4 Common Email Marketing Malpractices You Know You Should Stop Doing

Photo by Marius Masalar on Unsplash

4 Email Marketing Malpractices: Wrong Ways Marketers Use Email Marketing

Before anything else, these malpractices are using US laws regarding email marketing. And with the GDPR already in effect, using any one of these malpractices can lead to hefty fines.

1. Sending Mass Email via BCC Method

The BCC method is sending an email to multiple people at the same time, but instead of sending the email in the TO field, the sender enters the email in the BCC field.

  1. The recipient must be able to opt-out / stop receiving the emails

Sample Scenario

This method is often used by salespeople in order to announce a sale or promo happening.

Spam Email via BCC Method

What to Do Next

If you’re one of these marketers, as a fellow professional, I strongly recommend you stop doing this. Use appropriate email marketing software to handle your email marketing.

  1. If the sender ignores your request, and since you cannot opt-out, create a filter to put all incoming emails from that email address to your junk/spam folder.

2. Buying Email Lists

Buying email lists, as the name denotes, is acquiring an email list from a separate entity (person and/or organization) for a price. Other variations of this email marketing malpractice is a colleague sharing their email list with you. While there is no money involved in the latter, it still falls in the same category.

A spam trap looks like a real email address, but it doesn’t belong to a real person and can’t be used for any kind of communication.

- Campaign Monitor

If you send to these email addresses, your domain could be blacklisted. That means you can’t send from your domain anymore.

What to Do Next

Practice effective lead generation and you’ll avoid this issue.

Sample Landing Pages from ConvertKit

3. Sending Emails to People Who Did Not Opt-in

Sending emails to people who did not opt-in to receive your messages is probably the most common among these malpractices.

  1. The organization is collecting emails. But, they are not explicit as to what the emails will be used for nor what type of messages will be sent.

Sample Scenario

Every organization has different types of messages they use in their email marketing. Here are some of them:

  1. Product/service updates
  2. Newsletter
  3. Promos
  4. Events

Example #1

For example, if they downloaded a PDF (aka lead magnet/marketing offer) on your website, most organizations include the person in the newsletter blast. Here’s where the problem starts.

Example #2

Another situation is if you are collecting newsletter subscribers via your blog. Most organizations are doing this.

Application #1: Multiple Forms

You can create a separate form that goes into each of those segments.

Application #2: Explicit Opt-in for Various Topics

Or let’s say you have multiple topics on your blog that you cover. Instead of sending basic SEO techniques to experts, you can place them on different groups.

Application #3: Self-Identify Using Clicks

If multiple forms are too difficult to comprehend right now, then use this option.

Sample Thank You Email to Help Readers Self-Select

Application #4: Update Email Preferences

The last application is you simply highlight the email preferences section in your emails.

4. Not Including an Unsubscribe Option

Or not honoring an unsubscribe.

Marketer, freelancer, husband | The Startup, Better Marketing, The Ascent, PGSG | Find out how I grew my organic traffic by 110% in 5 mo: https://bit.ly/3fpilkW

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store