Stephan Hovnanian

    Truth!! Excellent list Jordie.

    #25: Don’t send mass email through your personal email client (Outlook, Gmail, etc.) with your recipients in the Bcc: (or worse, To:) field!!

    • http://twitter.com/jvanrijn Jordie van Rijn

      That is such a big No-No Stephan! Great addition. The natural no-no ness order is: To, CC, BCC. 

  • An

    I would also say that it is a no-go to create the impression that it is personally adressed to you, when reading further in a newsletter or e-mail the facts aren’t matching. I get angry by the amount of e-mails that start with hi an! … and further it says something completely false (like unexisting family references) :)

  • Russell Redwood

    Excellent article – it’s helped me. With regard to point 3, I just wonder if it’s worth pointing out that some Government legislation / Anti-spam acts legally require an unsubscribe facility – it’s not really a choice, unless you want the wrath of a legal system down on you. Just ensure who’s and what legislation applies BEFORE you send.

  • JWoe

    A very neat and comprehensive list! Another important aspect would be to always use double opt-in, otherwise businesses could get into big trouble.

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