Technology gives you the opportunity to say a lot about yourself without saying anything at all. People can read between the lines to draw conclusions about your character—which, if you’re not careful—can be quite negative.
The same goes for how you handle email marketing. In fact, your email list probably thinks you’re a jerk if you make a habit of any of the following:
1. Always selling them something.
When every email pushes recipients to spend money, they feel like you only care about their wallets. The more they sense your lack of care, the more likely they are to automatically trash your emails.
2. Never listening to their feedback.
When a person takes the time to respond to your email with feedback, it is vital that you respond—even if it is just to say “thank you for your feedback; we will address the issue as soon as possible.” Letting someone know he has been heard is really important because when he feels ignored, his disdain for you and your company will fester.
3. Sending them wayyy too many emails.
You have the potential to annoy the heck out of your recipients, like a five-year-old asking “Why? Why? Why?” over and over to a parent who is on the verge of a break-down. Sending too many emails in a short amount of time (like every few hours or several times a week) drives people away from you. While it is good to be consistent, don’t be too persistent. Customers want to feel like they chose you, not like you dragged them to your company.
4. Selling their personal information.
Just because you have the privilege of having someone’s contact information doesn’t mean you have the right to make money off of it. Even if it’s legal, this can reduce customers’ trust in your company, and make them hesitant about providing their information to you in the future.
5. Using misleading titles.
Say what you mean. Your title should have at least some relevance to the content in the email and should not exaggerate. For instance, don’t use titles like, “Reading this could save a girl’s life.” Titles like that instantly sound like spam, and don’t attract readers to your cause over time. Honesty in the title builds trust, making people want to read your content.
6. Forgoing original content.
There’s this little thing you probably learned about in school; it’s called plagiarism. When you copy someone else’s content without giving it credit, you are stealing—plagiarizing. Don’t do it. It is illegal, not to mention boring. Get creative! Offer your readers something they can’t find anywhere else. Give people a reason to need your content, so they will actually want it.
7. Implanting invalid or misleading links.
What is more annoying than clicking on a link only to have it lead you nowhere? Or even worse, a link taking you to the wrong site? Okay, perhaps a few things are more annoying—but the point is that it’s still a pain. And it makes you look bad as the sender, proving that you don’t pay attention to detail and don’t deliver what you promise. A reputation like that won’t build your customer base.
Let your email patterns paint a picture of the decency of your character. Don’t push your recipients over the edge with annoying communication that builds disdain. After all, you don’t want your email list to think you’re a jerk—do you?