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9 Email Marketing Pet Peeves That Will Cost You Money

The fourth quarter is a crazy time for marketing emails. If you’ve opened your inbox today you’ve probably seen tons of emails from businesses. Some you like and some you don’t like.

Have you thought about those things that really bother you about marketing emails?

Here is a list of pet peeves to avoid in email marketing so you can keep your subscribers happy.

1. Confusing Calls to Action

A confusing call to action in this email
Unfortunately you can’t click on the green jacket in this Under Armour email.

Nothing is more frustrating than getting an email that showcases some great products, but doesn’t allow you to click on a link to each product. This happens more than you might think with email design. The email could have a simple “Shop Now” button, but if the customer is interested in a specific item in the email they’ll have to search on your website for it.

2. Misleading Subject Lines

Nobody likes to be tricked. If you promise something in your subject line make sure you deliver on that promise in the email. You want to be enticing with the subject line, but don’t go overboard by being misleading.

3. Incorrect Links

This can happen to anybody and it usually happens when we get busy. If a subscriber sees an interesting link in your email and it takes them to a different page they’ll be disappointed. They really wanted to learn more about that product or they really wanted to read that article. Make sure every email is double checked before it ships.

4. Too Many Exclamation Points

It’s hard to know when this phenomenon happened, but it seems people are using exclamation points in excess these days. You’ll see it in personal emails, but now you’ll even see it in business and marketing emails as well.

Go easy on the exclamation points. One per email is probably okay. Nothing can be that exciting that you need to put more than that in a single email especially after a single word or statement.

5. An Impossible to Find Unsubscribe Link

Unsubscribe link fail
It’s like a Where’s Waldo book trying to find the unsubscribe link in this Eddie Bauer email.

The temptation is there to hide your unsubscribe link. Don’t hide it. If someone wants to unsubscribe from your list you probably don’t want him or her on your list anyway. Your email will be more efficient if you only have the best prospects and customers as subscribers.

Make your unsubscribe link easy to find by placing it at the bottom with white space around it. Also consider putting a similar unsubscribe link at the very top of the email.

6. Slow Loading Content

This actually belongs higher up on the list because it’s a big issue for a lot of people. Content that loads slowly online is consistently ranked high on the list of frustrations with online users. Your email cannot load slowly or people will delete it. Their frustration for your company will grow and you could lose them. Test your emails on various connections including mobile.

7. Irrelevant Content

It’s becoming easier to segment in the email marketing world. Do the best you can to provide your subscribers with relevant content. You can work with your email provider to determine the type of content that is relevant for each subscriber.

You want to niche things down for your subscribers because they are more likely to respond, but if you miss you’ll just irritate them.

A good way to segment email is by past purchase history. People often buy the same thing. Also study the other items people likely purchase after purchasing something. Amazon wrote the book on this practice and it works incredibly well.

8. Too Many Emails Without Additional Value

Amazon seems to have picked up their frequency, but they keep things relevant, which helps.

Frequency is another tough issue. It’s not that people don’t want to receive more emails from you. The issue is sending emails that don’t add anything to their lives.

Adding additional emails to your schedule can be good, but make sure the email is interesting to subscribers otherwise you will risk irritating them.

9. Sales Emails Without Links to the Product Page and Orders Page

Sales confirmation emails are pretty standard. You get confirmation that your order went through and later you get a similar email that confirms the item has shipped.

These emails need to have a link to the product page and a link to the order page. These links are what your customer will want to click when they open the sale email.

Email Marketing Pet Peeves, in Conclusion

Nobody tries to intentionally irritate email subscribers. Often we might be doing something that is irritating people without even realizing it.

That’s what this post was for. Hopefully you aren’t doing any of the most common pet peeves and if you are hopefully you can take care of it before you lose subscribers.

Do you have any email marketing pet peeves to add to the list?

Be sure to leave your comment.

About the Author: Scott Hardigree is founder of Indiemark and curator of this nifty blog. He can be reached everywhere here.

Scott Hardigree
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  • by Diane Mcgary
    Posted December 12, 2012 9:20 pm 0Likes

    Thanks for sharing this information. I believe that all these are true. That is why i think it is better if emails for advertisements should be done simply and not so redundant because the receiver sometimes get annoyed and won’t read your mails.

    • by Scott Hardigree
      Posted December 13, 2012 9:18 am 0Likes

      Right on! Thanks for the comment Diane.

  • by Campayn
    Posted December 15, 2012 9:34 pm 0Likes

    User experience/interaction plays such a huge part in designing your e-mail. Even though we help provide templates for our customers, but we can’t manage things like making sure our users put the right links in e-mails and usual quality content. Thanks for helping!

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