Learning about email marketing for the first time can be a confusing process. There is a plethora of information out there, and chances are, you have probably run across a lot of excellent advice… as well as some bad advice. Telling the difference can be challenging, and you may find your head spinning from all the do’s and don’ts you are supposed to be following. To ease the confusion, let’s review 4 email marketing practices that you should never, ever utilize in your email campaigns… and if anyone tells you otherwise, run the other way!

1.   Make it difficult to unsubscribe

No matter how great your emails may be, there will always be some people who want to unsubscribe from your list. It may sting your feelings a bit at first, but don’t let that stop you from making the unsubscribe process simple and straightforward. If you make it difficult for people to unsubscribe, they are likely to become irritated and simply mark you as spam, and your email marketing budget will be wasted on them. Make it easy for them to unsubscribe and let them move on with their lives. Once they have unsubscribed, make sure to stop emailing them right away. Providing an easy, clear unsubscribe option and a promise to follow through with their request will build on your reputation as an email marketer.

2.   Use a no-reply email address

No one wants to receive a “do-not-reply” email. It’s like forcing someone into a one-way conversation. That is the exact opposite of what a marketer should be encouraging – customer interaction! Your emails should be an opportunity to spark a conversation between your brand and your prospects. Customers want to feel valued, and seeing a no-reply address tells people that the business does not want to hear what they have to say. This is not a good brand reputation to have. Using a no-reply email address can also trigger spam filters. Some people do not look for an opt-out link but hit the reply button when they want to unsubscribe from emails. As soon as they see that replying to the email is not possible, they will probably mark the email as spam.

3.   Ignore email design best practices

The design of your email campaign shapes your readers’ first impressions of you, so put some effort into your email design. You may think that creating an email creative loaded with only images and no text looks cool, but sending an image-heavy email can cause deliverability issues. Spam filters look for word content, and if your email only has a few characters of text, the chance of your email looking like spam goes up. Keep your email designs clean and simple, and try to balance the ratio of images to text. Avoid images that take forever to load. Another issue with image-heavy emails is that many email service providers set up image blockers. People are more likely to delete an email if it takes too long to load or because they don’t want to take the time to unblock the content.

4.   Send a one-size-fits-all email

Sending the same email to everyone means you are neither engaging your contacts nor sending the correct information to the right people at the appropriate time. When you take this one-size-fits-all approach, you are most likely not sending relevant information to most of your email subscribers. An infographic by Marketing Tech shows that one of the top reasons why people unsubscribe to emails is because of irrelevancy. Sure, there is a possibility that your generic email will affect some of your email subscribers, but the possibility of sending the email to someone who won’t appreciate it is too risky. Sending your email to the wrong people can lower sales from existing customers, as well as diminish potential new sales. Your emails should be relevant to your customer’s needs. Including personalization and dynamic content in your emails always helps with this.

When it comes to email marketing, if you do it right, you will experience great success. You will create strong customer relationships, build loyalty, gain brand awareness, and see an increase in sales. However, if you use any of these bad email marketing practices, you are likely to fail. Avoiding these ineffective practices will help ensure that you emails are delivered, your customers’ needs are served, and your reputation is preserved. For more email marketing advice, feel free to contact US Data Corporation at (888) 578-3282.