The New Etiquette for Email Marketing

Email marketing is decades old, yet so many organizations treat their “users” with etiquette that hasn’t changed since the 1990s. Below are a few very simple rules that I wish every organization would follow:

1) Don’t bury your unsubscribe link

It’s ridiculous how many emails I receive where the unsubscribe link is impossible to find, in a microscopic 8pt font, and often so far down in the message that my webmail provider cuts it off and offers a “Download full message” button instead.

2) Don’t force me to login to unsubscribe

If I want to unsubscribe from your emails, chances are very high that I don’t remember my password either. Make it only one click. Don’t make me re-type my email address, or login, or anything. The customer who is too lazy to unsubscribe won’t be buying your products either. And the ones you force to jump through hoops will unsubscribe anyway and get angry at you for making it difficult

3) Format your email for mobile first – target the 65%!

It is amazing how many people forget to do this. 65% of marketing emails are opened on mobile devices, but then you need to pinch and zoom to try to read them. Photos in emails are nice, but not when the formatting to display the photo forces the font to be unreadable and small. Pinch and zoom on smartphone email works, but so does hitting delete. When the majority of people are reading email on their phones, why not prioritize their experience first?

4) Don’t add me to your list just because I emailed you personally

When I send a personal email to you, don’t subscribe me to your newsletter without asking! It’s understandable to be added to a list if I create an account, or sign a petition – as long as there is an easy unsubscribe. But if I send a personal email to a human, it’s incredibly rude to then also add me to a newsletter.

5) Make it human

Assuming a human is authoring your email marketing, please write your message in a human voice. Whether that means writing in the first person, or adding a small personal touch or a sense of humor, or signing the letter with the name of an individual, all of these are better than no name and no personal touch. In the age of Facebook and Twitter, it’s not only more acceptable but practically expected for people to act as their real selves and not hide behind a veil of corporate anonymity.

Photo: Syaheir Azizan/

Blog credit- Hadi Partovi

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