Like just about everyone, I get at least several hundred emails through my various accounts, every day.
The overwhelming majority of these are marketing-oriented, and to be honest I delete just about every one of them. The only ones I’ll even glance at are those where I’m thinking of buying something, like fitness apparel or some knitting yarn.
Most of these ads are graphically well done, but I will get the odd one that looks like someone’s ten-year-old daughter put it together. All that’s missing are the Hello Kitty characters.
For this last week before New Years just for some fun, I refer to yet another of my favorite sites, HubSpot, which is vast treasure trove of inbound marketing information.
Sometimes they provide too much – getting 5-6 blog post alerts each day can be a bit overwhelming. I’m not sure how they expect the average working stiff to read everything they crank out, but the following was pretty useful to me…and hopefully you too.
This article detailed some of those more extreme examples of annoying email marketing practices. Granted, most of the adventure travel emails I’ve seen do not commit and probably would never think about these unforgiveable sins.
Some of these mistakes include text that’s in ALL CAPS in the subject lines (lower your voice please – there’s no need for screaming), multi-colored fonts and using the wrong individual or company name in your subject lines and salutations
(An aside here: one company kept sending me emails with Sakata and another to J. I might’ve taken them more seriously if they used my full first name, as I included my form to them. Being addressed this way makes me question if they really care about me as a prospect).
But here are some others that your company might be doing and may not know it. So this is a helpful reminder:
1.) Making false promises
One thing you don’t want to do is advertise “Cancun Vacations for $250, inc. R/T air!” then have visitors find out they’re actually $1,000.
It’s the time-honored but still sleazy bait-and-switch. And little else will destroy your credibility faster. Yes, you want to people to click on your emails, but not at the expense of their trust in your company.
2.) Ignoring your “Do Not Reply” email accounts
I often get these emails in my boxes. Even with a hint of the forbidden, I’m admittedly curious to find out what would happen if I actually did reply to them.
Well, if you were on the other end of this exchange, you’d be smart to see what I would have to say, and maybe I’ll remember to come back to you as a paying customer. Others would as well.
3.) Sending a constant stream of discounts
It doesn’t matter if you try to express your subject lines with different words, word order, colors or flashy graphics. If you send out incessant declarations of discounts on your products or services, without giving them at least a day in between to work, you’ll have a lot of your prospects clicking on “unsubscribe.”
4.) Jumping on trends just for the heck of it.
This often gets used with memes, or the photos including some clever and/or humorous caption superimposed on it. It also occurs when a company uses contemporary slang and clearly doesn’t know what it’s talking about.
You’ll really want to be careful here, because in your attempt to look relevant to a certain market segment, you’ll instead look ridiculous and even pandering.
Essentially, you’ll want to make your email marketing authentic, trustworthy, respectful…and real. Avoid using the cheap tactics mentioned above, and you’ll have audiences come running to you, and away from the shysters.
What examples have you seen of egregious email marketing sins? I’d love to know about them, so share your thoughts below!