The Seven Deadly Sins of Email Marketing

In our increasingly technological world, email, blogs, mobile marketing and videos are the way of the future. With direct mail campaigns set to drop 17% during 2011, the marketing budgets for digital media, such as email marketing, are the only area expected to see an increase in spending. Email marketing is both easy and cost effective, but if you don’t want your emails deleted with the rest of the daily spam, it is important to avoid these seven deadly sins:

1. The email is from an unrecognizable “name” and “subject” line. The first step in email marketing is to get the reader to open the email. Make sure that the name you are sending from is recognizable and that the subject line is catchy and something that will compel the reader to open the email.

2. You failed to include a call to action. Sending an email without a call to action is like sending a letter without your name and phone number. In other words, without a call to action, don’t expect a response. No matter what you choose as your call to action, make it clear and simple.

3. You failed to stay in compliance with the Can-Spam Act. You must, by law, always include a link somewhere within your email that gives your readers the opportunity to unsubscribe. You must also include your physical address, which, in addition to staying in compliance with the law, provides increased legitimacy to your email and makes it easier for readers to contact you.

4. You are emailing a purchased list. For a marketing campaign to be truly effective, it is important to be sure that your readers are interested in what you are sending them. Unfortunately, with purchased lists you can never know, and without the permission of the reader, you may be sending spam. Always take quality over quantity and work with opt-in lists only.

5. You do not stop to consider the content. Even the most interested readers will be lost without quality content. Ask yourself what information they would be interested in reading and avoid filling your email with advertisements, a quick way for your email to end up in the trash. Always proof read to avoid sending an email full of errors, which can reduce credibility in the eyes of your readers.

6. You use too many graphics. Graphics can make emails load slowly, increasing wait time and decreasing the patience of your reader. Always makes sure your emails open quickly and are easy to read.

7. You lack strategy in executing campaigns. Planning content and frequency of email blasts in advance will ensure that you execute your email campaigns in the most efficient way possible.

Considering every possible avenue of communication is part of a marketer’s job. Email campaigns can be highly effective means of keeping in touch with regular customers and making them feel as if they are a part of “exclusive” promotions. These tips are aimed at helping you create a long term email strategy for you or your clients.

If you are interested in learning more about marketing strategy or sharing your ideas with other professionals, visit the Tampa Bay Chapter of the American Marketing Association online. Membership grants you access to events, networking and countless other marketing tools.


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