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Take a look at this example of email marketing and our quick list of some of the key things to avoid when building your email campaigns:


1. Be accurate.

They’re telling me that since signing up in 2009 I’ve mapped 10 runs and for this they’re congratulating me. I’m no personal trainer but even I can tell that’s not ‘epic’. Bit pathetic? Yes. Downright lazy? Definitely. Had they had the guts to say as much I probably would have commended their bravery, had a little laugh then gone for a run.

2. Be personal.

This one isn’t. It’s a one-size fits all, template approach and not bespoke to me, their customer, which is irritating. They’re not segmenting or personalising it in any way.  It doesn’t have my name it in, it doesn’t really even say hello. Do at least say hello.

3. Language is important.

Words like ‘epic’ are cheesy, slang and in this particular context just totally inaccurate. Don’t even get me started on the spontaneous fist pumps.  This use of American language shows me again that they’re not tailoring it in any way and it’s non-geographically segmented.

4. Do make sure you set up your social integration properly.

In this instance the links haven’t been set up properly: when I click through to share this ‘epic’ achievement with my friends it’s so generic that it skips out the number of runs entirely…


5. Design is really important.

There are no images, no running tips, no stories of someone similar to me recently running a half marathon – it’s not exciting or inspiring in any way, just a ploy to get me to spend more on their product. Whatever you do, at least make it look nice.


I could go on but I won’t because a) it’s not very constructive and b) I have some serous running to do.  But let me say this –  if you put the work in, email marketing can be a highly productive way of connecting with your audiences.

If you’re going to use email marketing, try and avoid these errors so you can stand out from the crowd.