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15 Simple Steps to Ruin Your Blog with Email

How to Ruin Your Blog with EmailMy latest project in the 31DBBB, was to read 27 expert blog posts. The assigned reading included a post by Seth Godin titled, “How to send a personal email.” Using his tip list, I’ve created the corollary, explaining how to alienate your readers in a few, simple steps.

Feel free to make additions in the comments!

  1. Send identical emails to enormous mailing lists.
  2. Copy and paste all you can. If you inadvertently mess up and call someone the wrong name, don’t worry, no one will notice.
  3. The salutation makes no difference. Use whatever your program default is. Even it is says, “My darling and alluring reader.” We’re all friends here.
  4. Don’t worry about formatting in your salutation. That just wastes time. Just merge the thing and be done with it. The important thing is to get that email sent.
  5. Send lots of HTML and images. You need to look like a professional emailer.
  6. Boca Raton, Florida (WWO) March 19, 2010 — Win with 1 published their communication advice this morning. “Make your email look like a press release,” said AM Smith, owner and professional blogger.
  7. The longer the better. If you have important information to extend to readers — and I know you do — you want to make sure that they don’t miss a single detail. Minutia is crucial. Fill your email with everything you can think of to keep the reader on task with the email as long as you possibly can. If you can’t think of something interesting or personal to write, just keep on going. Eventually you will happen across something worth reading. And besides, these people have nothing better to do.
  8. Emailing is time consuming and you have more important things to worry about. Don’t bother unless you need something. Like money.
  9. Never include contact information. Seriously, do you want these people to interrupt your life?
  10. Always mark your emails triple-red-flag, read-me-this-second-or-the-economy-will-fail urgent. You are the master.
  11. Misleading headlines are only trumped by those that are cute as a bug. Straight talk is boring.
  12. If your first email doesn’t get the results you want, just send another.
  13. Ignore the CAN-SPAM Act. We’re about results, people.
  14. If you have access to an email, it’s yours to do with as you please. Send, send, send!
{ 17 comments… add one }
  • Tina T March 19, 2010, 3:53 pm

    I t really ticks me off when a blogger takes the email that I used to post a comment and just goes ahead and adds me to their mailing list. I got such a kick out of your list, because I’ve seen all of these, and often, the more of a “professional blogger” they claim to be, the more likely it is to happen.

    Thanks for the chuckle.
    .-= Tina T´s last blog ..4 Signs That He May Be the One =-.

  • Alison Moore Smith March 19, 2010, 4:32 pm

    That’s a great addition, gathering the links from comments. Not really a great way to encourage commenting, eh?

  • Suhasini March 20, 2010, 1:25 pm

    Nice article Alison, I missed quite a few because had my MBA papers and now its worth visiting your blog after a small interval.

  • Ileane March 21, 2010, 5:26 am

    Hi Alison,

    What about use a subject line that has nothing to do with the content of the email. That should do some fine damage. HA!

    .-= Ileane @Blogging´s last blog ..What’s More Important? Your SEO or Your Readers? =-.

  • Foliendruck March 26, 2010, 6:38 am

    Thanks for the great contribution. Read your blog regularly and I like your posts.

  • Austin March 26, 2010, 11:09 am

    Another one that will surely not get you anywhere, is copying email addresses from a friends forwarded email, who he/she has sent out to a select few friends, something funny usually. I’ve had that happen before, all of the sudden I start getting an email update from some musician I’ve never heard of! Then I figure out he’s a friend of a friend. Terrible!

  • Alison Moore Smith March 26, 2010, 5:03 pm

    Amen to that, Austin. And let’s add a big spankdown to people who forward email to everyone on the planet and don’t blind copy the mailing list!

  • Alison Moore Smith March 26, 2010, 5:04 pm

    Actually, I think anyone who forwards emails should be flogged on that one infraction alone!

  • Keller Hawthorne April 16, 2010, 7:33 pm

    Hilarious and sad all at the same time Alison! I love the way you put this post together. I read it to my husband and he cracked up :).
    .-= Keller Hawthorne´s last blog ..How to Use Testimonials to Drastically Improve Your Blog’s Success =-.

  • Alison Moore Smith April 17, 2010, 11:31 am

    Thanks, Keller!

  • Ari Herzog January 8, 2011, 11:27 pm

    In response to Tina about bloggers using email addresses of commenters to send whatever, first take note if the blogger has a comment policy. I do, and it’s a few lines above the commenting form. I just installed a new plugin that sends commenters an automatic email notifying them about replies to their comment; and I mention this in the comment policy.

    And, second, take note if the email you are sent from the blogger has a notice at the bottom that you’re not subscribed but if you want to subscribe click whatever and if you want out, click whatever else. Related, keep in mind many (and many companies) are ignorant about the federal law.
    Read Ari Herzog’s inCREDible post…Why Social Media Does Not Bring Us CloserMy Profile

  • Ana September 23, 2011, 12:33 pm

    The “best” part of this is when you actually receive some of those chain mails saying that you’ll die in the following couple of days if you don’t do..whatever their silly ritual is these days.

  • Tim Ryan October 2, 2011, 10:18 am

    This is a great list of what not to do’s. Absolutely no one wants junk mail. People pretty much make quick judgments about whether or not something is of value or interesting. I used to see see a lot of “Insert Name Here” kind of headings in the subject line. That’s not going to work now. Users have become too savvy for that. Emails today have got to be more trustworthy.
    Read Tim Ryan’s inCREDible post…Jim Cramer Optimistic on FL Real EstateMy Profile

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