E-mail Marketing – 7 Ways To Fail

A Guest Post:

E-Mail Marketing is often championed as a wonderful opportunity because of its negligible cost, but the fact is that it has one of the lowest success rates there is – so low that it has a special name which has passed into folk-lore, Spam. The simple fact is that even the mails that pass through the software spam filters tend to fail in delivering their message. Now as an expert in avoiding reading the message I’ll give you my top 6 tips for how you can get me to read your mail.

1. Don’t assume that I want to read your mail just because I subscribed at your website. Really – it sounds daft, but it doesn’t work like that!

2. Give me something that I want. I’ll gladly accept that a sales pitch comes with the mail if there is something else in the mail that I want. Some advice, an expert opinion, some statistics, a report. I’m a Landlord with a Website, so I’ll gladly read about house prices, rental values, how my website ranking has changed, tips on maintenance. But I can’t emphasis enough how important it is that it has to be something that I want, even a well disguised sales pitch behind the information won’t necessarily keep you off my blocked senders list.

3. You only get one chance. Once you’ve disappeared onto that blocked senders list, you’ll never make it out again, so really – don’t take the risk. Never let me recognise that you are selling, the consequences are too serious for you. So best of all – don’t sell, just be there for when there is a sales opportunity.

4. Ignore the Internet Marketing Experts They tell you to call to action, and god knows what else. All their websites look the same, all their mail looks the same. I’ve recognised it before they’ve finished their 1st sentence, and I can’t even tell you what it is. A bit like scammers come from Nigeria!

Some samples from my Junk Mail folder:

a. You are receiving this email because you have shown an interest in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing.

b. URGENT: I’m offering a very special $4580 bonus package





g. Words like Massive, Early Bird,

5. Make friends with the Junk-Mail Filter OK – it’s a bit of a no brainer of me to say “get past the junk mail filter” but I am speechless that a lot of professional marketers make no effort to convince the filter that their mail is ordinary & wanted. If you can’t get past it, you may never be seen, but worse than that – the Junk Mail filter isn’t just a faceless piece of software, she is my friend and key influencer. She does so much good work for me that I listen to her opinion with respect. If she likes you, then you stand a chance. If she took against you, then you face an uphill struggle.

6. Minimise Linked Graphics. Really – I know linked graphics seems a great idea, but it’s a straight out of tip 3 – it’s one of the ways I recognise spam. There are 3 practical reasons why linked graphics are a key route to failure:

a. It’s one of the ways that the porn and Viagra merchants try to get their words past the Junk Mail filter

b. It’s just plain typical of the messages that I don’t want

c. Mail readers block picture links and ask the recipient if they want to download the graphics. I am now deciding whether to put you on the block senders list without being able to see what you probably would hope is the best bit of your mail.

So if you really must link graphics, try to ensure that your message from tip 2 (why I want to read your mail) is clear in the text.

7. Don’t look like a Phisher. I wouldn’t ordinarily think of giving this as a tip but a big professional company actually did this last week, and it is what gave me the idea for this article. Do not use some HTML in your mail like – <A HREF=http://www.yourwebsite.php>http://www.yourwebsite.com</a>

There you are – 7 tips to get you read, try it – mail me at spam@pimlico-flats.co.uk I’m sure I’ll read it.

This Guest Post was by Nick Parkin of Pimlico Flats a Private Landlord active in Social Networking and Renting Flats in London.

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About Nikki

Author of many 30 Day Blogging Challenges, Nikki spends her time helping small businesses with Internet Marketing and Social Media Marketing. With 17 years of experience, she hasn't yet found someone she couldn't help to get more business from their website.


  1. Just read this and it tells a story…

    It sounds like you get a lot of spam…unsolicited mail. It also sounds like you sign-up for things for no reason. I’m pretty careful about what I sign-up to because I know most of it is utter rubbish.

    There are lots of people around knocking out emails for the hell of it. I agree with your points for people who are copying what spammers do.

    There are a couple of really important points.
    (1) Graphics…they can be embedded.
    (2) Negligible cost…it is actually quite costly (elapsed time) to set-up a good process…I know, I do it.
    (3) Phishing…think you’ve mis-understood…often emails are designed to draw people back to a website to continue reading.

    Most newsletters are mixes of text and graphics. eShots are sales promos and then we could have various sub divisions from there.

    PS – If you’re on constant, you’d better get off data is supposed to be kept within the UK. No good. If anyone needs clarification, happy to help..

  2. Hi Skeeter,

    Yes – I do sign up for stuff, I like to explore and develop. In the past I’ve had a lot of success with using a mail address that I never read to sign up at websites, but the purpose of the article was to address those marketeers who COULD have my attention if they played their cards right.

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