by Andrew Lisa
Email is the most basic form of modern business communication. You send and receive tons of emails a day. Countless more get doomed to spend an eternity in the unread junk box. Email can communicate a message about your business, and it can also annoy people to death and make them want nothing to do with you, your product, or your service.
Follow this guide to not making costly email marketing mistakes.
Email is a tool, not a weapon. Wield it carefully.
Rule number one: If you don’t remember anything else, remember not to spam ever for any reason. Spam doesn’t sell; it makes you come off as a shady circus carney who’s only out for the cheap sell. Bombarding people with emails they don’t want, sending emails too frequently, pretending to be something you’re not, or tricking them into opening something that turns out to be something else altogether makes you look like a cheap huckster running a fly-by-night operation that probably won’t be around for very long.
Don’t spam. Everyone hates it, and you’ll wind up where you belong – in the junk box.
Don’t Force Them
Give people a clear, obvious, easy way to unsubscribe out of emails they no longer want to receive. They shouldn’t have to enter any new information or confirm and reconfirm that “they’re sure” they don’t want to receive your updates. If they don’t want your emails, don’t make it a chore not to receive them.
DON’T USE CAPS OR EXCESSIVE PUNCTUATION!!!!
All caps makes it look like you’re yelling, and lots of exclamation points look like you’re begging. It looks tacky and detracts from what you’re trying to say. Let your wording, language, and message sell themselves.
Don’t Make Promises You Can’t Keep
Don’t advertise the “lowest prices,” “best deals,” “quickest delivery,” or anything else unless you’re sure that’s what you have. This is all huckster language that comes off as an obvious ploy. A good rule of thumb for email and for life: Don’t make promises you can’t keep, and keep the promises you make.
Don’t Bait and Switch
Be honest. Always. Don’t promote something you know you can’t deliver just to get them onto your website or into your store – or even to keep them reading your email.
The reason used car salesmen have bad reps is because the unscrupulous ones advertise a great deal, and then when you get to the lot, they say, “Oh, we just sold out of that one, but take a look at this more expensive option.” Build your business and your direct email campaign on honesty and good faith.
Poor email etiquette will doom your newsletters to a life ignored in the spam folder.
There is no right way to email, but there are a lot of wrong ways. The best thing you can do is think of the junk mail, the spam, the unsolicited garbage you get on a regular basis – and don’t do that.