If you are committing any (or even all) of these email marketing don’ts in your brand’s online promotional efforts, you need to stop now!
- Spam – This is the first and most important rule, as any hint of spam activity and your deliverability rates will plummet, most likely to zero.
- Use… lots… of… punctuation!!! – Don’t write like William Shatner speaks. Restrain yourself from asking too many questions and just make clear, lucid statements that end with a period, not half a dozen exclamation marks.
- Send all your emails at once – Your email marketing missives must be throttled to be sent at specific speeds that most major ISPs will accept. All of the major email service providers ensure that your newsletters are issued at precise velocities to keep from clogging up the flow.
- Buy or rent your list – This is wrong on so many levels that if you need to be told, then you really should consider giving up email marketing, and perhaps seek a new career in washing cars or walking dogs…
- Use an old list – Your customers are constantly changing their email addresses, so unless your subscriber list is thoroughly fresh and up to the minute, you’ll be facing tons of bounces and spam complaints to rival the √1^gR^ crowd.
- Resend to bounced addresses – Any hard bounced addresses (non-existent or blocked) must be removed immediately from your list and under any circumstances before your next scheduled send.
- Send one big image – The temptation to make your email newsletter composition easy is to build it in Photoshop and then just send it out as one huge JPG. Emails need to be compiled from many smaller images and text boxes as many browsers are “images off” by default and mobile devices must be able to interpret the email correctly for their much smaller screen sizes.
- USE ALL CAPS – THIS MAKES IT LOOK LIKE YOU ARE SHOUTING ALL THE TIME AND IT IS A LEADING INDICATOR THAT YOU ARE A SPAMMER! USE A SCREWDRIVER TO PRY OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK KEY… AND THROW IT AWAY!
- Feature lots of spam words – Free, Guarantee, Apply Now, Offer, Shipping, Today, Online, Available, Home-Based, Money, Mortgage Rates, Weight Loss, Order Now, Limited Time… these are just some of the terms that will send up the spam flag, not only in your microcontent (subject lines and preheaders) but anywhere in your emails.
- Place dead links – Not only are links that don’t work properly extremely frustrating to your reader, but they will also trigger the dreaded spam filters. Prior to sending out any email marketing message, check that each link in the body not only works properly but actually sends the reader to the intended page.
- Attach files – Email attachments not only increase the overall file size of your email newsletter but they clog up the works and lead to much lower deliverability rates. Always host your various ancillary and multimedia files and provide a link for their download or streaming.
- Send emails From: Your Company – Your subscribers would much rather receive personal email from an individual at your company, preferably highly placed such as your CEO, than from the name of the brand itself.
- Create a single email for all your subscribers – Segmenting is not just what you do to an orange before eating it, but actually the most important aspect of properly marketing to your customers. Apply demographic, geographic and behavior segmentation to break up your audience into common interests and then devise specific email content to appeal to them directly.
- Go with your first draft – You’d be surprised how many major brands send out email missives to millions of subscribers that would make a grade school student snicker. Meticulously and obsessively proofread your copy to ensure that it is 100% free off speling amd gramma misteaks,
- Send only in HTML – Doing so will leave your text only customers in the lurch!
Email marketing rewards the brands that adhere to established, proper email practices and relegates the rest to the spam folder where they belong. Adhere to best email marketing practices and thrive!