Do You Make These Mistakes In Your Email Footer?
By Justin Premick February 21, 2008
It’s been a while since we’ve picked apart an email campaign. I’m not really a fan of being negative, but a great example of what not to do came across my desk the other day, and I can’t help but share it with you. Please don’t make the same mistakes with your email footer that these guys did.
It’s been a while since we’ve picked apart an email campaign.
I’m not really a fan of being negative, but a great example of what not to do came across my desk the other day, and I can’t help but share it with you.
Please don’t make the same mistakes with your email footer that these guys did.
The Offending Email
Ethan, one of our web developers here at AWeber, was puzzled at an email he recently received from a ticket sales website. He had absolutely no idea who this company was. He couldn’t remember ever doing business with them.
He eventually figured out (after going to their site and trying a login/password combination he rarely used) that he had purchased tickets to an event through them — over a year ago.
As we often remind people looking to collect subscribers offline, permission isn’t indefinite – it expires, and if you email subscribers out of the blue after a long time, they lodge spam complaints because they don’t remember you.
That’s not what caught my attention about this email, though. What I found especially appalling was their email footer:
Three things about it made my slap my forehead:
1. Vague Opt-In Reminder
Remember: this company hasn’t emailed Ethan at all since he made his purchase a year ago. So they should have known he wouldn’t expect an email from them.
While they did at least attempt to put a permission reminder in this footer, they failed to actually remind him of anything.
Their reminder text:
Our mailing list records indicate that your email address is opted-in to receive this email.
Great. Very helpful. “Oh, they say I’m opted-in. Well, I must be.” Right?
When you create a permission reminder, especially if you don’t email often, make sure you tell people:
- Where and/or how they signed up
- When they signed up
You could also put the subscriber’s email address in the footer (as this company did), although I would say that’s less important than where, how and when they signed up (after all, they already know what email address you’re emailing them at, right?).
A much better permission reminder:
This email was sent to (email address) because on (date), (first name) signed up for ticket alerts at (website URL).
Now, at least the subscriber can check out the web page where s/he signed up and hopefully recall signing up there a few months (a year?) ago.
Want to create a permission reminder like that in AWeber?
2. No Replies Allowed
Nothing says “you’re just a number to us, buddy” than an email campaign that tells you not to bother replying.
Yes, there’s a link to their Help Desk in the footer. But what about people who don’t read down to the footer?
Is it really so hard to send from an address whose inbox forwards directly to the Help Desk?
One of the advantages of email marketing over other mediums is that it lends itself to having a two-way conversation with your customers and prospects — why would you shut out subscriber interaction and feedback like that?
3. Difficult To Unsubscribe
To top it all off, in this example unsubscribing is a real challenge.
The company forces you to login to your account with them to unsubscribe:
People who want to stop receiving email from you are going to do it, one way or another. If you make it hard on them, if you put hurdles in the way of them opting out, they’ll simply mark your messages as spam.
Not only does the company in this example lose a chance to learn why people unsubscribe from their list, they put themselves at risk of blocking and filtering due to complaints.
- Remind people why they’re getting your email. Be specific.
- Be available. Avoid using “noreply” or unmonitored addresses in your “from” line.
- Make it easy to unsubscribe.
What Do You Think Should Go In An Email Footer?
Do you do these things in your email footer? Can you think of other items that should go there?
Share your ideas below!