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Email Blunders

by Marie Quaglia

Before blaming your MLM or product for your poor response rate, look at the messages you are sending!
Email Blunders – Costly Mistakes Not to Make!! ©2003 Marie Quaglia

Have you sent out thousands of emails and seen no results? Are you convinced there really is no hope for you, or anyone, in internet marketing? Don't give up yet. There is still hope, and quick viable changes you can make immediately.

I've been involved in marketing for years. I actually read most of the emails I get - at all 32 email addresses I have. It might take a while, but reading these emails is really the most effective way to know what my competition is doing, writing about, and promoting.

As all savvy internet marketers know - make your subject or headline so provocative that people will have to open and read as they are taking out their wallets!

How often does this really happen? I'm sure I don't have to be the one to tell you "almost never"!

But why is this? Is it because no one is really interested in learning about your offer? No one wants to make money sitting at home? No one wants to build a next egg working for themselves? NO! None of the above!

Well - why such a poor response? You might be surprised at the real answers ---- Your emails are being ignored for some very real, yet correctable, reasons. If you discover that you have been guilty of committing any of the following no-no's, stop your email campaigns until you have corrected your problem and are 110% sure that everything is perfect before you hit that SEND button again!

• Your subject is very uninteresting or offers a plan that is impossible.

I can't tell you how many emails I get with subjects that say, "Please open", "Make a Million Dollars Today", "I am replying to you", "I am not an autoresponder". What have you provided to your readers? What do they get if they open it? You haven't done one thing to gain their interest or their trust.

People are not stupid. Don't tell them they are "guaranteed" to make money. Don't tell them how much money you allegedly made. • Typos!

Do yourself a favor right now and use a spell checker! Read and re-read everything you send. You could have a great product but if you can't impress me in your subject line, you've lost me.

My favorite example is an email I get almost every day. It talks about an instant email product. It starts with: "SAVE MONEY ON OVER 1,000,000 MASSAGES EVERY DAY".

Once I stopped laughing I actually responded to him to tell him that he was doomed to failure until he could differentiate between MASSAGES and MESSAGES. • FLAMING

This is just plain offensive. Why are you yelling at me? Typing in caps is not only bad manners, it defies all the laws of successful marketing. Not to mention the fact that trying to read something typed all in caps is very difficult. • Too many graphics

If your heading was enticing enough for me to open, don't make me wait to read about your incredible offer while unnecessary graphics and pictures download. I delete it, and so does everyone else. When people are trying to get through hundreds of emails a day, you are lucky if one person even sees and tries to open your special email. Don't ruin your chances with slow loading graphics! • No hint of your offer

You have not given your readers any clue as to what the benefit would be to them if they open and react to your message.

Don't waste your time, or your readers' time, with subject lines that contain only one word. I know you've been told for ages to make it short and concise, but one word just doesn't cut it. People want to know WHY they should open it. Subjects such as: open, urgent, please, hurry, now, amazing, super, great,..... are not going to get you noticed. • You don't have a clear purpose

Headings similar to "Sign up now", "free", "Couldn't get better" -- sounds like everyone else's email. Deleted. -You have strange and unnecessary characters that detract from its value

Use letters and numbers. Maybe %, $...but that's it. Readers will be confused and unimpressed with subject lines filled with:{{{{{{{{order!}}}}}}} ***********FREE!!!!!!!!*********** ###########going up! ---------------------------read now!!!!!!!!


The minute I see emails with similar headings I just delete them. If someone cannot communicate to me in English, I just can't give him any of my valuable time. • You have tried to use HTML - but it backfired

Learn the purpose of HTML. If you are using a translator such as Front Page, and a list service that allows HTML, make sure you understand how to import and use your HTML file. If you have doubts, don't send it until you are sure.

Trying to read anything loaded with < and > is very frustrating -- not to mention it will be deleted. • Merge failed

You don't have a clear understanding of how to use the merge function for the list you are using and your emails start with [firstname], ......

Keep in mind that many “FROM” fields include a person’s company or words providing information on the following offer. I know that we have all been told to “personalize” our messages, but only do this for YOUR lists, not when you are advertising with safelists – you have no idea what people have used for their first names. I frequently receive emails addressed to: Dear Strategic; Hi Avicella; Ecomm, did you know...? marieq, read now!

It's much more effective, and professional, to just use something like Dear Colleague if you have doubts on how to use merge, or are unsure what the safe list emailer will do to your message. Personalized messages are nice, but they turn into something bordering on offensive if you get the name wrong. • Offensive wording!

Today I got an email whose subject was: "Holy Crap!" Anyone who needs to resort to this is not someone I would look to as a business pro who could teach me anything.

Another that got deleted was: "Marie, I know you're lazy but..." Lazy? I work 18 hours a day! Delete.

Still another: "Mquag, are you a dummie?" Your email just got deleted! • Don't lie!

Emails that contain claims such as, "I have been personally authorized by..." Come on! You haven't been personally authorized by anyone.... you bought into something and you want me to do the same.

Don't say "only two days left...." and send me the same email every single day for a month!

Don't tell me that you or someone you know made thousands of dollars in a day. If you are making that kind of money, you wouldn't be spending most of your time sending out emails to safe lists....

"I saw your ad and have a question" - and your only question is will I buy into your MLM!

NEVER begin the subject line with RE: -- this infers that you are responding to something that the reader has already sent you. RE: Your Account, RE: Your Reservation and RE: Your Prize are ones I see every day. Do this once, and you will lose whatever credibility you had previously managed to accumulate. • Don't make ridiculous guarantees

People are too smart to really believe claims of untold wealth. And keep in mind...if anyone wanted to take the time and complain, possible charges of fraud could be brought through your ISP.

So -- with all that said and done - go back and look at the emails you have sent to analyze what the low response rate is indicative of. Go READ the emails you get every day. Would YOU open your email and respond?

Keep in mind that 99% of the people you are sending mail to are all doing the same thing. Millions of emails are swapped each day. Yours needs to stand out from the crowd....and no matter what, that isn't easy.

But don't make it any more difficult than it has to be. Follow the guidelines and you'll have a better chance. Don't ruin your chances by doing anything mentioned above.

Get the point? PS: Your presentation is more important than your offer! How many times have I received an email where the offer was pretty good but the presentation was horrendous? Daily. How many times have I received an email that looked like it was done by a pro -- but the offer was only so-so? Rarely! My point? You don't have much competition if you look like a pro!

About the Author

I have over 20 years experience in marketing, communications, sales and advertising, and an MBA in Marketing Communications. For the past four years I have had my own successful company that specializes in copywriting for internet marketers.

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