3 Frightening Email Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Oct 23, 2014

3 Frightening Email Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

When sifting through your bag of Halloween goodies – because lets face it, you’re never too old to trick-or-treat -, you make sure to toss out any candy that looks weird or suspicious, right? Well the bin is also where poorly designed, timed, and targeted marketing emails end up, as well.

Fortunately, your company’s e-newsletters and branded emails don’t need to end up occupying your customer’s junk folder in Gmail. Not if you treat your potential consumers to carefully crafted, relevant messages that both resonate with your target audience and – better yet – succeed at piquing their interest in your business’ services and products.

To keep your subscriber list intact, here are three scary email marketing mistakes to avoid like the house on the block that gives away dental floss and toothpaste on Halloween.


Don’t scare away potential business with email campaigns that stitch together outdated images and stale stock photos. Consumers have tired of repetitive images that offer no relevant value. So instead of adding a stock photo of fall leaves or a generic shot of people smiling to your next email, try using eye-catching images that are relevant to your business’ services and products that help the story of your brand come alive.

The online retailer ModCloth is a great example of how using a visually catching email campaign can help to electrify business. The retailer sends subscribers emails accented with playful yet elegant pictures of their latest fashions with links that easily allow consumers to buy any item they see. The retailer’s email design is consistent with the content found on their online store, which can have a familiar and welcoming effect on potential customers.

Frightening frequency

Scarfing down your entire haul of candy in one night can leave you feeling a little jittery and a little queasy. Emailing your subscribers several times a day can have the same effect. It causes people to swear off consuming any more, and gives them a reason to avoid your business.

Let your subscribers decide how frequently they will receive emails from you instead of opting everyone into the same mass mailing. You can give your subscribers this choice by allowing them to select whether they want to receive messages daily, weekly, or monthly when they subscribe through your online form.

If you run a restaurant, ask customers if they want to receive an email whenever the menu changes. If you operate a boutique, offer subscribers the chance to receive an email whenever a particular brand of clothing goes on sale. The more you tailor the emails you do send to meet subscribers individual needs and tastes, the more likely you are to capture your target audience’s attention.

Disembodied messaging

Odd, irrelevant emails that offer incorrect personal or geographically targeted messages send along the impression that your business has no clue about the needs of its target audience.

If the Count receives an email addressed to the Mummy it suggests that your business’ emails are sent with no plan or coordination. Same applies if a subscriber living in Transylvania receives an email about a sale in Egypt. These are the hallmarks of spammed junk mail, and the quickest way to ensure a potential client unsubscribes from your email list.

Instead of randomly spamming your audience, take the time upfront to ask each subscriber during signup what kinds of topics they would like to receive emails about. This allows you to segment your marketing list to tailor messages to specific groups. If you see that large groups are leaving certain types of emails unopened or start unsubscribing from your list, it’s likely your campaign is off-target.

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