Email marketing is a delicate game to play. While businesses certainly need to get their message out to potential customers, failing to adhere to CAN-SPAM laws, or even designing your email marketing campaign in a “spammy” way, can get your email deleted, marked as spam, or even blacklisted. Here are 10 sure-fire ways to annoy your email list enough to lose tons of subscribers. Make these email marketing mistakes at your own peril!

1. Add Email Addresses That Are Not Opted-In.
This should be a no-brainer, folks: Only email people who have explicitly asked for your emails! In addition to not irritating people who will probably only mark your email as spam anyway, this will also ensure that you are dedicating your email marketing efforts to the people who are most likely to purchase from you.

2. Make Unsubscribing Really, Really Difficult.
Is your unsubscribe button so tiny that no one can find it, or do people have to jump through hoops like answering unnecessary questions to unsubscribe from your email list? This is a great way to lose subscribers, and make enemies in the process! Not only are you angering people who are in all likelihood already annoyed with your email marketing, this is specifically in violation of CAN-SPAM laws.

3. Buy Email Lists From Disreputable List Companies.
If you decide to purchase an email list from a list company, make absolutely certain that those emails are double-opted-in. Many disreputable list companies will sell you unclean email lists, and while they may seem like good deals because they are cheap, they will get your email marketing campaigns lots of spam complaints and unsubscribes, not to mention the possibility of being blacklisted.

4. Unclear “From” Names.
One great way to get unsubscribes is to throw people off the scent of your company by using unclear or varying “from” names.  People open emails from people or companies that they know and trust. If you constantly change your “from” name, you aren’t giving people a chance to get attached to your name, which means you won’t be recognized as deserving an opened email. Keep it clear and consistent.

5. Misleading Subject Lines.
Nobody likes opening an email expecting one thing and then finding something completely different. It’s a slippery slope between trying to write catchy subject lines and using deceptive subject lines to boost open rates. If getting unsubscribers is your goal, then by all means, trick people into opening your emails with misleading subject lines.

Really though. As much as people love it when their emails yell at them to grab their attention, if your email actually had value to bring to the table, you wouldn’t need all caps to get people to open it. Save your readers the headache.

7. Irregular Email Schedule.
A big part of successful email marketing is consistency. If people don’t know when to expect your emails, they may not recognize them, and that’s one more spam complaint on your record. Additionally, if you wait too long between emails, people may have forgotten who you are, and may not take the extra effort to rediscover you.

8. Don’t Proofread.
Nothing screams carelessness more than having tons of typos in your email marketing. If you don’t take the time to proofread your emails, why would you take the time to guarantee your customers a good experience with your business? It may seem like a small thing, but attention to detail goes a long way in creating a trustworthy brand image.

9. Exclude Contact Information.
Aside from the fact that excluding your physical address is against CAN-SPAM regulation, it is also a sure way to make your business seem just a little shady. Showing people that you have a physical office location will gain people’s trust and show them that you won’t take off running the moment they purchase your product or service.

10. Bombard Them With Irrelevant Content Or Constant Sales Pitches.
Yes, your email marketing should absolutely be communicating the value of your products or services, but don’t communicate that value by doing a constant sales pitch. People don’t want to feel like they’re always being sold on something. Give them useful and relevant content, and you won’t need to do flat-out sales pitches all the time, because you will already be demonstrating your worth.

Email marketing isn’t always an easy game to play, but if you avoid these all-too-common mistakes, you will have made it that much easier for yourself. The bottom line is, be honest, be consistent, and be useful. Please keep these tips in mind the next time you undertake an email marketing campaign. Ultimately, if all businesses followed these tips, it would make everyone’s email experience a little bit better, and it would make their email marketing campaigns more successful to boot. Everyone wins!