I cringe when I get emails like the one I received this morning. It started out promising: the “from” line came from a well respected gardening company (I’ll call them “Company X) with a terrific product line. But from there, it went straight downhill.
The first problem was the subject line: “Company X Newsletter.” No benefit, no clue about the content, no reason to open it.
The second problem was that it wasn’t a newsletter at all. Rather, the email was a straightforward ad for three products. No news, nothing useful, nothing personal. I don’t know about you, but when I sign up for a newsletter, I expect something informative, not a blatant sales pitch.
The third problem was that the headline for each of the three products didn’t offer any benefit (no big surprise after the “newsletter”” subject line). Each one was simply a boring product name, nothing more.
Bad email campaigns hurt all of us by training recipients to ignore future emails. Unfortunately, because email is so inexpensive to product, it often doesn’t get the same attention a catalog, magazine ad, or direct mail package does. But if more companies don’t deliver email that subscribers find worth their time, we’re all headed for the unsubscribe list together.