10 phrases to avoid in your email marketing

When it comes to email marketing, words matter. The words you choose and phrases you construct could mean the difference between recipients clicking through, becoming more engaged with your brand or sending your email to the junk folder. Worse yet, choose the wrong words and your database could unsubscribe en masse. That’s why knowing which phrases to include and which to avoid is so important. To get you started, here are our top 10 phrases to avoid in your email marketing messages…

10. Act now – don’t wait!

Instilling a sense of urgency in your recipients is a good thing to do. Doing it in this way is not. Not only can phrases like this trigger spam filters, but they sound urgent without having anything to back it up. Instead of saying act now, be specific. Tell recipients what they have to do and by when in order to take advantage of your offer, sale etc.

9. With 25 years’ experience…

Not only is this clichéd, it doesn’t work. So what if you have 25 years’ experience?

It doesn’t mean you have the right offer for your recipients. In fact, it doesn’t even prove you’re good at what you do! Sure, length of service means you know the marketplace – but it could also be taken to mean that you’re outdated. Instead, focus on the benefits your longevity brings, i.e. ‘Our experiencedstaff can answer all your questions’.

8. In today’s competitive market…

This is fluff – and as any good email marketer will know, fluff doesn’t cut it. First of all, the ‘market’ is different for every single recipient, even if they work in the same sector. Secondly, is it competitive? Have you really taken the time to find out? A phrase like this could imply you’re using words for words’ sake; as filler to pad out your email. Instead, target your recipients individually – for example, you could make reference to the number of similar companies operating within their industry. Keep your message honest and relevant.

7. No purchase necessary! taken the time to find out?

A phrase like this could imply you’re using words for words’ sake; as filler to pad out your email. Instead, target your recipients individually – for example, you could make reference to the number of similar companies operating within their industry. Keep your message honest and relevant.

Not only could this phrase see your message automatically sent to the Junk folder by email hosts like Outlook or Gmail, but most of the time, it’s dishonest. Let’s face it – 99 per cent of the time, recipients will have to do something to take advantage of whatever you’re selling/offering. Purchase or not, they’ll have to take an action – so don’t mislead them. Be clear about what you expect in return.

6. Back by popular demand!

Again, aside from being clichéd and off-putting, this phrase is likely to trigger spam filters. As an alternative, why not say how many units you’ve sold already, or how many people have signed up to your service. You could try ‘1,000 of your peers are using us – find out why’ or ’We service 59 businesses in your local area…’

5. All you have to do is…

As we said earlier, do be specific about what recipients have to do to take advantage of any offers within your email. Avoid this phrase though, as it can have negative connotations – especially the ‘all’ part. For example, if you say ‘all you have to do is like our Facebook page’ or ‘all you have to do is send us a letter in the mail’, you’re already alienating parts of your audience. What if they don’t have a Facebook account or aren’t au fait with social media? What if they can’t get out of the house easily, so posting something isn’t actually that easy?

4. Satisfaction guaranteed!

There’s a simple rule and a simple reason on this one – don’t use it. If you do, you’re a) likely to set off the spam filters and b) aligning your product with some slightly more ahem) adult products that are sold via email due to the word ‘satisfaction’. Think about it…

3. In the very near future…

Thought not limited to this phrase specifically, this is a good example of where one word can replace four or five. Keep your messages concise, otherwise readers will switch off. For example, ‘in the very near future’ could be replaced with ‘soon’, or ‘shortly’. Why say ‘doing this will keep you one step ahead of other businesses in your industry’ when it boils down to two words – competitive advantage? A good tip is to write out what you want to say in your email, then try to cut it by one-third.

2. Check out our closing-down sale…

Not only is this unspecific, it also implies there’s a time limit within which recipients must check it out – when we all know that in reality, it can take weeks or even months for a business to close down or liquidate. Instead of being vague, tell recipients what they can do right now. They don’t care about what will be on offer in a few weeks.

1. As you know…

We get it – you’re trying to create a common bond between you and your recipient… But if they already know it, why are you telling them? No-one likes to be lectured or patronised, so instead of telling them what they know, just tell them how your product or service relates to it. You could find you receive a much better reception.




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Becky Hesilrige
Becky Hesilrige
Becky is the Content Marketing Manager at Pure360. She studied Sociology and conducted her dissertation on online communication and relationships. Follow Becky on Twitter @beckyhesilrige
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