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How Not to Execute an Email CampaignJune - 2015


Email is one of many arrows that marketers use to target consumers, yet as any good archer will tell you, if your shot is executed poorly, an arrow can do more harm than just simply missing its mark.

At AE, we saw this firsthand when, during a 13-day period earlier this month, we received 11 – yes, eleven – emails from the same source.

Here’s a random sample of the subject lines …

Stop Trying So Hard…

Is Everything Ok?

Got Plans this Evening?

Sorry if I Offended You

Am I Still Welcome in Your Inbox?

Should I Unsubscribe You?

Is Today Goodbye?

Now, you might think this was a NSFW email campaign. But rather, quite ironically, it was from a marketer looking for AE Marketing Group’s business.

Guess what? He’s not even close to winning it. Why? Because he forgot the simple rules to effective email campaigns. So, to help here are a few email tips from our team:

Context is Key

Before you can close a sale, you need to establish credibility and a value proposition. As Ted Rubin preaches, digital provide brands the opportunity to look people in the eyes and build relationships. One click does not equal intent to buy or be sold immediately, so be careful. Build a relationship and the rest will follow.   

Frequency Matters

No question in our busy email, digital and social worlds we may not see everything. Yes, frequency helps, but it can hurt as well. If there’s too much frequency, brands come across desperate and annoying – and it’s almost impossible to recover from that sentiment.

Subject Lines are Not Head Lines

We’ve all seen and responded to click bait at some point, but what works in some mediums doesn’t work in others. Not only do you risk being flagged as spam with some subject lines, most consumers might worry about viruses or data security with subject lines like “Got Plans This Evening?” We don’t care what you’re selling, we are deleting immediately.

Take a Hint

If you are not getting a response, click or even an open after 3 to 4 emails, it’s time to adjust strategy. And by adjust, we don’t suggest doubling down on another 3 to 4 emails in as many days. Consumers are savvy. If they want something, they will act. If they don’t act, remember it’s OK. Maybe the consumer isn’t your right audience, or timing is off. Again, see Tip #2 and remember that frequency can actually kill brand credibility.

Are there any more tips that you would add to our short list?


If yes, share below in the comments. Here’s to hoping that our marketing archer considers these and other email strategies the next time he tries to hit the mark.

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