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Three Email "Oops" Moments and How to Avoid Them

It's our job as email marketers to avoid simple mistakes that can ruin the effectiveness of otherwise well thought-out campaigns. Below you'll find three real-life examples where fundamental email marketing elements – personalization, dynamic content, and captivating subject lines – have been used incorrectly. Sometimes even the best of us let errors slip through the cracks, so I thought I'd share some of these common pitfalls with you.

Inaccurate personalization
In the first example the subscriber's name is replaced by an obvious piece of placeholder text – "Mr. Soandso." (That's email-speak for Mr. So-And-So, for those of you scoring at home.)

Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 In this case there was a follow-up apology email in just under two hours.

Questions to consider:
- Was the damage already done with an incorrect, and possibly offensive, first name?
- Should a follow-up email have been sent?

Missing dynamic content
In this second example we see what can happen when dynamic content does not populate correctly. In this case there should have been a list of recipients and gifts they received. Instead, this part of the email is blank.

Misspelled, poorly punctuated subject lines
The last example concerns a subject line with missing punctuation. The subject line received was "Hurry Sale Starts Today – New Items Just Reduced!" What exactly is a "Hurry Sale?" How about a comma? The subject line should have been "Hurry, Sale Starts Today – New Items Just Reduced!"

Avoiding these mistakes is really quite simple – test dynamic content, test personalization, and proofread subject lines. If you can, get a second set of eyes to help you proofread and test everything before it goes out.

Do you have any examples of email mistakes? How do these errors reflect on the email sender? How do these mistakes make the recipient feel? Let me know your opinion!

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