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EEC shows how not to send email

The Email Experience Council is the email marketing arm of the Direct Marketing Association. They recently sent out a mailing that demonstrated what not to do when sending email, including:

  • sending out multiple copies of an email to the same recipients
  • sending offers from a third party to recipients who did not opt-in for third party mail
  • sending mail from a unrecognized address
  • sending an offer of no interest to many of their recipients

In addition to the email mistakes, they also made some serious marketing mistakes, such as

  • leaving out the branding
  • leaving out personalization

The execution of this mailing was abysmal.
I have no direct experience with the EEC, but if they are truly leaders in the email industry, then they will use this experience with email gone horribly wrong as an example. There are lessons here, for the EEC and for all email marketers. Ideally, those lessons will be learned and shared in detail so that other marketers will not repeat these mistakes.
Other articles on this: BeRelevant, Ken Magill, EmailKarma, EEC.

5 comments

  1. DJ Waldow says

    Laura –
    Great summary. I’ve been following this one pretty closely as I know the folks over at the EEC and also was the recipient of all 3 emails. Interesting that everyone has their own spin on the whole situation. You’ve highlighted the biggies: Tamara (check out the comments also), Ken, Matt, EEC. Actually kinda surprise that Al Iverson has remained quiet. Al – you out there? It was also mentioned in the world of Twitter quite a bit today.
    I think the obvious, simple question is:
    Why did they even bother to send that message in the first place?
    However, one positive takeaway is the amount of chatter this created. I know…for the wrong reasons, but at least people are talking about it. At least folks realize it was a mistake. I think a year ago, maybe even 6 months ago, this would have gone pretty much unnoticed.
    The industry and the community is growing. More and more bloggers, twitters, social networks, google/yahoo groups, etc that are talking and debating email marketing. Ultimately, this will serve to hold organizations accountable and force best practices – if merely for the fact of being called out when a mistake is made.
    I think we are still moving in the right direction, but not forward every step. 2 steps forward, 1 back?
    dj at bronto

  2. Kevin says

    Why it’s almost hard to believe that any group billing itself as the “Email Experience Council” would be generally bad at email marketing, heh.
    After years in the online marketing field I’ve found time and again that the worst purveyors of online marketing expertise are the “organizations” and “associations”. Their content is great stuff for cocktail circuit chatter among the prada hand creme and appletini AdTech set, but if you’re actually in the business it’s pretty useless. You know the content, sites and blogs that cite surveys and whitepapers that are surveys of their peers who know about as much as they do.
    A A quick review of their site does nothing to dissuade me from this general view. Lots of stuff that’s probably interesting to the hoi polloi, but not much for people on the ground. The first few posts on their blog are:
    “Two-Click Survey Results: How Much Do You Segment Your Emails?” [useless survey: check]
    “‘I Was Told There Would Be No Math.'” [using standard deviation in your analysis, somewhat interesting]
    “Good Intentions Gone Bad” [a post explaining their mistake referenced in this post]
    “The Bright Side of ISP Complaints” [we should analyze the yield of our FBLs? o rly?]
    “Romper Room and the Email Industry” [shout out to the cocktail circuit set’s luminaries]
    “Weekly Whitepaper Room Refresh” [whitepaper plug]
    “Are Email Marketers Snobs Who Have Forgotten Their Roots?” [plugging eROI whitepaper]
    I’ll stick with blogs like Word to the Wise for now, heh. The organizations are pretty much useless.

  3. Andrei says

    Further more those emails didn’t had an unsubscribe link. And was also strange that the emails seam to be send out through an other system, different from what EEC use… and this looks like someone sold the database.

  4. Word to the Wise » Followup to EEC spamming says

    […] this seems contrary to my post on the EEC mailing from last week, it is. I was giving the EEC the benefit of the doubt. Taking […]

  5. EEC Followup at Word to the Wise says

    […] was just forwarded email from the DMA about the EEC issue. To their credit, the DMA took the problem seriously. The email says:  I wanted to contact […]

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