Junk email graphic

Email marketing is still one of the best ways for you to communicate with your customers, but you have to make sure you’re doing it the right way.

Take a look at some of these real emails and see if you can guess why they’re wrong:

Example #1
Subject line: Your press release

Hi –

We’ve taken note of your recent press release through one of our competitors. You’ve sent your press release through the rest, now try the best and save $130 off your first release.

Why submit your press release through eReleases?

 

Example #2
Subject line: Corporate Image is your best choice

Hello Bob!

I would like to introduce you to Corporate Image. We produce beautiful high quality custom presentation packaging… 3 ring custom binders, eco friendly glueless pocket folders, full color tab sets, corrugated boxes, and custom marketing kits (to name just a few), right here in the heartland of the USA – Des Moines, Iowa.

Check us out at…

 

Example #3
Subject line: Reminder:

Hi –

If you’d like to publish a press release through Lightning Releases‘ press release distribution services between now and Wednesday night…

 

Example #4
Subject line: Broken link:

Oops.

You may have noticed an email we sent this morning offering you 60 Free Days of HootSuite Pro. Sounds like a pretty great offer, except for the fact that the link in the email wasn’t working…

 

It’s no wonder they all ended up in the junk folder. If you want to make sure your emails are read, not dead, here are some things to avoid:

Cold call emails
Most of these fall under that category. Even the one with a personalized salutation shows no evidence that the sender did any research on the recipient.

Being impersonal
These emails could have been sent to anyone. If you’re reaching out to someone on an email list, do a little research. At least know his or her title and what their role is.

Being insulting or condescending
Re-read the first email again. Do you believe whoever sent it actually has “taken note of your recent press release through one of our competitors?” Unlikely. There are no specifics. Also, don’t automatically assume you can do a better job of providing a service that the recipient is already getting. Offer something beneficial, instead.

Don’t harass prospects
Cold call emails are bad enough, but repeated ones are even worse. If something didn’t work the first time, there’s probable a reason for it. And sending out a first email with a subject line like ‘Reminder’ isn’t going to fool anyone.

Don’t make mistakes
This may sound like a no-brainer, but whoever sent the Hootsuite email didn’t think so. Sure, mistakes happen and it really isn’t difficult to send a broken link—any slight mistake in a bit of code will make it unusable. Make sure you’re going over your emails with an eagle eye, and have someone else go through them and test the links, too, particularly if he or she can use a different browser. And if you do make a mistake, don’t admit it so handily in the subject line. Use something like: revised or new, instead.

What kinds of unsuccessful emails have you received? Let us know in the comments!