A bad email in the middle of a cycle can potentially stall all of your hard work, so how do you prevent this?

Regular readers of the Taxi for Email blog (hi Mum) will know that I like to start with something different. This post is no different. As I stood in the middle of the O2 Forum in Kentish Town on a recent Friday night, taking in the lights, colours and sounds of the latest band to take to its stage, something strange occurred to me. Going to a gig is a bit like signing up for an email newsletter and marketing.

Hang on a minute, I hear you cry, that is reaching a bit. But stay with me here avid Taxi readers. On a basic level email newsletters, and marketing, require you to sign up (or buy a ticket), receive email updates to warm your interest (the support acts) and then deliver the big payoff when your interest is peaked (the main act). Then you’re invested and buying products from that brand. Or, in the gig analogy, heading straight to the merchandise stall at the back for a T-shirt or buying all of their back catalogue.

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A regular and understandable reaction to a great email campaign.

So far so relatable. But what is the easiest way to lose someone’s interest from an email marketing campaign? A bad email. What makes an email bad though? It could be that it’s badly messaged, includes illogical personalisation or has visual errors including the branding. Anything that makes the email appear as though something has broken, has not been checked, or simply doesn’t look or read well. A bad email can almost guarantee a lasting impression more so than a good email.

Back in the sweaty confines of the O2, I found myself in a similar situation. The first support act had hooked me, with music that fit the genre of the evening and a friendly, likeable persona. The second support act however was the ‘bad email’. Simplistic, brash, and with a guitarist that jumped around the stage as though he was possessed by Bez from the Happy Mondays, it was a cacophony of clashing images and styles. My interest shot through the floor like a stone, and I found myself metaphorically reaching for the unsubscribe button.

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No marketer wants to inspire this reaction when an email is opened. Even the cat is perplexed.

I realise there is an actual difference between gigs and email marketing. For example, I stayed for the main act rather than leaving the venue, which would have been the physical manifestation of an unsubscribe. But despite the main act being excellent, the support act was my overriding memory of the evening. The mad strobe lights with no real rhythm to the music, the inclusion of instruments that were really unnecessary, the rebirth of Bez… Aren’t these equivalent to clashing imagery and messaging, broken links, uninformed personalisation and bad layouts in email?

There are many reasons that bad emails are made

So how do bad emails come about? We know, much like the support act, that marketers don’t set out to intentionally disinterest their audience. It can be put down to a myriad of factors, including:

  • Bad initial planning around aspects like images, messaging and overall strategy
  • Teams across the email production process not working cohesively
  • Delays, rushed production cycles, and last minute changes
  • Implementing ‘growth-hack’ patterns
  • Poor coding
  • Sub-standard design assets

Many of these are the result of sub-optimal working processes. There are a lot of teams involved with the production of an email, as well as elongated processes including testing and amendments rounds. Then consider that some of these teams may be involved with other projects, and may view the email side of their workload as an afterthought (this especially applies to multi-team designers and developers). All in all, you need solutions to help all of these factors in order to prevent bad emails.

Taxi for Email can help prevent bad emails

Taxi for Email is this solution. It reduces turnaround times for email campaigns from weeks to hours. It helps everyone on your email team focus on their area of expertise - designers and developers can build perfect master templates, whilst copywriters and editors can produce content directly in the email layout. With the entire team working more effectively, your team can produce more email campaigns, and spend more time on strategy, and evaluating results.

With Taxi, you don’t have to be afraid of a bad email ruining your campaigns. You can be confident that by the time you reach your main act, your audience will be invested and eager. It’s all about keeping a consistent chain of great emails to your audience, and Taxi is the way to make great emails, at pace and at scale. And as Fleetwood Mac once said (bringing this back to the music analogy), you should never break the chain.

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