How to Annoy or Even Anger Your B2B Email Marketing Contacts: Some Worst Practices to Think About

Let’s start off with a bit of a disclaimer. Don’t let the title fool you. In no way does this post encourage or recommend email marketers to do any or all of the below-numbered worst email marketing practices. Instead, this entry serves as a warning and a reminder to anyone engaged in emailing recipients from a B2B contact database for marketing or sales purposes. Watch out for the following items and avoid them at all costs.

The below list is based on a blog post by Corey Eridon published in Hubspot Blog (see link at end of text). Corey mentions 16 flat-out incorrect (even illegal) email practices that many B2B email marketers are vulnerable to commit. For our purposes, we’ll take a look at eight of the most serious of such mistakes and explain them a bit. Without further ado, here they are:

1. Using non-opt-in contacts. CAN-SPAM clearly prohibits emailing people who didn’t opt in to be part of your B2B contact database. Even without this mandate, it’s still bad practice to send emails to people who aren’t expecting them. Ensure opt-in (or double opt-in) characteristics from your mailing list or with a contact database provider before you buy business contact lists.

2. Making it hard to opt out and not acting promptly on these requests. Both of these are serious CAN-SPAM offenses and can irritate or even infuriate the victims. Always place the opt-out link where it can easily be found and make the unsubscribe process as hassle-free as possible. Also, immediately honor opt-out requests without fail.

3. Using misleading Subject and From lines. Your email’s subject line is the gateway to your message; don’t turn it into a trapdoor that your recipients will regret opening. Also, make sure that your from line contains a real, active return email address that accurately shows where it came from.

4. Including poorly-developed content/text. Sending irrelevant content through your emails is bound to raise the eyebrows of the people in your B2B contact list. Poorly-organized ideas and error-ridden text are also sources of stress for your readers. Make sure to follow the right content mapping rules for your audience and thoroughly edit and proofread your message text before sending.

5. Sending emails with design/compatibility flaws. Excessive design and graphics can actually do more harm than good in the same way as failure to optimize emails for mobile. It’s always a good idea to minimize the use of images and graphics in B2B emails and send a text-only alternative to compensate for compatibility issues with HTML templates. Also see to it that your emails are tailored for mobile users.

6. Omitting proper email etiquettes. A lot of email marketers tend to forget introducing themselves and stating how they’re acquainted or connected with the recipients. Imagine yourself sitting in the office when, all of a sudden, this email from someone you’ve never heard of pops up out of nowhere and begins telling you something about some great offer or solution. Mind your manners and begin your emails as if starting a conversation.

7. Neglecting consistency & frequency. Corey Eridon points out that both sending emails “once in a blue moon” and “bombarding” contacts with messages are bound to get them screaming at their screens. B2B email marketing isn’t a once-in-a-while affair; neither is it a shock-and-awe method of warfare. Find the right level of email frequency to avoid ruining your contacts’ day.

8. Not verifying calls-to-action and links. Some email marketers fail to include any clear call-to-action in their messages which, of course, defeats the whole purpose of sending the email in the first place. Other email marketing practitioners seem to forget or ignore checking for broken links or redirect issues. Make it a point to carefully go through your message and see if you’ve already included appropriate calls-to-action and check the links for validity.

Not only does these eight blatant email marketing mistakes turn your messages into unwelcomed nuisances; they can also seriously compromise your efforts to acquire fresh B2B leads, negatively affect your relationship with contacts, and even get you into a lot of trouble. So steer clear of these blunders no matter what.

Related content: 16 things people really hate about your email marketing