Email marketing fail: When bad things happen to good marketers

By Renae Gregoire | Email marketing blunders

May 31
Email marketing nightmare: True story
Why do bad things happen to good marketers?   

Are you one of those people who always seems to run into glitches and snafus on the web -- terrible email marketing messages, broken forms, unreadable pdfs, nonsensical writing, mystifying online shopping processes? 

Then you, my friend, may be, like me, a damn-good, empathetic marketer. It's my theory that you and I are detail-oriented people who care deeply about the experiences of the people on the other end of our efforts. And because we care about how the people who engage with our brands experience us, we are less likely to send forth ugly-scary marketing horror shows that other people can gripe about or, in my case, blog about.  🙂

This most recent horror show was a doozy. There I was, crusing my inbox, seeing what was new or in need of attention, when an intrgiuing subject line caught my eye:

Scary marketing content ... boo!

​"How to scare your readers." Huh. Being a marketing writer who drowns daily in a sea of scary-bad marketing content, I assumed the blog post had to do with someone else's marketing horror story. One of those "don't let this happen to you" type posts that I like to write myself.

But when I clicked in, I was shocked to find that the thing causing the scare was the email itself!

Just look at it! All of it!

Email marketing fail
How busy can you make your email message

 Now ... forgive me for asking ... but isn't this email supposed to be about a new blog post on "How to scare your readers?" 

If you bothered to look for and find the content related to that promised blog post (I did, scouring the nightmare twice before finding it), then you would have clicked into that blog post to discover that, no, it's NOT about how to scare the readers of marketing content; it's about how to scare the readers of fiction. (See the promised post in the image that follows? Highlighted in yellow?)

Email marketing - do your readers have to search for what your subject line promises?

 ​Yeah. That was it. The link to the promised blog post.

The moral of this story?

I see two:

  1. Make a clear, obvious match between the subject line and email content to avoid ticking readers off.
  2. For the love of God, please keep your calls to action to one! And if you must include two, three, or more, then please! Present them neatly and in an organized way lest your readers' eyes bug out when they see the mess inside.

I, and all of your readers, will thank you for it.

And speaking of tribes....


Want to join my tribe?

If you're an excellence-focused online marketer, small business owner, or entrepreneur, and if you want to communicate in ways that lead more people to YES -- with less friction and effort -- then I invite you to sign up to receive my newsletter. I'll send you messages when I publish new blog posts, launch new programs or products, or if I'm in need of your input and insight. I promise to be relevant and real, and to send only thoughtful content and advice. 


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About the Author

Renae Gregoire is a marketing writer, editor, critical thinker, obsessive questioner, and excellent-results deliverer. Although writing is her talent, empathy is her Super Power; she combines both into a potent formula for creating content experiences that lead more people to YES!

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