As a manager of email marketing campaigns, you like to think you get it right with your messaging—people are excited to receive the emails you create, right? Unfortunately, not everyone in charge of email marketing tools uses them correctly. It’s entirely possible you’re making one or more of the many common emailing mistakes known to more savvy marketers. We think the best way to help you remember (and avoid) these worst practices is to use memorable characters to explain them! For starters, don’t be like Jeremy Grey in Wedding Crashers and just show up uninvited. Rather than email people who never signed up for your messages, invest time in developing strategies that encourage recipients to opt in to your list. Try offering deals and rewards, which are often very effective.
Stacy in Wayne’s World is another poor role model, never quite getting the clue that her ex-boyfriend moved on. If a recipient wants to unsubscribe from your emails, don’t ignore the request or make up a story about how it’ll take a while to get off the list. Just take care of it.
Make sure when people want to unsubscribe, the process doesn’t bring about aggravating images of Vizzini from The Princess Bride. Forget long checklists and multiple windows. It should be a simple click to unsubscribe, that’s it.
If you’re showing up all the time like Bob in What About Bob?, you’re doing it wrong! Sending daily messages (unless completely justified) is an easy way to turn off your target audience. Make sure when you email people, you have a compelling reason.
No email marketer wants to be like Chief Clancy Wiggum of The Simpsons. That includes you! Don’t move so quickly that you leave a bunch of mistakes in your emails. Typos, factual errors and spelling problems are just a few things that annoy recipients. Always take the time to proofread and edit carefully.
Don’t make people wait for your messages to download because of large images and fancy graphics, either. If you do, you’re Jack Sparrow of Pirates of the Caribbean. Keep emails simple and concise.
Make sure your email marketing software isn’t from the Stone Age. If you’re running an outdated platform, you’re Link from Encino Man. Emails should be optimized for mobile so people looking at messages on their phone can read them easily.
Another behavior to avoid is the old bait and switch. Don’t use provocative subject lines to trick people into reading your messages, let The Joker from The Dark Knight mess around with that. Avoid using overly exciting subject lines that don’t reflect what’s really in the body of your email.
Being aimless and unfocused like The Dude in The Big Lebowski can cause problems. After reading your email, recipients should have a clear understanding of the logical next step.
Be careful, too, that your messages don’t come across as insincere. Acting like you’re someone’s close friend when you’re not comes across as sleazy, like Ned from Groundhog Day.
And finally, make sure you use a consistent tone in subject lines and the content of your emails. Otherwise you’re acting like Frank Abagnale, Jr. of Catch Me If You Can. Be sincere and straightforward—people know you represent a business and you’re reaching out to a list. Don’t pretend otherwise.
We hope these tips make some of you squirm in your seat as you reflect on the email marketing tactics you’ve used thus far. From now on, be the good guy and follow the Golden Rule—communicate with people as you’d like other businesses to communicate with you!