Think back on the last few months. Is there anything that you cringe to cop to, any deeds that make you shudder? No, I'm not talking about over-imbibing at the company cocktail party or referring to Bon Iver as Bone Eye-ver (though I feel for you, if that's you). I mean email faux pas, like hitting send too hastily or emailing a 60%-off coupon to the wrong list.
I worked with an Emma customer the other day who was wowed (in fact, he said “wowza,” much to my delight) when I helped convert his Microsoft Word document into an email campaign. He was eager to send it right away, but I said, “Hold it right there. Spend a bit more time with it." If you take the time to add your own finesse and flavor to your email campaign, it'll go a long way with your audience. And, above all, please avoid these often-overlooked mistakes:
This one's the most cringe-worthy, in my book. I used to work in a newsroom, where show producers had to type in ALL CAPS for the teleprompter. Seriously, I believe that the constant shouting through type contributed to the high blood pressure that many producers shared.
If your company is a high-end boutique, a restaurant, nonprofit or university, my hunch is you'd like to convey confidence, authority and an absence of chaos. Even an exciting and important message does not necessitate random bold and italic words, huge font sizes or new font colors for every paragraph. Your communication should speak for itself through its message and offerings without making your readers go cross-eyed.
You’ve heard the saying that you can put lipstick on a pig … well, don’t be a hog, y'all. Our new content editor will help keep you in line by suggesting typography and colors that coordinate with the template you choose, so you can avoid coming across as, well, oinkish.
Careless spelling and grammatical errors
I'll try to refrain from sounding like an 8th-grade English teacher here, but you should know the difference between they’re, there and their. And how to correct run-on sentences. And how to write subject-verb agreements.
One of the most common reasons I unsubscribe from a newsletter (other than overwhelming sending frequency) is slapdash writing. It completely distracts from the message. And if a company takes little pride in its marketing, what am I to expect from its product or service?
Read your newsletter slowly and out loud before sending it to your audience. Then, send a test to up to 25 recipients using Emma’s preview feature. You'll likely catch an error or two that you can address before sending to your entire list.
A disengaging, dull voice
As you know, Emma's an email marketing company. The topic of email, while pretty exciting to most of us that work here, isn't the most compelling thing in the world. Yet, we still like to talk about it in a style that’s conversational and unstuffy. That's why you'll see references to ferrets, an '80s action figure and bananas on our website. Even our 404 page is fun to land on.
How dull would it be if we said things like eblasts (ick), leveraging subscriber relationships (yawn) and offering top-of-the-line, data-rich solutions (eyeroll)?
Take a look at your copy and ask yourself: Who are we? What sets us apart? Then write about it like you're explaining it to your favorite aunt. If you'd like extra tips along the way, check out our post on turning off the bot talk.
An over-caffeinated, salesy voice
Sending an email is one of the best ways to have a one-on-one conversation with a customer, prospect or fan who you probably haven't met in person. But, let's say you are meeting them in person. Would you walk right up and say, "Hey, I'm from Company Z. I've got a bargain for you! It's without any gimmicks! We accept credit cards! And your first shipment is freeeee!" No, you wouldn't. Unless you want to receive the stink eye or a slap across the face.
So why are you sending emails that are all about the sale? Get to know your audience first. They're real people, and they're more than their wallets. So appeal to them as more.
What faux pas do you see in the emails you receive? How do you address 'em in your own emails? Comment here to keep the conversation going.
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