May 30, 2019


by: Jane


Tags: Email Best Practices


Categories: Email Marketing

Really Bad Email

Having worked on email for more years than I want to admit, it really does make my toes curl when I see a truly bad example. This morning I received a corker, breaking so many rules I just had to write about it.

Attached is a screenshot of the offending article and here’s just a few of things that are wrong with it:

  • No reference to how and when I signed up for this email; somebody has obviously found a distribution list hidden behind the back of a filing cabinet. I have no idea how I made it on to that list and I’ve never received an email from them before. Emailing someone ‘cold’ puts a sender at risk of deliverability issues; many recipients will hit the spam button and eventually the IP address will get blocked. Those issues can be somewhat mitigated by telling recipients why they’re getting this communication
  • No personalisation; seriously, this is emailing 101, a complete no-brainer, they haven’t even used my first name. It’s lazy marketing, the spray and pray approach.
  • No obvious call to action; ok so if this product is so great, what am I supposed to do? where do I buy it? how do I get in touch? Whoever sent this hasn’t thought about post campaign measurement. Without clicks and overt engagement you can’t tell if it was worth sending – open rate does not equal engagement rate.

And the worst offence of all?

I hate cats! I’m violently allergic to them and think they’re an evolutionary waste of fur. OK maybe hate is a bit overstated but I’m really not a fan. So the marketer responsible for this either hasn’t used targeting data or didn’t go to the effort of finding out my preferences first. The spray and pray approach is not just lazy, it’s counter productive and leads to complete disengagement with a brand when they get it wrong.

So now that I’ve got that off my chest, I’m hitting unsubscribe and going off to walk the dog!