Several people have compared my obsession with refining ROI and open rates to a religion, so I took the logical next step and identified the sinful motivations behind seven common email marketing traps.

The deadly sins according to Christianity are pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth. All of those seven sins can prove tempting to the email marketer in a hurry, and they can have a seriously negative impact.

If you're interested in optimizing your campaigns at all, you'll steer well clear of the following email marketing sins...

1. Pride

All the results of your most recent email campaign are an enormous success—not just good, but better than anything you've ever done before!


For me, incredibly good statistics are just as much a warning sign as incredibly bad statistics. Your first instinct must always be to take a closer look at what's going on, and then relate to each other all the statistics you're seeing... Are those phenomenal open rates also translating into click-throughs? Are those click-throughs translating into conversions? (And so on.)

Pride in your work is great, but remember that software and people can both act in some very odd ways. Be sure to track every anomalous result to its source before you break out the champagne.

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image of James Duval
James Duval is a technology and business expert for GKBC and a freelance journalist.