Email Thursday – Treat Your Email List Like You Want to be Treated

By Exclusive Concepts


Growing up in my house, my parents always instilled in my brother and I that we should follow the golden rule. They constantly told me to “treat others how I want to be treated”, and that has stuck with me from the time I was reprimanded for coloring my brothers white shoes pink.

So, after reading dozens of posts about how you should treat your email list like a treasured relationship to play off of Valentine’s Day, I began to think – how do I want to be treated by marketers who send me emails – and am I treating those I send emails to how I want to be treated.

Here are 8 things that jump out at me – and these may not apply to everyone – comment on this blog post if you have any to add.

Only email me if you have permission
Lately I have been getting emails from companies who I have never interacted with and never given permission to. The only thing more annoying than that is that they constantly send the email to “Karen” and my name is Kelly. Most people do not want to be emailed unless they give you permission, not to mention it is against CAN SPAM. Also, you are wasting money if you are sending to people who aren’t interested. Make sure you only email those who opt-in to your mailing list.

Let me know who you are
I get emails from people who use the address of Well, when I look in my inbox it just says the email is from “Info” and I have no idea these emails are from two different companies. State who you are when you send the email, don’t hide who you are- it may be affecting your open rates

Don’t email me unless you have something important to say
I want to know that a company is still interested in my business; however, I don’t want them to seem too interested. One company that emails me sends me at least two emails a day. I did sign up to their email list, but it still seems like they are spamming me. Every day they have a new sale, so this discourages me to buy because I figure they will have something better next week. Only email your database if you have a particular promotion going on or if you have some important information you don’t think they will want to miss.

Be prompt with your auto responders
If I order something from your store, I want to know you received it. Recently I purchased something and didn’t receive an auto responder letting me know my order had been processed. I waited an hour and still nothing. Luckily I checked my credit card statement and saw that the transaction had gone through, otherwise I would have bought the product again, but somewhere else. It is important to let people know you have received their request in a timely fashion, otherwise they may go looking what they need somewhere else. It is pretty easy to set up auto-responders in ESPs, if this is something you need help with, or you want to know what kind of auto-responders have the biggest impact feel free to contact us.

Show me you appreciate me
Am I a valued customer? If so, let me know please, and while you’re at it give me something to show how much you like me. If you have a customer that has been loyal to your store, thank them! It will make them want to buy from you either more. Something as small as a $10 credit can go a long way. I can tell you this as an avid online shopper, if you give me $10, I’ll go on your site and probably spend much more than that.

Customize your emails to me
Get to know me, I give you the information! If a person has bought 4 polo shirts from you in the past year, make sure to let them know when they are on sale. Did you get nice khaki pants in that look great with polos? Let them know that as well! Customize the message to your customer. Last week I got an email from one of my favorite stores letting me know that all men’s merchandise is on sale. Well what about the women’s stuff? Make sure you remember email blasts are not always one size fits all.

If you make a mistake, apologize
Everyone makes mistakes, and it’s ok. If you apologize all will be forgiven in most cases. Sometimes emails that begin with “Oops” even have a better open rate. So what are some mistakes you should apologize about?

  • Wrong discount amount
  • Discrepancies in subject line and email content
  • Broken Links
  • That’s only to name a few.
  • If I want to leave, let me.
    Let me unsubscribe if I want to. I understand you want me to stay, but it is your best interest to let me go too. Why send to someone who isn’t interested? Make it easy to unsubscribe, but also make it easy to change options. Someone might still want certain promotions from you, but may not want to still receive your newsletters. Make it customizable, but still easy to use.

    Like I said, these are a few things that I would like those who email me to do for me. These are some generally agreed upon best practices, but do not apply to everyone. It is important to test within your email campaigns to learn what works best for you list.