5 Examples of Bad Email Marketing Practices
When performed correctly, email marketing campaigns can build relationships with existing customers, improve brand recognition, and help with outreach to garner new leads. Unfortunately, most business owners don’t know how to differentiate industry best practices from terrible ideas, and a poorly executed email marketing campaign can do more harm than good. Before performing outreach, read on to find out about six surprisingly common examples of email marketing worst practices to learn how to avoid them.
- Using Personal Email Software
It’s never wise for business owners to use their personal email addresses to send out marketing messages. It’s not just an obvious security issue but also makes the sender look incredibly unprofessional. Instead, engage a digital marketing agency like Appiloque that can help with everything from coming up with the right designs to A/B testing subject lines. Expert digital marketers will never let their clients make this kind of amateur mistake.
- Sending Emails Without Express Permission
Business owners should never buy email lists. They get enticed in sometimes with claims that they’re purchasing “double opt-in” email lists, but it’s still not worth it. The consumers on that list don’t know the business, nor will they respond well to being contacted without knowing why they’ve been targeted. Sending unsolicited emails isn’t a marketing technique. It’s spam, and it’s both ineffective and illegal. Only send emails to people who have signed up for the list after full disclosure of what to expect.
- Hiding Unsubscribe Links
Don’t assume that because someone signed up for an email list they are now required to continue receiving emails forever without complaint. Business owners need to include unsubscribe links in their promotional emails to avoid compliance problems. Don’t try to hide them, because people hate that. In a best-case scenario, the person who can’t figure out how to unsubscribe will stay on the list without ever reading the emails, causing list bloat and distorting figures. In a worst-case scenario, the sender will start getting spam complaints.
- Using Bait-and-Switch Opt-Ins
Don’t try to wheedle consumers’ email addresses out of them using disreputable bait-and-switch techniques. This bears repeating: businesses should only be including email addresses from customers and leads who have given them up under their own free will, with no false pretenses. Don’t offer free eBooks or other ethical bribes to get email addresses for the list without first telling consumers that they’ll also be receiving eZines or email newsletters every week. Instead, establish clear expectations from the start about what opting in will mean.
- Wasting Readers’ Time
Emailing constant, poorly conceived sales pitches, or unrelated information to readers will only drive them away. Today’s consumers expect to be provided with something valuable and relevant when they open promotional or informational emails. Make sure the content they contain is well-written and of a high caliber that will keep them coming back for more. Don’t waste their time with constant affiliate marketing or promo blasts for unrelated products and services.
The Bottom Line
Most business owners aren’t experts at online marketing, so it should come as no surprise that those who choose to go it alone often find themselves making rookie mistakes. Thankfully, there’s an easy solution. Don’t go it alone. Hire a professional, reputable digital marketing firm to help with managing email lists and establishing effective marketing campaigns.