Email marketing is an artform. It’s also an important tool for your business because you can use email marketing to build awesome relationships with prospects, leads, current customers, and past customers.

Email provides you with a direct line of convenient communication to the people you want to talk to.So you better not suck at it.

It’s not easy being an email marketer

We know. It’s tough out there. You have to keep up with new email marketing terms and trends on a daily basis. There’s always some new technique or tactic to try that will make you better at what you do—we’re not even going to get started on software.

And while we encourage trying new email marketing tactics and techniques that are proven to work, we also believe in avoiding the 7 sucky email marketing practices below that absolutely drive us up a wall when encountered in the wild of our own inboxes.

So you have two options with this list of worst email marketing practices:

  1. Follow this list like the yellow brick road, suck at email marketing, and keep wasting opportunities to communicate with past, prospective, and current clients.
  2. Print off this list, tape it above your desk, and remind yourself to avoid this shiznit like the plague every day.

We’d really appreciate it if you went with option two. So would your subscribers.

These are pet peeves we should have in common so feel free to comment below about your biggest email marketing pet peeves and we’ll complain together!

You want to know how to not suck at email marketing. This is how: avoid everything on this list 👇



7 bad email marketing practices to avoid

  1. Emailing people who don’t opt in.

    Do you know why they didn’t opt into your emails? Because they don’t want to receive them! It’s pretty simple.

    Emailing people who don’t want your emails leads to nasty unsubscribe rates that can put the deliverability rates of future campaigns in jeopardy. Just don’t do it.

    Here’s a fun fact for you: According to Litmus, roughly 52% of people, regardless of age, have marked an email as spam because they didn’t knowingly and willingly subscribe to receive it.

    But if you’re having trouble grasping the concept, maybe you need to take another look at CAN-SPAM laws. If that doesn’t deter you then—well you’ve got some other issues that need to be addressed outside of email marketing.

  2. Making it hard to unsubscribe.

    Newsflash: Even if your email marketing is superb you’re going to have someone who wants to unsubscribe every now and then.

    It happens. Maybe they moved and your business only serves people in the southeast.  Maybe they’re just tired of getting so many emails and they’re spring cleaning the emails they subscribe to.

    Whatever their reason, there’s nothing more irritating than scrolling to the bottom of an email and not having an option to unsubscribe.

    Not to mention the fact that it’s kinda, sorta, super illegal.

    Don’t do illegal things. Always give your recipients the option to unsubscribe. Make it simple and leave it at that.

  3. Bombarding inboxes.

    Speaking of unsubscribing, there’s no better way to ensure a mass exodus from your mailing list than to bombard your subscribers’ inboxes.

    It takes time, effort, and a whole lot of testing to find the sending frequency for your subscribers. But you can bet your bottom dollar doing something like sending the same email day after day won’t help you figure it out.

    That’s just bad email marketing. It’s lazy. We don’t like lazy. If you’re not sure how to start scheduling your email sends, check out this article from Smart Insights.

  4. Sending emails infrequently.

    Sending emails once in a blue moon is just as bad as bombarding your recipients’ inboxes. That’s why it’s important to get your send frequency down.

    Have you ever subscribed to a newsletter that you expected to receive on a monthly basis and wound up only getting three over the course of the year?

    It sucks. Eventually, you probably stopped caring. And finally, you unsubscribed. (And when we say you we really mean us ‘cause we’ve totally done that.)

    We’ve all been there. Don’t be a flaky email marketer. Leads need to be nurtured so they stay interested in your company. You’ve got to find some balance so you don’t pester your leads but they don’t forget about you either.

  5. Sending emails that aren’t mobile friendly.

    Your emails have to be mobile friendly. If your emails are not mobile friendly then you have no business sending them. Let’s go over that one more time:

    If your emails are not mobile friendly then you have no business sending them.

    According to Email Monday and Litmus, 55% of all email is opened on a mobile device now. Part of providing a great email experience is taking the time to make sure that your emails look beautiful across all devices.

  6. Forgetting to proofread.

    We’re all human. Spelling errors slip into our copy sometimes. Grammar mistakes happen. But not taking the time to proofread your emails before hitting send is again, lazy, and disrespectful to your recipients.

    Inboxes are personal spaces; respect them. Proofread your emails, test to make sure all your links are working and your subscribers will appreciate your emails more.

  7. Not optimizing for HTML and plain text.

    Your email looks bomb when HTML is enabled but there are people out there who have their emails defaulted to only show plain text. In fact, we’re willing to bet you have a few of those people on your email list.

    If your email is only optimized to look stellar in HTML, your plain text readers are going to wind up with jumbled message in their inbox. Be a good email marketer and optimize your messages for both HTML and plain text enabled inboxes.

    Not sure how to do that? Don’t worry! We’ve got your back. Here are a few tips that will help you craft emails that look great no matter what type of inbox they end up in:

    – Always include a link to the web version of your email
    – Use light background colors so text doesn’t disappear
    – Don’t copy and paste from different word processors
    – Make your email comprehensive without images
    – Always assign clear alt text to your images

We hope you enjoyed the post and will avoid these bad email marketing practices.

What gets on your nerves about email marketing? Let’s talk about what bugs you in the comments!


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