Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

7 Email Marketing Tactics That Need to Stop!

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Email marketing and email newsletters for content distribution work. Email – whether we love or hate it – often still gets checked. I certainly read more of my emails than the tweets that are posted by the 10,000 people I follow. While email can be hard to keep up with, it is certainly easier than keeping up with social media posts.

So email marketing is still happening and somebody somewhere 52,000 tweets ago mentioned that it’s expected to be the fastest growing content marketing channel this year.

Email is a great way to share our authentic stories with our audiences. Sometimes we convert them to become customers. But there are some common practices – some might call them best practices – that are not as, let’s say, authentic or as user-friendly as they could be.

Let’s take a look:

1) Time of sending

There are all kinds of studies out there that tell us when the best time is to send an enewsletter. They can be helpful from time to time, but really it should come down to testing our own send times.

I can tell who is reading the latest studies. All those emails come at exactly the same time. Unfortunately, I usually don’t read them-too many emails are flooding my inbox at the same time. Ha.

Send emails at the time best for your audience.

2) Too many clicks

You’ve heard me talk about the unnecessary abundance of links on social media. The same opinion holds with enewsletters. It’s OK to make people click on something, when there’s an actual reason to do something – like complete a purchase, sign up for something or watch a video on YouTube for example. Put in other words: These are tasks that couldn’t be done directly inside the enewsletter.

But there are way too many enewsletters that make people click for every little thing. Read two more paragraphs of this story. CLICK HERE. That’s probably one of most common cases. Make clicks count. You’ll lose people every time there’s a required click.

3) Cumbersome sign-up process

I know us marketers would love to have all the information we can get on our prospects, but nobody needs my home address or my cell phone number to send me an enewsletter. They just need my email.

Don’t make people fill out forms that ask for excessive information! Make it easy to join and connect with them on that channel.

4) Monitor

I’ve written about do not reply emails before on here. Telling people not to reply at least is transparent, while not very inviting.

It’s even worse when subscribers do reply, but nobody pays attention to those replies. Obviously, when nobody monitors responses subscriber messages can’t be responded to either. Having a two-way conversation and engagement does require us to pay attention.

re emails5) “Re:” subject lines

Subject lines get us to open the email or – when they are bad – let us ignore them. I prefer specific subject lines myself, but sometimes generic ones work best. For example, one of my daughter’s teachers emailed daily updates. Her subject line simply read:

(Today’s date)

Since I care about my daughter and I recognize the teacher’s name, I would read them daily. Every single one was opened. More specific subject lines may not work in this case:

Drop off for our class

For example, if I’m not in charge of dropping my daughter off, this email might not have much relevance to me.

But potentially the worst subject lines are the ones that start with “RE:” as in the sender is replying to us even though we didn’t email them to begin with. They likely work often. I know I usually take a second look, just to make sure it’s not something important and there isn’t an established conversation going on.

They are just a bit sneaky. If you aren’t replying to me, don’t pretend you are.

6) Too many emails

The frequency of how often emails should be sent depends on the content and the audience. I don’t mind getting daily emails from some blogs. Other sites, I really don’t need to hear from on a daily basis. Once a month might be a good start. Some organizations email too often and it can be easy to tune those emails out.

Just because people don’t unsubscribe doesn’t mean that they are engaged with an enewsletter either. Mailchimp, the email platform offers subscriber ratings to give you an idea of how engaged subscribers are.

7) Several emails upon sign-up

I don’t need three emails just to confirm, verify, etc., that I just signed up for a new enewsletter. You might be excited that I just signed up, but no need for excessive welcome messages and confirmations.


Enewsletters are a great way to stay connected to our communities, audiences and prospects. They work and are a great way for consumers to not miss our valuable content and authentic stories. Unfortunately, sometimes common practices creep into implementations that aren’t as user-friendly as they could be.

The good news, however, is that it’s our choice as marketers. We can decide how we’ll run our email marketing campaigns.

P.S.: If I missed any tactics here, tweet me at @ctrappe and I’ll be happy to consider adding more later.

Disclaimers: The information provided in articles is for informational purposes only and not personalized advice. It's accurate to the best of my knowledge at the time it's published. Enjoy and best of luck telling the best stories in your organization and life!

Christoph Trappe

Hello and thanks for stopping by. I’m Christoph Trappe.

I’ve written two books, speak at conferences around the globe and blog frequently on here. I love sharing my stories and helping organizations share theirs.

If you need help, just visit the Contact Me page in the navigation and drop me a note. I’m always happy to chat!

Thanks for reading!

– Christoph

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