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4 Emails that Make Marketers Cringe & Instantly Press Forward


When you work in marketing, you see your fair share of incredible ads, emails, and campaigns. It never surprises me how creative people are—and it’s damn inspiring to work in such a creative and dynamic industry.

On the flipside, email mistakes are inevitable. And if you happen to work in marketing, those email mistakes wind up in inboxes where they’re a little more permanent. Inspired by some emails my coworkers and I have received, here are four types of emails that make marketers cringe and instantly forward to their friends.



The "wrong-personalization-field" email

Ever used the wrong personalization field or received an email where one was used incorrectly? It just looks weird. My coworker recently received an email where the personalization field they used in the subject URL was the first half of his email address. They probably should’ve just stuck with his first name for a better engagement rate.  

Example 1

TIP: If you’re using personalization tokens in your emails, you want to make it sound like you are writing someone personally, so make it sound natural.

The "We’ll-sell-you-a-list-of-contacts" email

These types of emails are considered a black hat practice for marketers. Inbound marketing is all about creating valuable content with the right context—meaning, you should create buyer personas that are like your ideal users.

Email 2

TIP:  Never buy email lists. It’s damaging to your company’s reputation.

The "we’re-selling-you-what-you-already-do" email

Below is a classic example of someone not taking the time to realize that our business already offers these services. We won’t be responding back. (Side note: did you see that send time?)

Example 3

TIP: Know who you’re sending your email to. 

The "accidental test" email

I was sent a blank test email from LOFT (it’s okay, I still love you, LOFT). When I got this in my inbox, I instantly understood the pain of the poor marketer on the other end. If anything, this example is proof that even larger companies still make mistakes.

Example 4

Email marketing is one of the few guaranteed ways to get in front of your target audience for free. While your audience can easily subscribe to your emails, they can just as easily delete, move your email to a junk folder, or (even worse) report your company as spam. Don't ruin this opportunity. Double and triple check your work before sending. What are some common email types that you’ve received? Share them below!

About the Author

Sarah Corley
Sarah Corley
Sarah works as a marketing specialist at WSOL where she helps clients put their best digital foot forward online. She has been the driving force in defining company culture at WSOL. As a co-leader of the Chicago HubSpot User Group, Sarah is dedicated to creating a community where developers, marketers and sales teams make the web a better place. She worked for Nestle Toll House on their campaign, Bake Some Good, as a national brand ambassador and even baked her way to set a Guinness World Record. She has Bachelor of Science degrees in graphic design, journalism and public relations.
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