How to Avoid Stupid E-Mail Marketing Mistakes

When is the last time you said or did something that you wish you could take back?  Something that had you cowering in embarrassment for hours or days…  Or, maybe flushed your face, from time to time, years after the fact?


Mistakes don’t just happen in our face-to-face conversations.  They happen in email, too.

My inbox receives quite a few ‘apology’ messages:

  • Sorry, I sent the right message to the wrong list,”
  • Sorry, I sent the wrong link,”
  • Sorry my link was broken.”

There are things that you can do about this before it happens, thereby avoiding the embarrassment entirely!


1. Spelling and Punctuation

There are so many words that are so easily misspelled and, usually due to pronunciation.  Never write without a dictionary, a search engine, or, at least, a spell checker.  Conveniently, a dictionary also has definitions in it, making it virtually impossible to misuse words like “solutions,” “change” and “progress” – ironic, then, isn’t it? It is also a good idea to use proper punctuation.  Long sentences, that do not have commas where they should, can be confusing.

2. Proof Read Before You Send

Check grammar and spelling.  But (don’t) stop there.  Keep in mind that many of your subscribers may not speak perfect English and may not understand contractions.  Most languages do not use contractions, so use them sparingly.

3. Test, Test, Test!

Set up e-mail accounts at Yahoo!, AOL, HotMail, GMail, etc.  Also install an e-mail client on your computer, such as Microsoft’s Outlook, or Mozilla’s Thunderbird.  Send yourself both the text version and the HTML version of every mailing before sending it to your list.  Don’t forget to send to You@YourDomain.wtvr and check it from within your hosting account.  The point is to check for formatting errors (and deliverability).


Now, none of this goes to say that there will never be a mistake made.  Again, we all make mistakes and, sometimes, the worst mistakes we make are when we are being extra careful to not make a misteak…


Food for Thought:

Many e-mail marketers send out fake ‘apology’ messages intentionally.  They do not mind trading their credibility for a few dollars.

In the case of sending a message to the wrong list of subscribers, they had a choice and chose to send to you.

All good autoresponders allow for list segmentation; so, list owners do have control over who they send mail to.