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How NOT To Do Email Marketing To Your Clients

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I got an email message this morning, that was not caught by my Spam and Junk mail filter. It was a classic in what not to do in email marketing. It was good to see the author did use the FirstName field correctly. Unfortunately, they forgot to edit the message. (I tried to edit their name out so that they could retain some small shred of dignity.)

Here’s the email I received . . .

Hi Kirk,

My name is ##Her Name## and I’m a marketer at ##Her Company##, a Digital Experience Monitoring solution used by Overstock, Best Buy, Priceline.com, Honeywell, and more.

I see you lead efforts that directly impact [insert software]’s performance, so I’m reaching out to share new content that might be super useful.

If you’re going to insert personalization tags into your messages to clients, or prospects, you better be sure you edit the message properly, or have the fields populated in your database.

And, before your email goes out, test it.

This particular problem, leaving the tag [insert software] would probably have been identified immediately if the sender had sent a test email (all reputable email systems have the test function built in) to themselves. A quick read of the email would have made the [insert software] tag stand out.

Sending a test let’s you know if the design looks the way it’s supposed to (on all screen sizes, assuming you’ve used a responsive design), if the sender is correct, if all the links work properly, or if there are any typos. These are all things you need to double check before sending your emails to prospects, and in order to do that you need to send test emails.

Along the same lines, be sure to double, even triple, check your recipient list before hitting send. We all make mistakes, it’s inevitable, but if you have to send that apology email too often, it doesn’t look good.

Going back to the email I got this morning, I never heard of this company, but I sign up for a lot of information, so that is not a determining factor in and of itself. For example, I got a telemarketing call from someone at SalesForce.com this morning, following up because I had registered to download some information from their website yesterday. I didn’t even remember it, but after we got to talking, I was able to remember that the information was about Marketing Automation, which was the topic of yesterday’s blog post.

Derek (his real name) from SalesForce was following up on a valid lead. I had given him my information in order to get his information. It was Quid Pro Quo. The young lady whose name graced that email apparently had not, and was sending a message to a list with which she had no relationship.

Now, it is my understanding that you can legally spam a business email, but it’s not something I would risk. So, the best thing is to always, and I mean always, only email to your own email list, of folks who have subscribed to your list on your website. No co-registrations. No bought lists. No spamming. No bought or rented lists.

This may sound harsh, but it is what you have to do, and what will keep your rreputation up with your readers.

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Best to you and yours,




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