The right strategy is the key to successful email marketing. Without it, you could be marked as spam. If you use deceitful (even if by accident) subject lines, email people who haven’t opted in, or even something as simple as sending the wrong email to the wrong list, you can be marked as spam. If enough people mark your emails as spam, you can be blocked from email marketing. You can make simple and completely innocent mistakes and still end up in trouble for spamming. I once worked with someone who mass emailed his contacts (without BCC) and ended up causing the company to get a fine for spamming. It was an innocent mistake, but it didn’t change the cost of the fine.

In my early marketing days, I made a mistake or two or twelve. One mistake I made was launching an email sequence to an unsegmented list. I meant to send it to non-customers within a certain location, but instead, I sent it to everyone on my list within that location.  Those customers were frustrated that they got an email that didn’t make sense for them, I was frustrated that I made a dumb mistake. The plus? I accidentally re-engaged some customers who were no longer using our services and wanted to set-up a call to get updated quotes.


Email marketing can be extremely successful if done right. But the cons are big cons. With the wrong strategy, email marketing can turn off a potential customer and that relationship might never recover.

If you decide to go forward with email marketing, start with a proper strategy. First, build your list through content marketing with content upgrades like worksheets, eBooks, or swipe files. Next, segment your list so you are sending the right emails to the right people.

A good place to start with segmentation is by job title and/or industry. After that, engage authentically. Write email sequences that add value to your list. Last, be consistent. Make sure you stay top of mind and continue to build that relationship. In the end, your subscriber might just pop the question.


Sarah Noel Block has been working with tiny marketing departments for over ten years to streamline, systemize, automate, and outsource, expanding the bandwidth of a tiny team. Learn more at

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