Things People Hate About Your Email Marketing
1) Emailing People Who Didn’t Opt In
The first rule of email marketing is only email people who have opted in. If CAN-SPAM laws aren’t enough to deter you from emailing people who haven’t explicitly asked to receive email from you, remember that emailing a cold list will also result in some pretty paltry metrics; since they haven’t indicated interest in you, your open and click-through rates will be much poorer than with an opt-in list. It also means you’ll suffer miserable unsubscribe rates, greatly impacting the deliver-ability of your future email marketing campaigns.
And if none of that makes you bat an eye, consider your brand’s likability. You know how it feels to receive unsolicited email. Don’t be that guy.
2) Making Unsubscribing Difficult
No matter how amazing your email marketing is, some people are going to want to unsubscribe. Maybe they don’t work in the same industry anymore. Maybe they moved and your email marketing caters to people in a specific area. Maybe they just have too many emails. Whatever the reason, there’s nothing more frustrating than scrolling to the bottom of an email and not seeing an option to unsubscribe (and again, having no unsubscribe option is actually illegal). Or worse, struggling to find the unsubscribe option that’s hidden with teeny tiny font. Make the option to unsubscribe simple; if your recipient wants to do it, they will take the time to scan your email, find the link, and be removed from your mailing list. You get to decide whether they leave your unsubscribe centre fuming in annoyance, or relatively level-headed.
3) Not Honouring Unsubscribes
This seems to go without saying — if someone unsubscribes from your email communications, you should opt them out. So what’s the deal with those emails you get back (despite just unsubscribing) that say, “It may take up to 2 weeks to remove you from our email list.” Two weeks!? What’s the hold up? Is the unsubscribe guy on vacation? AGAIN …you’re legally obligated to remove opt-outs from your list within 10 days’ time, so waiting for two weeks could result in you answering to the law. This is where email marketing software that integrates seamlessly with your CRM comes in handy, as the opt-out is immediately processed and recorded in both the contact record and within the email software. But if you’re removing unsubscribed addresses from your list manually, make it a top priority to process that request.
4) Writing a Vague Subject Line
After deliver-ability hurdles are crossed, the subject line is the gatekeeper of your email. Your content will never see the light of day if the subject line isn’t interesting enough to entice a click.
But you know what? We don’t always need catchy. What we need is relevance. Clever or not, the subject line should tell readers what they’ll get when they open the email. As we stare at our bloated inboxes each morning, or click over to our email tab as we see the number of unread emails piling up, we expect to see something useful. It should be worth our time to stop what we’re doing and read the latest piece of content to hit our inbox. If the subject line gives no indication of the email’s relevance to our lives, it’s certainly not going to get opened — and as a result, it becomes just one more thing we’ve wasted time trashing.
5) Not Indicating How We Know Each Other
We’re all on a lot of email lists, and there’s just no way to keep it all straight. So sending emails that don’t give the recipient a clue as to who you are and how you know each other is a guaranteed way to make your readers struggle. What company is this? When did I sign up for these emails? Don’t make them think! Send your email from a recognizable sender name, and use the beginning of your email to establish your relationship with the recipient to prevent deletions and unsubscribes.