In the comedic words of MarketingProfs’  Karol Król, “trying to be the best email marketer possible is just too mainstream. Why not aim to be the worst instead?” Sometimes realizing you are making mistakes is best understood through lighthearted sarcasm, a technique wonderfully utilized in Król’s article ‘How to be the Worst Email Marketing in 10 Easy Steps.’

Even if it’s easy to accidentally follow Król’s “tips” to being a horrible email marketer, try not to be guilty of falling into those habits! Here are 8 Steps to Being a Horrible Email Marketer and why you should NOT follow them: 

1. Send only promotional emails

“To be the worst email market on the planet,” explains Król, “you absolutely have to be sending promotional emails only.” While an occasional promotional email is okay, remember that content is king. Even if it is more time consuming or even expensive, your content should actually have a purpose for the reader. Otherwise, people will ignore every email you send.  

2. Send emails twice a day

Because everyone loves to be spammed, right? Even if you’re the one guy who loves getting their inbox filled with nonstop emails all day, the people on your mailing list probably won’t feel the same way. Try to only send emails out to people when you actually have something important to say. Less is more!

Photo Credit: OTA Photos

Photo Credit: OTA Photos

3. Only use pitchy subject lines

Regardless of whether you want to be a great email marketer or a horrible one, your subject line is extremely important in determining whether a person will click your message or not. If you don’t want to be a horrible marketer, however, try to avoid those “pitchy” subject lines like “BAD NEWS, CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT WHY!” These simply try to spark curiosity without giving any valuable information. Has a useless subject line ever made you open an email? Probably not.

4. Write only essay-long emails

When you open an email only to find it is a wall of text, what do you think will be your first reaction; meticulously read it all or just ignore it? No business person has the time or patience to sift through that much information, especially from an email. At best, a person may simply scan your email to pick out bits of information. Keep your emails concise and includes links to your longer content when appropriate.

5. Trick people into taking action

“Being honest is so overrated,” explains Król, “If you’re honest, you’re lowering your sales.” While some business like to pull tricks on their customers, such as free trials that automatically start charging money after a set time without any notifications, these shady techniques will only come back to bite you in the end. Being honest and upfront with people is the best path both for you and your customers. 

6. Don’t care about what you promote

People are usually pretty good at telling when a writer really doesn’t care about what they’re writing. This certainly applies to marketing too. You need to not only personally test out what you are trying to sell, but also be passionate about it. If you don’t care about what you’re promoting, why should anyone else?

7. Don’t use a quality email service provider

Photo Credit: Nicholas Tart

Photo Credit: Nicholas Tart

Do you want to have all of your emails marked as spam and never even reach the mailboxes of the people you are trying to promote to? Well then sorry, bud, you actually need to pay for a decent email service provider. Making a free Gmail account simply isn’t going to cut it.

8. Send Attachments

People do not like attachments on emails unless they specifically ask for them. They take time to download and read, often have little to do with the email, and people are weary of downloading virus’. Put the content on the email, not on a PDF.

Don’t be a horrible email marketer!

At some point or another, we have all been guilty of following at least one of these “tips”, whether it be due to saving time and money or just plain laziness. Learning how to stop being a horrible email marketer, however, is the first step in learning to be a great one. Avoid these marketing mistakes and you will be well on your way to getting the most out of your email marketing campaign!

To learn more about going from good email marketing to great, check out Henneke of CopyBlogger’s 37 Tips for Writing Emails That Get Opened, Read, and Clicked