Tips from your Email Marketing Consultant: 7 Things NOT To Do!

August 30, 2013 / by Vicky Zancanella

If you have been following Half a Bubble Out for any length of time or if you know our owners or employees, you know that relationship is a foundational element of who we are and what we do, including marketing and advertising.

Email Marketing Consultant-Don'ts

When you are living in community, telling your stories, and building relationships there will be times when it is appropriate to share what someone should NOT do, and this one of those times.

This morning I received an email from a company I have never contacted before, for a service I really don’t need, so it triggered this blog.

So, based on the email I received this morning, here are some tips from me as an email marketing consultant on Things Not To Do:


1.  Start off with a bad picture of yourself.

Although we want to give our email marketing a personal touch, putting a large picture of you right at the top (and a badly taken photo at that) is not the best way to build a relationship.

2. Use a quote from a customer with how great you are, before you even describe your service.

 I’m really happy that you’re that great, but what is it exactly that you are great at? 

3.  Bash other companies to make yourself look better.

This is never a good thing, even in email marketing. This is what bullies and insecure people do. Don’t be that guy.

4. Use 5 different types of fonts in one email.

Although many won’t realize it, this can be very distracting to the reader and makes me personally feel like my brain is in the middle of a pinball machine.  I really don’t take in what the content is saying because I am so distracted.

5. Include a CTA button that is a sign saying: “Try Now” without giving any idea as to what I am trying.

When you add calls-to-action in an email marketing campaign (or anywhere for that matter), make sure that the offer is clearly described and the action is clear. You can do this in just a few words or with an image.

6. Use images that are disconnected with the content you are sharing.

When you use an image of a human heart in an email about press release distribution I am confused. Choose images that are clear, draw in your reader and support your content.

7. Focus on yourself

Talk about how great you are, how awesome your company is, how amazing your service is and on and on and on. Right away I know where I stand as a customer. Your email marketing will probably end up in my trash bin or I will end up on your “unsubscribed” list.


I could list a few more, but I decided 7 examples were enough to give you an idea of what NOT to do. I don’t want to put others down, because Hey! at least they are doing email marketing and practicing the craft. I am reminded of a recent blog titled: Write Every Day...Even if it's Crap? So should I tell you to do email marketing everyday even if it’s crap? Hummm, makes me contemplate the idea.

As an email marketing consultant, I would say, practice writing email marketing campaigns every day. Try different styles, different angles, focus on different goals. Some emails will be not so great, others will be good and over time you will get better.

But before you send the emails to your leads—Please, please, please have an outside eye look at it. That’s where having an email marketing consultant can help you and your business.  

Do you REALLY need to have an Email Marketing Consultant?

Email marketing is easy right? You just collect (or beg, borrow, and steal) email addresses and send information about the great stuff you are doing in your business…right? Then the leads will come pouring in.

If this is your thinking, then YES, you really do need an Email Marketing Consultant! Because there really is so much more to email marketing and a consultant can help you choose the strategy that will be the most beneficial to your business and ultimately your profit.

Honestly there is an art to email marketing and no matter how great you think you are doing, it is always wise to get advice, feedback and even constructive criticism from someone who knows the craft.

You may also realize that you really don’t know what you are doing. You are giving it your best shot, using common sense; drafting sales emails aimed at getting new leads and converting them to customers.  But are you doing it right? {shoulder shrug}

While speaking on the phone this week with a small business owner, he commented on an article he read with advice from small business men and women from each state in the U.S.  One piece of advice really stuck out to him and that was: “Outsource the things you’re not good at.”

Hmmmmm. What a concept. Here is the picture:

You are a small business owner who is trying to do it all. You are wearing so many hats that you probably have a very sore neck and may even feel a bit overheated but you never hand off the hats to someone else. That may just be a recipe for disaster!

So, decide what you are good at. Maybe you are really good at sales or finance. Maybe leadership is your gift or it could even be management.  Maybe you are great at financials, but not so great at customer service.

Find what you are good at, and find what you are not so good at. Rate the list in order of priority and the resources you have to handle them with.  Decide what it is you love to do, what it is you can do, and then be honest about what you are not able to do. You may want to consider outsourcing.


So back to email marketing. If your business is at a place where email marketing has become the next priority and an element of your overall marketing strategy (and it should be because email marketing has been found as the most effective marketing channel), then you need to decide if you can do it or if you should outsource. Some small business owners don’t have the time. Others don’t have the technical skills or the writing skills to do the job well. And some do their own email marketing and just need another set of eyes to make it even better.

Hiring an email marketing consultant may be the next step for your business. Or you may just need to practice and practice to fine tune your own email writing skills. Either way, understanding what to do and what NOT to do will take what you are currently doing and make it that much more effective! 

Related Articles:

Don’t Be a Spammer! Advice from an Email Marketing Consultant

If Organic Search is King, Email Marketing is Queen




Topics: email marketing

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