Word is Your Enemy … and six other ways emails go bad


Sometimes the best lessons are learned by mistakes, either yours or others.

I came accross a sales email this morning that was a good example of how NOT to use email marketing.  I’ve shared some of my favorite sections with you, our ANB readers, below.

( I’ve blocked out any identifying names to protect the innocent.)

Here are a few “learning opportunities” that can improve your emails.


Pick one font and like it.

Just because you have a drop down of 100+ fonts, does NOT mean it’s OK to use them all in the same email.

If you feel the need to change the fonts with every new paragraph, what you really need is a good copy writer and graphic designer.

It’s hard to read, distracting and takes away from your message.

Use bold and italics in moderation.

Using bold and italics and other style functions such as color, should be used sparingly, to call out the action you want the recipient to take.

If half of your text is in bold and italics, it loses its impact and is hard to read.

Nothing stands out and what’s really important gets lost.


Word is your enemy.

I would imagine many of the font issues come from people drafting emails in a Microsoft Word document and then pasting that text into the body of your email.

What’s so bad about that?  You get all of the junk coding from the Word doc in your email.

So while the email might look fine on your monitor, it can change things such as font, font size, and spacing when it arrives in your recipients’ in boxes.

Before pasting your draft from Word into your email, paste it into Notepad, which will remove all formatting.

Then copy and paste it from Notepad into your email.

Format the email in the email program you use.


Size is relative.

If the link to your Facebook page is the most dominant visual item in your email, invest in Photoshop and bring it down to size.

Unless the only purpose of your email is to generate more Facebook followers, this should NEVER be the largest visual element of your email.

Likewise if my 40-year-old eyes need the Hubble Space Scope to FIND your social media icons, it’s more hassle than it’s worth.

It’s better not to have any graphic elements instead of elements that are poorly sized or have a low resolution.


Under Construction.

While we’re on the subject of links, make sure they work and you have content before you include the link.

No one likes to click on a link only to have the “Under development” or “Website not found” pop-ups open instead of compelling content.

Customization is King.

Most email blasting platforms allow you to insert the prospect’s first name, so instead of receiving a generic email that reads, “Hi,” or “Dear _________,” your email could read, “Dear Joe.”

This also requires you to keep your database current.

Testing makes perfect.

Send yourself a test email to make sure that your links work and your formatting is clean before hitting the send button.

This one simple rule can prevent so many emails from going bad.

Email is a very cost-effective way to reach out to a lot of prospects, when it’s used properly.

So learn from this man’s mistakes and start sending out more successful emails today.

Post by RSW/US New Business Director Kris Klopp