4 Email Promo Practices to Avoid: A Marketing Campaign That Shows Us Exactly What Not to Do

A Sadly Wasted Effort for a Mystery Event That Might Even Have Been Worth Attending

bad verandah email promo

I just received an email promotion that was so wrong-headed that it makes a perfect negative case study.  As always we can learn from what is terrific or, in this case, not so terrific.

Here are 4 Major Email Promo Mistakes that You Should Avoid:

  • The header: This is the email header I saw in my inbox: “invitation for March 17”.  It doesn’t tell me what is happening on that date or why I should care. Since I, like all of you, receive way too many emails, I have no earthly reason to open it. 
    Your header must entice the recipient to open your email by showing quickly that your reader will benefit. It plays the critical role of a headline in a news story or an advertisement and is even more important because it’s the only thing your recipients may see in their crowded in box.

  • The sender: The sender was Pearl Collier, but I neither know her nor can determine who she works for by looking at the sender name. That makes me nervous. If I take the trouble to cursor over the name, I can figure out that her email address seems to come from a large local R.E. developer. But, I bothered to do that only because I was motivated to write this article.
    Your send address mustn’t be mysterious. Unless you are mass mailing to folks who are inclined to open something from you because they know or respect you, you should use inexpensive software such as Constant Contact or MailChimp that lets you show a company name as sender in order to give you credibility.
  • The message body: This tells me nothing other than the fact that an unspecified event is happening in an unspecified location at an unspecified time for an unspecified reason. I can see that the sender is connected to ‘Verandah’ but I don’t necessary know what Verandah is or what on earth the event is all about.
    Your message body should include everything your target needs to know to motivate them to take the next step whether it’s to attend an event, visit your website, get a free report, etc., etc. Make it obvious and enticing.
  • The attachment: Since I don’t know this person and am paranoid about viruses and evil spyware demons, I will not open something that might wreck havoc on my PC.  Even if I knew the sender, she hasn’t given me enough explanation about why I would benefit to justify opening it.
    Your attachments should be rare or non-existent in promotional mailings. Put what you need to communicate in the body of the message. Make it super easy for your recipients to do what you want them to do.

A Sadly Missed Content Marketing Opportunity

What’s really unfortunate about this promotional mailing is that it is almost certainly promoting an event that is important for the company, expensive to produce, and most likely enjoyable to attend.  But, few recipients are likely get past the marketing hurdles that make it hard for them to justify taking action.

Don’t let this happen to you. Make sure that your header and your message body provide relevant and compelling content that motivates your prospects to take the next step toward becoming your customers.


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