Avoiding Misleading Email Marketing Text
Most consumers receive so much email that they’re simply looking for any excuse to opt out or automatically delete or filter out business emails. Prevent your business from losing customers by avoiding deceptive language in your email marketing materials using the suggestions below.
Don’t think that because you don’t intend to mislead customers that you’re not. The understanding people get from your language can vary widely and just because you don’t mean to mislead consumers doesn’t mean you aren’t misleading them.
Any time you’re offering a coupon that has a long list of exclusions, it’s time to consider rewording your offer. Instead of having a laundry list of exclusion to your 10 percent off, instead have your email list the items that customers can use the coupon for to get their 10 percent off. A positive statement frequently works better than a negative, especially if you have a lot of exclusions.
Consider whether you’ve added a new tier of discounts to your products to determine whether you need to re-word your coupons to avoid a long list of exclusions to your coupon. Unintentionally, by adding new sales and new levels of clearance, such as final clearance to your ordinary clearance products, your coupon’s list of things it doesn’t apply to will gradually become so long that consumers either won’t use it or will become frustrated when they realize they can’t use it.
Never advertise that a consumer gets something half-off and then add the words “with the purchase of one regularly priced item.” While this language is very common in email marketing, it leaves consumers with a bad taste in their mouths as they read about an offer only to find out that it’s really a 25-percent offer off two items rather than a 50-percent-off offer. If you’re doing a buy one get half off a second one of any item, then say it clearly.
Always communicate how much a consumer has to spend if an offer you’re making depends on the total amount of a sale. Coupons that indicate 50 percent off in large text, right up front in an email only to later inform a consumer that the customer has to first spend $400 leave consumers feeling misled. Using language that indicates, “Spend X, and get Y off,” may not seem as eloquent to you when you’re writing your email marketing materials but will better communicate with your customer.
Match up your subject line with your offer so that the customer’s expectations are met regarding your content in all your email marketing materials.
If your email is designed to tease your customer into going to another one of your sites to get the rest of the story or take advantage of an offer, consider using marketing material other than email in order to avoid customer frustration.
Even if you don’t intentionally mislead customers, email marketing materials can cost you customers if their language can be deemed deceptive. Use the suggestions above for avoiding common types of email marketing that can make customers feel deceived.