It’s Not You, It’s Your Emails: Breaking Up With Your Bad Email Sending Habits

It’s February, and you know what that means, time for another themed post! In researching some info around Valentine’s day, I learned February 13 tends to be considered “National Breakup day”. So, in light of that (somewhat unsurprising) news, today I figured I’d take some cliched breakup reasons and give them a bit of a marketing spin.

It’s not you, it’s…wait…who even are you?

Sometimes, in email marketing, the belief is that you can make people love you immediately if you just buy a list of email addresses and start sending email. Surely, if you make it to their inbox, they’re going to love you!

Sorry, nope. First off, you’re not even likely to make it into the inbox, as it’s well known that purchased lists are full of bad addresses and spamtraps. Even if you do manage to get to the inbox, it doesn’t matter how targeted you are or how much information you have on them. Nor does it matter how good that information is, those people aren’t going to love you back. In fact, if they ever even see the email, they’re going to be angry at your brand for sending them email they never wanted or asked for.

You can avoid this easily by ensuring you do not purchase lists and are only using legitimate list acquisition methods, like gating whitepapers and attending events. Make your prospects come to you and tell you they’re interested in pursuing a relationship, instead of you going to them, desperately pleading for them to be interested in you.

I just need some space.

Wow, you send a lot of email. All I did was sign up for a whitepaper and now you want to email me every six hours? That’s….a little much for me. Let’s take a break. I want to see other emails.

This happens a lot when you send too much email way too fast, and retailers are notorious for it. I made one purchase, once. It doesn’t mean I want multiple emails a day, and is a very fast way to get me to unsubscribe, report as spam, or move straight to Clutter. The best way you can prevent this is by starting a little slower, maybe with one or two extremely well targeted emails per week. In those emails, make your email preference center one of the stars of the show, so your prospects have very clear options to opt into more mail or opt down for less email. By letting your prospects tell you what they want instead of shoving email at them, you are more likely to keep them on as a prospect long term.

“Let’s still be friends”

Has this ever worked? I haven’t found a single person in any of my groups of friends who stays good friends with an ex. Maybe it works for the first few weeks, but then gradually, they open your Snaps and they don’t respond. You go days, weeks….months, with no interaction. It’s time to give up on that relationship completely and move on.

Same goes with your marketing. If you’ve been sending emails….and sending more emails….and sending….more emails and you’ve got people who haven’t opened an email and haven’t clicked in over a year, it’s time to let go. They’re not opting out, but they’re also not really engaged enough to keep them opted in. They’ve completely disengaged from your sending, and at this point, are likely not even getting your email in their inboxes anymore. Anecdotally, I once had a company I purchased from and they kept sending email. For five years. I never opened any of it after I made that first purchase.

Now, you may be thinking “Well, five years, at least you looked at all those subject lines so we were top of mind! Our branding still made it to you!” Nope. I’m one of those people who actually glance at their spam folder, since I work in email. For four and a half years, I had at least weekly email from them. They weren’t top of mind, they weren’t an impression, they were one more number in my spam folder.

If you’ve got prospects like this in your database, consider running a reconfirmation campaign or a permission pass, then let go of the ones who don’t respond to that. It’s not worth spending time, money, and energy on people who just aren’t engaged in the relationship anymore, but don’t care enough to fully opt out.

“I’m not ready for a relationship right now”

Sometimes, all of the pieces are there, it’s just not a good time for me to be in a relationship. I’ve got too much going on, I’m moving across the country, whatever the reason is I just can’t be with you.

Same goes for your marketing. You might be sending the most clever, engaging emails ever and your brand might be perfect for me, but I’m just not feeling it right now. So, I opt out. And that’s okay, there are plenty of other email addresses in the sea. There’s nothing whatsoever with someone opting out, it doesn’t affect your overall sending reputation and gives you a nice, clean break from that relationship. Maybe someday, they’ll come back to you when the time is right, but right now they’ve unsubscribed and it’s okay to set them free.

That wraps it up for today’s post! Now tell me, what’s the worst breakup cliche you’ve heard? Tweet it to me over at @holobachgirl  and keep the conversation going!