Spark more joy by abandoning these three marketing practices.

While it might be relatively late in the game to set a resolution for 2019, it’s not too late to apply the life-changing art of tidying up to your email marketing practice.

If you haven’t binged Marie Kondo’s series on Netflix or read her book and promptly placed it on the bookshelf according to aesthetics, the conceit is simple: If something doesn’t spark joy in your life, get rid of it. Surely not every aspect of a marketer’s job is creating boundless positivity and happiness, but here are three things you can stop doing today for more serenity in email.

1. Batch-and-blast email

Email may not be dead, but batch-and-blast should be. Stop sending out mass email “blasts.” One size never fits all, and if it even remotely fits, it’s lopsided and doesn’t make anyone feel like a million bucks. Instead, use demographics and engagement data to understand what excites your recipients, and personalize emails as much as you can with segmentation. This isn’t just adding code to import someone’s first name. Instead, really consider the interests of different subscriber segments, tailor the content to fit their needs, and enjoy better engagement. More engagement means better email reputation, which means more reliable inbox placement and all the other beautiful benefits of being a good sender.

2. Sneaky subject lines

Sure, you might get more people clicking on an email when you use “Re: your purchase,” as a subject line, but…does the email really re: a purchase? If the answer is no, rethink your subject line. Truth and honesty in all forms of marketing, including email, will be a major touchstone this year (just ask Jen Capstraw of Iterable if you don’t believe us). Put yourself in your recipient’s shoes. Would you like getting an email that makes your stomach drop, just to find out it was a shady way to open up the latest deal-focused marketing email? On top of that, deceptive subject lines violate CAN-SPAM, so you’re not only gambling with your recipients’ emotions, but the law as well. Begone, terrible subject lines!


3. Playing fast and loose with customer data

This is two-fold: Personal data is becoming a hot topic across the globe, so you want to be sure your opt-in and subscription process is ironclad, and so should be how you store that data once you get it. First and foremost, don’t rely on a simple single opt-in. Make sure you’re emailing new subscribers and asking them to reconfirm their interest in being on your list. This will typically lead to better, more engaged subscribers, and also better protects you in the event your subscribers are in areas with more stringent privacy laws, like GDPR or CASL. Once you have this information, keep it secure with clear access permissions (not every person should be able to see it), recourse for when data-keepers leave the organization, and practice regular data hygiene to confirm you’re only keeping data you need for only as long as you need it. Data should have a purpose.

Try cutting out these cringeworthy tactics, and see how it feels. You’ll probably notice not just a lighter feeling in your soul, but better metrics on your email programs. If you aren’t fully in nirvana after seeing that, well…may we suggest chocolate?

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