This one made me laugh the other day. Here’s the story. If you’re on one of Mike Filsaime’s lists (like I am) then you’ve maybe noticed the slight diversity he presents in the “from” field of his emails.
Here are some of the recent variations:
- Mike F
- Mike Fil saime
- Mike Filsaime (the standard one)
… Now, why would he do that? Doesn’t this make his email more difficult to recognize for his audience?
Well, the only reason why someone would want to do that (change the name they usually use to some variation of it) is because the old one has a permanent spam flag on it.
This is kind of what people used to do back in the day to save their messages from being flagged as spam. Some of the more popular examples:
- “fr.ee” instead of “free”
- “p0rn” instead of “porn”
- “vi.agra” instead of “viagra”
I don’t know if he explained this to his subscribers or what he said, but this is truly the ONLY POSSIBLE reason. You’re always better off being consistent and using the same name every time.
Fun stuff. Anyway, don’t you think that the fact that YOUR NAME has been flagged as spam is a good enough indication that you suck as an email marketer?
I think it is.
But let me list some more leads, just for fun.
- Sending promotional messages only. I know that you can’t make money unless you promote something, but sending no content-rich emails will make the lifespan of your email list much shorter. By the way, an email talking about some new cool (opt-in based) training program is not a content-rich email!
- Using spammy subject lines. “Bad news!” is an example of a spammy subject line. Marketers like to use it because it creates some curiosity (people just can’t resist checking what’s inside). You know what I do when I get such an email? I delete it immediately. I don’t like any bad news (even though I know there isn’t any actual bad news in the email).
- Using the “Re:” trick in the subject line. This one’s really simple to pull off. If you want to improve the chances of your email being read, you can just use a “Re:” as the first word of the subject line. This way your recipient gets the impression that there was some initial communication, and that you’re in fact responding to their email. (Note. Whenever you see such an email please report it as spam immediately.)
- Sending email too often. Come on, why do some people have to send 2 or 3 emails a day? And they’re all promotional emails!
- Too many call to action links. Call to action is a mandatory element in every promotional email. However, if you place a call to action link every two paragraphs then you’re just trying too hard.
- Using lies as a marketing method. For instance, if you say that something is a completely free download, and then I see an opt-in page then that was a lie. If you say that “the page will go down soon” and after two weeks it’s still online then that was a lie too. And so on.
Modern email marketing has many bad sides to it. Those “clever” marketers are just messing the game up for all of us.
Anyway, the core message I have for you here is this: Email marketing is not a quick fix. It’s a marketing approach like any other. It requires dedicated work to make it profitable in the long run. There are no shortcuts.
What’s your take? Have you noticed any interesting developments in email marketing lately?