Escaping Email Marketing Embarrassment

Embarrassing emailYou may have noticed, and we certainly have, that the internet age is no longer teen-age.

A high-energy 23 year old, the internet has made its way into how everyone does business, from the large international firms to the Mom & Pops on Main. NAICS Association has a long history working with marketers from every background, and we can testify to the fact that more people than ever before are using email to get in contact with their customers.

The question is… are they doing it well?

We’ve asked around… looked around… and even scoured this writer’s inbox for awful email examples… and some of these mistakes are so common – all one can do is shake their heads…


So let’s look at some embarrassing email tactics and how not to emulate them.

4 Ways to Escape Email Embarrassment

 hi lm1. Hi, FirstNAME – Great day isn’t it?

One of the first things you should be doing in email marketing is looking at your actual email list. Is the information in the correct field? Do you have first and last names in the first name field or worse – the email address in the first name field? Remember, it’s far better to say Hi! Than Hi [email protected]!

Be sure to correct and standardize your client records before starting an email campaign with that data.


2. Save on This! And That! And We Offer This! And Did You Know? And do you Want? And 20% off these! And Read this! And Read That! And From Our Founder! Or This! Or That! Or..or..!!

Don’t get us wrong here. People love sales, promos, blog posts, news items -but at some point, you have to decide what your email is about.

One of the most annoying habits in the email marketing industry is the desire to talk about absolutely everything. Do NOT overstuff your email templates with links. Keep the message simple and clear.

 no alt text3. ______ ________ ____ __

No, we didn’t forget to title number three. However, the senders of the Lighthouse Newsletter seems to have forgotten their alternative image text.

It is OKAY to use images in email, but remember… until someone clicks “Show content,” or something to that effect, they will have no idea what that email is about.

Always keep in mind that any visible text in the top portion of your email should carry the main message of your email, and that if any images are taking over the top half of your email- that there is alternative text available to clarify to the reader what they’re looking at. The reader still needs a reason to go that extra mile and “show content.”


duplicate titles4.This is the subject line of number four. This is the subject line of number four. Or a copy of 4…. or is number 5 disguised as number 4?

When working with email templates, it can be tempting to leave the last subject line you used in place for the next email. The result?  Your contacts will assume they already read that once, so why bother opening the second? Worse, they may begin to ignore all of your emails, assuming you’re always sending the same email. (The only thing worse than that would be if you were actually sending the exact same email over and over again. )

What are some of the embarrassing email marketing practices you’ve seen? Tweet us @NAICSCode