When it comes to email marketing, we hear a lot about best practice and what makes the perfect email design, but today we’re going to talk about what can make an email particularly bad. These common errors can often lead to unsuccessful email campaigns and are usually things which can quite easily be avoided. Here are 5 things which you should definitely NOT include in your email campaigns…
1. Spam words and phrases
This is probably a no-brainer, but with email spam laws tightening, it is pretty crucial for email marketers to be clued up on what actually constitutes spam. Spam filters are clever and they’re getting more and more sophisticated. Potentially, if not used in the correct context, words and phrases which you may view as an enticing CTA or clever way of creating a sense of urgency may land you a very large fine for being in breach of spam laws. Her is a very useful list of current spam “trigger words” which you should try your best to avoid where possible. Particularly with subject lines, it is often much more effective to come up with something original and creative than to rely on clickbait.
2. Patronizing or negative unsubscribe links
This is one of our pet peeves. By law, it is required that you include an unsubscribe link somewhere in your email. Of course we don’t want our customers to unsubscribe, but if they choose to, we must respect this choice. The double opt-out when confirming a customer wants to unsubscribe can be very effective in customer retention, but, if done in a patronizing manner, it damages your relationship with your customer even more. Negative unsubscribe buttons such as “No, I don’t want to receive helpful information” are incredibly rude to the customer, as it implies they are not responsible enough to know what’s good for them. Quite simply, if a customer clicks the unsubscribe link, it’s better to do nothing at all than to insult them. The below image is a prime example of how NOT to phrase your opt out!
3. Impossible-to-find unsubscribe links
Following on from the last point, trying to get around the law by hiding your unsubscribe link somewhere at the very end of your email is also a massive no no. This is likely to aggravate your customers and ultimately get you blacklisted and even reported for sending spam – not ideal. If you are worried about your customers unsubscribing, think about why this could be. Is your content engaging and relevant? Do you send too many emails out? If you focus your efforts on making your emails interesting and appealing to your customers, there’s no reason they will want to unsubscribe anyway! We recommend you aim to put your unsubscribe link in a place where it’s clearly visible to prevent your subscribers getting frustrated and marking your emails as spam.
4. Spelling mistakes
It might seem like we’re being a bit picky here – yes, accidents do happen, and yes, it’s usually okay – but try to remember that your email campaign is representative of you and your brand. With this in mind, it’s important that you carefully spellcheck everything you send out. It might not be enough to make them unsubscribe, but spelling and grammatical errors make you look bad and instantly devalue your email. To most of us, a spelling mistake sticks out like a sore thumb and in your email design, it’s only going to take away from the message or CTA of your campaign. Make sure you use the spellcheck tool, and use the test send feature to allow other colleagues to proofread before sending to customers.
5. Invalid links or promo codes
It’s all well and good sending your customers a special offer or discount, but if the offer is invalid or doesn’t work, you’re just making yourself look bad. As well as testing all links in emails, remember to test discount codes, CTAs, and vouchers too. Many companies have made this mistake in the past and have been forced to respond by sending out an embarrassing apology email which could have easily been avoided with some simple testing. Don’t let this happen to you!
So there you have it. These five simple mistakes might not seem like much, but can cost your business a lot. Whether it’s your reputation, your subscribers, or your money, make sure you don’t lose out and stick to our advice when you’re putting together your next email campaign.
Until next time!
Your Mail Designer 365 Team