What Can You Learn from this Email Critique?

A recent ClickZ article featured a critique of the email screen shot above. When you start marketing for your business, you can often spot problems with other email marketing campaigns. Careful analysis can help you improve your own email marketing because it helps you critique and analyse all of the details. You can even make a checklist to ensure that you don’t have any of the flaws in your own email sends.

Email Critique

The author of the ClickZ article found 10 problems with the email. What do you see wrong with it?

Here are some of the highlights of the problems. Look over your last email and look for any similar problems this company has with the email they sent out:

  1. Missing Newsletter Opt-in: The article’s author had attended a business networking event at the restaurant that sent her this email. She had dropped her business card in a fishbowl for a chance to win a gift certificate. This is the first email communication she received since then. There was no mention of the event in the email, but she knew that was the only way the company had her email address. Even though opt-in permission isn’t require in the U.S., where this took place, there are other countries, including Canada, where opt in is required. A better tactic would have been to send a more personalised one time email first, thank her for coming to the event, and thanking her for her entry in the contest. Then the restaurant could have highlighted their catering and any other deals, but also given her an offer or incentive for signing up for their regular newsletter.
  2. Uncreative Subject Line: The subject line should have been more creative. At least the restaurant name was in it, which got her to open the email, but as she points out, the restaurant name could have been in the ‘from address’. That would have left room for more information to be included in the subject line. If the restaurant would have gone with the idea of sending a personalised email first, the subject line could have been “Thank you for coming to [event], % off your next visit.”
  3. Missing Personalised Greeting: Since they have her business card, they really missed out on using it. The general salutation “Dear Future Client” really missed the boat and sounds completely impersonal.
  4. Wrong Send Time: The restaurant may be used to 9:30pm being a time to conduct business; however, usually the best time for sending an email is not on a Friday night. Instead try sending emails late in the morning on a Tuesday. For many people, an email received late Friday night will be lost in their inbox on Monday morning.
  5. Missing an Offer: The restaurant is really missing engaging recipients in any way. An offer, discount, or invite to another business event in the future would have been much more effective in engaging the recipients.
  6. Don’t Send Attachments: Using attachments is not the best idea, especially when sending emails to people you don’t know and who aren’t expecting it. These should have been links, which would be able to drive traffic to their website, a blog, or a Facebook page.
  7. No Unsubscribe: Any commercial or marketing email message must include a way to unsubscribe. There is no way to unsubscribe from this email, so that puts it in violation with Can SPAM compliance and goes against best practices.

What can you learn from critiquing this email? Be sure to apply the changes you spot to your future email campaigns.



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