I don’t know about you all, but I get at least a dozen emails a day to my work email from people trying to sell me their services. Whoever said email marketing was dead was sorely mistaken.
However, what is dead is bad email marketing. It’s killing your business and alienating your potential customers.

So in the spirit of ridding the world of bad email marketing, I’m digging through my email trash and calling out some top offenders- celebrities read mean tweets style.

Hi Mercedez,

If you are looking to build a beautiful website but have realized that you don’t have the time, or the expertise, to do it yourself then we recommend taking a look at XYZ Company.

Problem: Tone-deafness. What David doesn’t know, is that part of my job IS building websites, so I both have the time and expertise to do it myself. But if he took one second to look at the PG website, he’d see that website development is one of our services. I shouldn’t have to say this, but don’t sell to someone who sells what you’re selling.

Hi Subscriber,

I’d like to offer you 10% off our latest batch of tube socks. Our socks are better than anyone else’s and you should order today.

Problem: Lack of personalization and a less than a compelling offer.

Dear XYZ Company Member,

Soda has been all over the news this week. Let’s see why. Once you’ve read all about it, help us stop it by filling out this survey. Studies show that 820% of consumers like to buy soda on Tuesdays. 650% of consumers like to buy soda on Fridays. We believe…

Problem: Length. This email goes on for several paragraphs, includes lengthy data that isn’t snackable, and has no clear point or call to action. It’s one giant block of text with little to no formatting and zero imaging.

Now you may be asking yourself, what does good email marketing look like? Put simply, a good email marketing campaign targets the right consumers with the right messaging at the right time, all the while providing value and not spamming someone’s inbox.


Most companies pull massive email lists from the depths of the darknet and spam the same message to all 500K contacts without batting an eye. You wouldn’t send an email to the school nurse about how to increase admissions enrollment, so why are you emailing Pam from HR about digital advertising software?

Subject line

Subject lines are an art form. You have to catch someone’s attention is roughly 5-10 words or less. Depending on your brand, the good ones are either clever or directly to the point. You’d think this would go without saying, but don’t lie in your subject lines. The shock and awe of “Mercedez, respond TODAY or your website gets shut down” may get me to open your email, but it also prompts me to put that email right into the trash the moment I see the claims are false.


 Know your brand and know your target. Memes and GIFs work if you’re a creative company with a fun brand trying to reach out to like-minded customers. But if you’re trying to target the dean of a school or a personal injury lawyer, you might want to put the jokes aside.


Less is more. Rather than including the full-text form your new article or white paper, like our new one Adwords Secrets Revealed, LINK to it. When in doubt, KISS- Keep It Simple Stupid.

Timing, Frequency & Volume

 Time of day matters. How often your messages go out matters. And how many messages you send before giving up matters. You could have the product I’ve been searching for, but if you send me 5 emails in the span of a week, chances are I’m blocking you.

What this all boils down to is: be authentic and don’t be afraid to experiment. If you’re one of those lucky contestants who’s been receiving our latest email marketing campaign then you know: we’ve gotten a little weird and we like it.  

And if you’re still thinking about that white paper I mentioned, AdWords Secrets Revealed, head to the Pepper Gang website to download your copy now.

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