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Don't Send Me an E-mail

  |  November 8, 2010   |  Comments

Three examples of e-mails gone bad.

For marketers, e-mail is our life. Fast, easy, responsive, personal, and so much more. E-mail is what brings us closer to our consumer and makes sure they never forget our brand. But when we are not in buying mode, e-mail has people so fast, simple, easy, and mobile that sometimes we abuse it to the point where it would drive even the most hard core e-mail marketer to beg not to receive e-mails.

Here are some samples of well-intended e-mails gone bad:

Scenario 1: The multitasking e-mailer

What the e-mail said: "Look at me! Tell me what you think. Don't respond directly to the MD send to me so I can edit your response before she sees it."

What the e-mail was supposed to say: "Look at this message! Tell me what you think. Don't respond directly to the MD send to me so I can edit your response before she sees it."

Nope…the HR team did not fire this person for editing what a coworker thought of her. But it did cause a few laughs.

Scenario 2: The auto-correct e-mailer

What the e-mail said: "Hey Lunatic. I wasn't quiet, sure I understood your lady comment. Can you call me?"

What the e-mail was supposed to say: "Hey Lee. I wasn't quite sure I understood your last comment. Can you call me?"

Um…if Lee the "lunatic" does call, I'm not sure it is going to go so well.

Scenario 3: The overworked e-mailer

What the e-mail said: "Can you send me an update by the end of the day?"

What the e-mail was supposed to say: "No one really knows…This e-mail was too vague."

While humorous, and in many cases these errors hit very close to home, these examples remind me of some things we, as marketers, need to keep in mind regarding our e-mail marketing campaigns:

  1. Prospects and clients cannot read your mind. Don't be an overworked e-mailer. Make sure your marketing messages convey substance and context.
  2. Double check details. While errors and typos can be funny in personal e-mails, and overlooked, for marketers we can't afford to show a lack of attention to detail.
  3. Don't confuse your reader. E-mails with too many options will get confused and/or distracted.

For us in the e-mail marketing field, e-mail will continue to be a valuable part of our messaging strategies only if we use it with care. The last thing we want is to receive an e-mail saying "don't send me e-mail."

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeanniey Mullen

Jeanniey Mullen is the vice president of marketing at NOOK by Barnes and Noble, focused on business growth and customer acquisition.

Prior to her role at NOOKTM Jeanniey launched a wearables fashion technology company called Ringblingz. Before getting into the wearables business, Jeanniey was the chief marketing officer (CMO) of Zinio, where she grew the business by more than 427 percent, into one of the largest global digital newsstands. Other notable roles in her career include her involvement as the executive director and senior partner at OgilvyOne, where she led the digital Dialogue business and worked with Fortune 50 brands including IBM, Unilever, and American Express, and being a general manager at Grey Direct. At Grey Direct Jeanniey launched the first email marketing division of a global advertising agency. Prior to her time in advertising, Jeanniey spent seven years in retail leading a variety of groups from Consumer Relations and Operations, to Collections and Digital at JCPenney.

One of Jeanniey's favorite times in her career was when she founded the Email Experience Council (which was acquired by the Direct Marketing Association). Jeanniey is a recognized "Women in Business," a frequent keynote speaker, and has authored three books and launched a number of companies ranging from entertainment to technology and fashion.

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