Why Your Email Sucks and How To Make It Work

Posted by andrewdavid

I have to admit. I have TOO many email addresses. I even have an email that I use just for places that I know will put me on a list. If you are anything like me, your email inbox is stuffed to the rafters with unopened messages. Just for fun, I logged into an old email that I no longer use and there’s more than 23,000 UNOPENED MESSAGES!

Over time, we often subscribe to too many email sources and get bombarded with a pile of crap. However, there are certain emails that get opened by me to the exclusion of others on a regular basis. Does any of this sound like you? The Million Dollar question is, why is it that some emails get “the royal treatment” and others – ignored, and how can I get my stuff opened?
If you need emails opened for your business, like I do.

Here are 6 mistakes to avoid.


There’s usually two extremes when it comes to your email subject line; either its too bland, or its over-hyped. If its too bland, there’s little chance it gets opened. If its over-hyped you’re likely just using click bait to get it opened and that’s a dangerous strategy.
Dan Norris, Co-Founder of WP CURVE says, “The one mistake I see is overhyped subject lines. Writing headlines is a fine art and while the BuzzFeed style baited headlines might get more clicks, people forget about the impact on the trust of their brand. It’s OK to encourage people to click but if they are constantly let down when they get into your content, it will have a long-term impact. I would rather sacrifice a few clicks to maintain the integrity of my brand.”
Since it takes time to develop the skill of writing good headlines, I wouldn’t suggest winging it. I will give you below a link in the description to turn you into a pro headline writer. Here’s a cool tool that will give you the power of a pro headline writer. A great website that teaches copywriting is CopyBlogger.com.


If I open your email, you better DELIVER. You have to make sure that I’m better for having opened and read the content. Did you answer a question? Did you solve a problem? Did you relieve pain or make my life easier? Did you deliver VALUE? If not, say goodbye to me ever opening another email or just flat-out unsubscribing from your junk.
Noah Kagan, CEO of AppSumo says, “Focus on your emails being so valuable your potential customers read them, share them and are excited to use more of your product and pay you money. Just ask yourself if your emails are valuable even if your potential customer never buys.” This advice is pure magic. Roll with this and then make it your own if needed.


Are you sending your emails too much, or too little? According to a recent survey, 53% of consumers reported getting too many emails from retailers, while only 44% said they get the right amount. Here are a couple of tips that can help with knowing how to keep things in balance:
1. Just ask up front. Find out from your subscribers how often they want to receive emails, either at the time of subscription or shortly after. You can then segment your list accordingly. Didn’t think of that, huh?
2. Get to know them better. Survey your email subscriber to learn more about them, and not just to find out how often you can send emails. If you know them, it will help gauge frequency because you are more service focused.


Have you ever opened an email to the shock of what looks like a million words? My eyes glaze over every time I see an email like this. “Delete.” Next. Like the one viral video says, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”
“I often see people spending hours, even days, crafting long emails filled with many topics, ideas and news that would need a minimum of 10 minutes of uninterrupted reading to get through,” says Dan Levitt of Mad Mimi. “These monster emails lower your engagement and worst of all, they suck up your time and energy and become a chore. Keep it short and simple! Pick a goal and write a simple, short email that leaves the reader in no doubt what their next step is. It should be engaging, fun to read but most of all, it should take a few moments to grasp and act. If you’ve got a lot to get off your chest, send short emails more often.” ENOUGH SAID.


How do you know if your email is selfish and self-centered? When it’s more promotion that substance. Are you pitching and promoting, or are you serving and helping? If you are constantly thinking about how you can get someone to buy from you, bingo. You’re an ego-maniac running wild.
Don’t write your email sounding like the uncle at the family reunion that always has something new to sell. DELIVER value.

No one cares how much you know- until they know how much you care.
Matthew Smith, creator of Really Good Emails says, “Emails should serve the customer not the product. Often times the marketing team, not the product team is in charge of the email flow and their directive is to grow. If you get myopic about that task you forget that the most solid growth comes through simple, repeatable, service that is so good it’s shareable. Serving customers comes by meeting them in their email client with simple tasks and giving them more than they expect or more than they are paying for with their time.”This is a great filter that you should run your next email through.


Jimmy Daly, head of content at Vero says, “The biggest mistake I see all the time is marketers ignoring behavior.
Here’s what I mean. You see a lot of promotional email, lots of newsletters, etc. That’s the easiest place to start with email marketing so people focus on it. Then, you get lots of content around optimizing subject lines, writing better copy, when to send emails, etc. We’re missing the point! Email marketing campaigns should be sent as a direct result of data and behavior. If a user is inactive, they get a nudge to come back. If they are active, they get emails about features they haven’t tried yet or inspiration to engage at an ever higher level. Data-driven lifecycle email is so, so, so powerful. And I believe it’s where most businesses are missing the boat on email.”
I love the way Matt Hodges, Senior Director of Marketing at Intercom puts it: “Not considering your audience. It’s like writing a love letter and then addressing it “to whom it may concern.” OUCH. Don’t do this, please.

It isn’t complicated. It is a skill you can learn, implement and use to create some powerful, and profitable, relationships.

Until next time. Rise From The Ashes. Fly Like The Phoenix