Someone asked me last week what I thought of email marketing and if they should use it to talk to their customers. My answer was pretty simple, I told them that there was good news and bad news. The bad news was that I’ve probably unsubscribed from more email newsletters in the past 6 months than I have since I created my first Gmail when I was fifteen years old. However, there is some good news, and that is that people have become so overwhelmed with companies filling up their inboxes, that if you do it well, you’ll stand out a mile and people will not only open and read your emails, but will look forward to receiving them. Crazy, right?

Now it isn’t an exact science and it will differ for everybody, but I decided to jot down 6 reasons why I probably won’t open your email.

Your Email is Too Long

It’s email marketing 1.0, but nonetheless, it’s something that companies get wrong time and time again. I don’t want to sound ungrateful but I really don’t have time to read your 300-word email. I like the back of a business card rule, if it doesn’t fit on the back of your business card, it’s too long folks. Don’t fall at the first hurdle.

It’s a Marketing Brochure

In this case, I’ve no one to blame but myself. I regularly sign up to sales and marketing mailing lists only to be pitched on a bi-weekly basis on how your product is going to change the social media marketing landscape and how I can get 1000% ROI if I sign up today. Nope, I’m afraid not. The method I like for this one is “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook”. It’s an analogy coined by entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk and it basically means that 75% of your content should be entertaining and educational, and once you’ve accomplished that, you can use the other 25% to ask them to purchase. Jab, jab, jab represents all the free content you should give your customers, and the right hook represents “The Ask” or the “buy my product” moment.

It Lacks Creativity (Entertain me with your Email Marketing)

Again, something that’s very basic but something that companies lose marks on. I’m not saying your emails should be luminous pink, but maybe move away from the black and beiges every now and again. I’ve gone to the effort of opening your email, the least you could do is entertain me.

Your Email isn’t Personalised

We all know that it’s coming from a software system that blasts out hundreds if not thousands of emails at a time, but there’s still something satisfying about seeing your own name at the beginning on an email. As humans, we are naturally vain, if we see our name, there’s probably a greater chance we’ll read on. Better yet, put my name in the subject line.

It Doesn’t Apply to Me

It amazes me how once companies obtain your email address they think all the work is done. Too often, whether you like it not, we’re all getting the same email. Not segmenting your email list is the best way of confusing your customers and ensuring they don’t come back for more. “I signed up to get the best baking tips and tricks…. No, I don’t want to buy a lawnmower”. Categorize your mailing list people, it’ll pay off.

Your Email isn’t Responsive

I can’t count the number of times that I’ve opened an email only to be met with “This email cannot be opened on your device” In this case, you’ve gotten me to do the hard part, I’ve opened your email, now make mine and your lives easier by making your emails mobile and tablet responsive.

I’ve probably harped on long enough about the pitfalls of email marketing, but I also recently wrote an article on who’s doing email marketing well in 2017 called “Tony Robbins Fans Love getting Emails from These 10 Companies/People”. These guys are nailing the art of email marketing. Check it out.

Other than that, tweet us @britebiz and let us know some companies that you love receiving emails from.