Learning from bad examples – email is personal!

2 minute read

When I’m running workshops on email marketing I stress the importance of good copy, and of relevance to the reader. These two factors can make or break the success of your campaign.

One of the things that I find really jarring is when marketing emails are written as though addressing a group. Emails are personal – the best campaigns address someone as an individual and are tailored to them. If a message isn’t personal and specifically relevant to the reader, it’s a waste of time.

I received an email this week which fails badly on both these counts. Here’s a snippet of it. I’ve blanked out the brand name but it’s a good opportunity to learn from a bad example:



1) It was sent to me, but refers to ‘those of you’ – I don’t care. Why not write as though addressing just me? I’m not interested in the fact they have other customers.

2) It wasn’t relevant to my specific situation – they didn’t tailor the message based on whether I had or hadn’t already responded, they’d clearly just sent the same message to everyone. If they can’t be bothered to check if I’ve responded already, why should I spend time completing their survey? Or even reading beyond the first sentence of the email?

With just a few small tweaks to the wording and a bit of data segmentation this could be turned from an impersonal, irrelevant message and a missed opportunity to something engaging and relevant.