Sound the Email Marketing Gong: This Is What NOT To Do!

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 10.36.45 AMWhen it comes to email marketing, there are certainly approaches you should avoid. The example below is a real email marketing campaign that highlights some worst practices. You’ll get the picture rather quickly, but here are a few hints: Do not pester your target audience, and humor isn’t always effective.

Below is the last email in a series of 5 emails that were sent 2-3 days apart. The name of the company has been removed.

Have you been eaten by an alligator?

I have attempted to reach you, but have had no success. Either you have been eaten by alligators or you are just plain swamped.

If you have been eaten by alligators, my deepest sympathy goes out to your family members. If you are still alive, one of the following is more likely to have happened. I hate to keep pestering you, but I do want to express my desire to chat with you more about whether or not our work management ystem may be a fit for you and your marketing/creative team. Please pick one response and let me know what our next step should be.

_____ Yes, I have been eaten by alligators. Please send flowers.

_____ No, I have not been eaten by alligators, but you may wish I had been, because I have decided I have no interest in your service. Sorry, you are sunk. (Thanks for your frank honesty. I can handle it.)

_____ Yes, we have some interest in learning more about Company X, but here are my challenges:

_____ Yes, we have some interest in leveraging Company X to manage our work better. Call me to set a time for us to meet.

_____ I’m not the right person, please contact ____________.

_____ Other:

When it comes to email marketing consider what your audience wants to receive. If someone hasn’t responded to the first 4 meeting requests, you can assume they aren’t interested for a number of reasons. The goal is to continue to stay in front of your target audiences until they are ready, but be creative in your approach. It’s all about what can you do for me (the prospect), not the other way around.

Jennifer Manocchio


After starting her career with Edelman in Chicago, Jennifer joined Sweeney and quickly established herself as an exceptional industry innovator. In 2004, she opened Sweeney’s first full-service office outside of Cleveland and quickly rose through the ranks to become agency president. Jen leads by example and without fear. She has been critical to agency growth throughout the past decade and continues to lead the agency into the future.