Is Your Email A Bad Tattoo On Your Brand? – Email Thursday

TOPICSEmail Marketing

Don’t let one of your emails be a Bad Tattoo on your Brand.

Bad Tattoos Are Easy to Get, Hard to Forget

Today, we’re going to talk about tattoos… and email marketing.

The fact is, bad tattoos are easy to get and very hard to forget. They last a lifetime, and can leave a lasting first impression (some of which may not be positive).

And like a bad tattoo, email marketing can leave an unfavorable mark on your brand.

I’d like to present three ways to tell whether your email marketing program is a work of art on your brand, or if it’s a Saturday night special that you will regret on Sunday morning.

Bad Design (Graphic Layout)

One hallmark of email marketing that may hurt your brand is bad design.

Email marketing is a visual art, and your readers will be incentivized to follow a call to action (ex. purchase) based on visual cues.

But when your graphic design and layout is ineffectual, you will miss out on many opportunities to engage your readers in a meaningful way. Additionally, you will miss out on valuable junctures to generate sales revenue.

Furthermore, your competitors are likely producing email campaigns with quality layouts and top-notch designs.

Now, I’m not saying that every campaign needs to be a Mona Lisa. But on the same hand, your emails should not look like they are from 1990.

As design is an art and a science, your view on what is (and is not) acceptable will be somewhat subjective. As a means to gauge the effectiveness of your design, take a look at the email campaigns of your competitors and leaders in your segment of the marketplace.

But as a basic rule of thumb, I included tenets of bad design that traverse all markets and target demographic groups.

Inappropriate Content

When I refer to inappropriate content, I am not necessarily referring to R-rated jokes. I’m referring to content that most of your readers do not understand or care to understand.

When assessing whether or not your content is appropriate, ask yourself whether or not the average person on the street would be able to understand the case that your email is pleading.

If the answer is, “Yes,” then your content may pique the interests of your readers and further the brand-customer relationship.

However, if the answer is, “Maybe,” or, “No,” then you run the risk of angering your readers with a perceived waste of time. As the adage goes, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me…”

This rule applies across the board – from B-C home goods to B-B office supplies. When it comes down to it, your content needs to fulfill two responsibilities:

  1. Present a relevant problem that befalls many of your target demographic groups
  2. Offer a solution to the problem posed in 1.

In short, your content is deemed “appropriate” if you can present a relevant problem/solution statement in a way that is succinct and easily understood by your target customers.

Too Much Too Soon

Remember what they said about too much of a good thing… is sometimes a bad thing? Were they referring to the torrents of email campaigns that you unleash upon your hapless subscribers?

I view sending too many emails to your active subscriber base akin to shouting in the face of your customers as they enter your store.
There are no winners in this situation – your customers are completely turned off to your brand and you are unnecessarily losing your supporters.
And once word gets out, you are inevitably hurting your brand reputation.

A question that I often receive from my clients is, “How many email campaigns should I send out per week?” The answer is, it depends.

The nature of some products (and markets) require daily email communication. This may be necessitated by important product updates or extremely short sales cycles.

However, this is the exception rather than the rule.

The only true way to determine how often you should broadcast is to conduct some experimentation.

Send out emails per your normal schedule and log the response metrics. Then ramp up (or pace apart) your broadcasts – and see how your readers respond.

If the response is positive, then follow that route. If the response is negative, then reverse direction with your testing.


If you’ve made it to this point and you’re worried that email is scarring your brand, there is hope!

Although your email program may be negatively impacting your brand, there are proven strategies to gradually reverse the damage and restore a regretful tattoo into a beautiful work of art.

But the first step is to obtain an objective assessment of your email program.

Exclusive Concepts is offering you a free audit of your email marketing program. An Exclusive Concepts email marketing specialist will review your email program for strengths and weaknesses, and provide you with a report on how to reinforce your email towards greater effectiveness.

If you’d like to receive a free audit or if you’re interested in Exclusive Concepts’ Optimized Email Marketing program, please call James at
+1 781-362-5307.