7 Reasons Why Your Email Just Got Binned

Rubbish bin

The first rule to remember when indulging in a spot of email marketing is that it’s not as easy as you think.

No really, I’m not just saying that, it really is very tricky.

Just look at your recent results.

They don’t look pretty do they? Your open rate is disappointing and your click throughs virtually non-existent. So what went wrong?

Without seeing what you sent I can’t give you specific reasons, but here are the top 7 reasons why emails fail.

1. Bad first impression

You only get one chance to make a first impress and you just blew it.

Your subject line was pants. You used all capitals, exclamation marks, deceiving messages and prefixed it with the dreaded “FW:”,  “RE:”, or “Warning”.

Be clear and honest in your subject line, don’t try and sell and make sure it reflects what your email is about. To hone your subject line writing skills do some A/B testing on them.

2. Yawn

Emails shouldn’t be long. They should get to the point quickly, perhaps with a touch of humour or personality, and end with a call to action.

That’s it; no extended flowery prose, just straight talking and simple language.

3. What do you look like?

The only way you’re going to know what your email will look like when it lands in your customers’ inbox is by testing it.

Make sure it renders properly across all mail clients, including mobile, to make sure it looks good everywhere.

4. Personal

If you have your customers’ first names, use them. Receiving a personalised email is far more preferable to one that says “Dear Customer”.

5. Buy now

Contrary to popular belief, an email is not the place to ask for a sale.

Your email is there to build a relationship, or to educate them. Do not ask them to open their wallets. If you’re offering a free trial or something along those lines that’s fine, but never ever mention price.

6.  Don’t try and get one over on your competitors

Trying to sell your products by pointing out how bad or expensive your competitors are is bad form. It shows a lack of imagination on your part and, possibly, a lack of confidence in your own products and services.


Well it doesn’t say much for what you do if the only way you can think of selling it is by slagging off the competition.

Concentrate on selling the benefits of what you offer and your customers will make up their own minds that yours is better than anything else out there. You can read more of my thoughts on this particular issue here.

7. Relevant

Being relevant is essential. If you send email after email on subjects that your audience isn’t interested in they’ll leave in their droves.

Plus, don’t just reiterate information that’s already on your website because they’ve probably already seen it.

Come up with fresh information that’s going to be relevant to them.

There you go. How many of these 7 are you guilty of?

If you’re still not sure where you’re going wrong, feel free to drop me a line.


Author – Sally Ormond, Briar Copywriting Ltd



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