7 Email Marketing “Sins” That Scare Off Potential Customers


An email subscription list is one of the best tools you can use. Of course, if you want to benefit from the email list you've built, you have to approach your subscribers correctly.

There are definite "Email Dos" and "Email Don'ts." Here are seven of the biggest "Don'ts" that you need to avoid.

1. Making It All About You

Remember: The goal of every email is to help your subscribers. They come first. If the only thing you send out is news about yourself or sales pitches for your products, you'll lose subscribers faster than you can...do a really fast thing.

It's important to remember that all-important 80/20 rule: 80% of your emails are meant to be helpful to your readers. 20% are meant to promote yourself and your products.

2. Sending All The Time

When you first build your list, you're going to want to send out emails all the time. Don't. Flooding your subscribers with emails will kill your list. If you've made it clear to your subscribers that your list is a daily subscription, it is okay to send one email a day. If you haven't, you'll want to back off to one, maybe two, per week. This way you stay on their radar but you're not pummeling their inboxes.

3. Generic/non-personal/overly Hypey

The best tone to strike with your email is one that is positive and conversational without going overboard into hype. Hype turns people off. How do you tell the difference? Pay attention to how you feel when you read the letter. If you can picture it being read aloud on an infomercial at 2AM, it's hypey. Tone it down.

Hint: Start by being stingy with your exclamation points.

4. Failure To Spell-check

Always spell-check and grammar-check your emails. Always. Subject lines, too.

5. Terrible Subject Lines

How often do you delete an email simply because the subject line is cheesy or spammy? Don't let this happen to the emails you send. It's helpful to think of the subject line as a tweet: snappy, sweet, and less than 140 characters.

6. Improper Formatting

Email can be read on just about anything now. In fact, most people read emails on their phones first and then decide whether or not to save it for a later response. Failure to properly format your emails for mobile and tablet devices will lead to your email getting deleted almost all of the time.

7. Wrong Length

Rambling emails are best left for grandmothers who are still trying to figure out how to operate the computer you bought them for Christmas and new parents talking about the daily accomplishments of their newborns. As an email marketer, your job is to get in, capture the readers' attentions, and get out. If you have more to say, write it up as an article or blog post instead and send a teaser for it in that day's email blast.

Have you had to learn the hard way about what to and not to do in your emails? Share the lessons you've learned in the comments section!

About the Author: Erin Steiner

Erin Steiner is a writer from Portland, Oregon, who has written extensively about Internet marketing and other small business topics all over the web. She covers a plethora of other topics as well.

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