Email: Avoiding Marketing Mistakes

Save yourself some time and check out these tips. Avoiding marketing mistakes in your e-mail marketing program will save you time, improve your delivery rate and enable you to actually make logical and progressive changes.

Today a friend, with whom I work on a website, forwarded me 42 e-mails to add to our newsletter autoresponder.  He’d been sending them out one by one from his e-mail address, and that’s been working very well.

But the autoresponder takes him out of the mix. It allows him to concentrate on other things while his e-mail campaign works on autopilot for him.

Another good thing about e-mail marketing, in general,  is the ability to learn what your customer’s really want.  That’s really a vital part of the purpose of e-mail marketing – the autoresponder just makes it easy to keep going without getting tired of sending out e-mails yourself.

Finding out what people want is easy, if they click on it, it was interesting to them. Imagine a furniture store that sends an e-mail with a kids couch/desk combo link and a decorative botanicals link.  Imagine how useful it would be to automatically put those customers into two separate piles based on which one interested them? That would make it easy to send even more relevant e-mails, wouldn’t it?

Avoiding Marketing Mistakes in your email

Well, that’s the power of a good e-mail marketing program, but not what I learned loading up 42 e-mails. The service we use has a “spam” meter that tells you what level of spaminess your e-mail will trigger when sent out. Too spammy and you know it will likely be filtered out or end up in the junk e-mail folder.

So I loaded up all 42 and got to see the spam number on each, as a whole. I was amazed at the number of them that got “Super Spam” written all over them.  So I carefully went through the body copy and headlines changing little things (the list below) in each until they were all in good shape.

If you can avoid making these mistakes, your e-mail is going to fly through the filters and make it to your customers’ inbox:

In the Subject Line. .

  • Don’t use dashes or hyphens
  • Also, make sure not to use the word “Don’t”
  • Delete all punctuation except commas. And skip using quotes as in: Check out this “tasty” treat
  • Avoid the use of the ellipsis. That’s the thing that looks like this . . .
  • Avoid the use of the phrase “is going to be about”
  • Capitalize the first word, but not any other words. If you can avoid using proper nouns, that will be easier.

In the body of the e-mail

  • Make sure your e-mail has at least 3 sentences, and a link at the bottom that takes the person to the website the e-mail comes from. For example, if you send the e-mail as, put a link at the bottom to
  • If you’re given the option, choose to send the e-mail as html, but also check the box to allow the e-mail to be sent as text if the subscriber doesn’t accept html e-mails.
  • Finally and most importantly, follow all the Can-Spam Act rules enacted by Congress. They carry steep fines if you’re not following the rules. If you want to know the rules, you can get a copy here at Joe Marsh’s site.

That should do it. If I’ve missed something or if you’ve learned something we should add to this, leave everyone a note below.

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