How To Avoid Most Common Email Marketing Mistakes

I mentioned in a previous post how OCD I get before I send an email to Triberr mailing list. Email Marketing is a game best suited for detail-oriented individuals, and I am far from it.

So the only way I can get through it is by checking, then re-checking, then re-checking, then…

In keeping with this week’s theme (Email Marketing), I printed out a infographic and posted it on my wall that outlines the most common email marketing mistakes and how to fix them before you email thousands of people.

And yes, those weird “drawings” around the checklist are my office walls painted with the monsters from Where Wild Things Are. Check it out, it’s pretty cool.

But I reckon you’re more interested in the checklist. Here it is, print it out or keep it handy for your convenience. I’ve found it to be incredibly valuable.


The infographic mentions the plain text version (No 2), which is really important because many email gateways look for it. If it’s not there, that is an indicator that the email may be spam.

Also, the pictures are the first thing users see and tend to click on, so those pics better lead to a valid AND correct link.

I’ve made that mistake before 🙂

Last but not least, I want to bring up something that’s directly related to the email checklists, and I find it fascinating.

The “Sorry ’bout That” mass email

One of the more sleazy examples of how email marketing can be used is by making a “mistake” on purpose so that the “correction” or “sorry ’bout that” email can be sent. It’s what they call a twofer in the radio biz.

It works like this.

You send the first email and wait to see who opens it up, then you build a custom list made up of people who haven’t opened your email and send them the “corrected” email. And because you start out with an apology you:

  • Capture their attention
  • Build good will
  • You show you’re human (humans make mistakes)
  • and you humble yourself before them

All in the interest of making a sale.

What a shitty tactic that is.

  • Have you ever received the “Sorry ’bout That” email?
  • Did you recognize it as a tactic?
  • Would you ever do something like that to make a sale?

Dino Dogan

Global Force for Badassery | Founder of Triberr | Refugee from Bosnia | Writer for Technorati | Speaker | Lousy Martial Artist | Pretty good singer/songwriter | Hi 🙂

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  • bagazzsamudra

    heeeeeeeeeey @AskAaronLee 🙂

  • smccollo

    What a sneaky marketing tactic… I have not seen that before (that I recall anyway) but I do love the inforgraphic, I love checklists.

    • dino_dogan

      yaaa…I treat my inbox as an experiment. So, over the years I’ve signed up for many, many questionable lists, and I see this tactic played out ALL THE TIME. @smccollo

  • Sonia (Sunnnee)

    Most emails with cheesy sale tactics get deleted and unsubscribed. I don’t mind people promoting a product, but I love emails about new posts or something special they are working on. I can smell BS a mile away.

    • dino_dogan

      How come all my commenters are female? What is going on? Where are all the men? Wait…shouldnt I be happy about this “problem”? lol@Sonia (Sunnnee)

      • Sonia (Sunnnee)

        @dino_dogan You should be smiling for sure. It’s the picture Dino…the smile is contagious. Chicks did that!

  • janetcallaway

    Dino, aloha. Love the infographic. Yes, I have received the “sorry about that” e-mail many times. And, each time I think, “do they think I don’t know they did this on purpose?” As a policy, I delete without opening because I do not want to encourage them to send more of the same.

    Dino, your e-mail series has been quited enlightening. Mahalo nui loa and aloha. Janet

  • janetcallaway

    BTW, did you mean Hot or How in the title? When I tweeted it, I changed to How. Title is good here, however, in stream it was Hot.

    • dino_dogan

      my bad….tho Hot To Avoid may make for an interesting headline 🙂 @janetcallaway

  • BruceSallan

    I love ALL your Triberr emails and you’ve earned OUR trust – so stop agonizing over them. We at Triberr love you, DD!

  • umesh

    @Sonia, I think an email marketing can downgrade our business too:)

  • Assim99

    @pushingsocial Thank you for following. Really impressed be the stuff you’re posting


    @murnahan Check out T Biggz –

  • EugeneFarber

    That photo seems backwards. iPhone?

    • dino_dogan

      @EugeneFarber lol…yup

  • Deanna Graham

    Love the checklist…but the walls interest me more. I have a Wild Thing Stuffed Animal my former counselor gave me as a wedding present. (My hubby was thrilled. Knew how important both Wild Thing and counselor were/are to me.) Thanks for the checklist. I haven’t started an Email Newsletter, but I’ll be using this to help me do it right, from the beginning.