Business planning, Sales and marketing

Five email marketing sins you need to avoid

Oliver Milman /

feature-evil-email-90Despite widespread predictions over the death of email as a marketing tool for businesses, it appears that the upcoming Christmas shopping season is set to be heavily influenced by the contents of consumers’ inboxes.


An Experian report released this week shows online retailers are set for a surge of traffic on December 23 as a result of email campaigns.


With Australians increasingly waiting for sought-after discounts before parting with their money, a well-timed offer sent to the right audience can prove fruitful for start-ups.


And even with the reach provided by the likes of Facebook and Twitter, it appears that email is still king when it comes to provoking a response among buyers, as our analysis of the key online marketing trends confirmed recently.


So how should you craft your email marketing campaigns this festive season – and beyond? Here are five classic errors that you must avoid if your email shoot isn’t to turn into a damp squib.



1. A lack of strategic thinking


Email marketing can be nimble and spontaneous, but you really need a solid strategy underpinning it if you are to get the results you desire.


“Figure out why you’re sending these emails,” says Ned Dwyer, an online specialist who co-founded Native Digital and website customisation start-up Tweaky.


“Is it because you want everyone to think you’re cool? Is it because you want them to buy a particular product? Maybe you just want to build your brand so you want them to share it with their friends.”


“Whatever it is, make sure that you state it explicitly. Tell your readers what you want.”


“Take five minutes to work out what your email marketing plan is.”


“What are you going to send out? Why should people care about it? How regularly are you going to send it? Who are you going to send it to?”



2. Poor quality content


A sure-fire way to condemn your email campaign to the deleted folder is to provide poor quality content.


If your email doesn’t grab attention and provide something of value – with its core offer, insight or even humour – then people will quickly move on.


“The people on your mailing list, whether your customers, suppliers or just general subscribers, have given you permission to contact them periodically with relevant information,” explains Dwyer.


“Don’t abuse that trust by sending them poor quality content or marketing materials.”


“Give them something of value. Work out who they are and why they should care about what you’re sending them.”


“In our case, we wanted to give our friends something of value – our knowledge, our insights into the market and hopefully motivation to help them nail their job.”


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