No one does a better job at making hard work look easy than small businesses.

No matter how high customers set their expectations, small businesses continue to rise to the occasion and provide those “wow” experiences that keep them coming back.

But when it comes to email marketing, some mistakes can make even the hardest working businesses look lazy.

And you don’t want to look like a lazy email marketer do you?

Here are 7 signs to watch out for:


1. You don’t have a plan

You can’t expect to see results from your email marketing without a plan. Set goals for your business and design strategies to help you reach them. That will help drive your marketing efforts and make you a more effective email marketer.

2. You ignore spam complaints

Spam complaints are your customers’ way of telling you that you’re doing something wrong. If you’re ignoring those complaints, you’re ignoring your customers. It’s like saying their thoughts aren’t worth your time. Keeping track of your reports only takes a few minutes and can have a huge impact on your email marketing results.

3. You don’t ask for permission

“Would you like to receive our monthly newsletter?”

“Do you mind if I add your email address to our list of contacts?”

“Are you interested in hearing from us through email?”

It doesn’t take much time, but it can make a big difference. Always ask before you add anyone to your contact list.

4. You violate the CAN-SPAM Act

The CAN-SPAM Act is designed to protect consumers from email marketing’s worst-practices. As an email marketer, you should know the practices that can get your business into trouble before you start sending emails. It doesn’t mean you have to sleep with a copy of best-practices under your pillow, but it does mean taking a few minutes to learn the basics.

5. You send too much email

Sending too much email is one way of showing your customers that you’re less interested in learning what they want and more interested in worrying what you want. “Sell! Sell! Sell” is not email marketing, its lazy self-promotion.

6. You buy email lists

Anytime you choose to pay for results rather than earn them, you look lazy. Don’t take shortcuts. It’s just as easy to grow your list the right way as it is to do it the wrong way. Give your customers a way to sign up by putting a form in your place of business and provide a way for your customers to join your list online and on social media.

7. You don’t protect your contact list

No one is going to trust a business that can’t protect their contact information. Sharing your list, on purpose or accidently, makes you look unorganized and unwilling to take the steps to protect your customers.

Bottom Line

You’ve set the bar high for your business in the work that you do each day and your email marketing should reflect that too. Watch out for the signs above so no one can ever accuse you of being a lazy email marketer.


Do you know of any other signs that make email marketers look lazy? Tell us in the comments.