Nope. Nope, nope, nope, nope. That's what I think every time I see an email with "RE:" in the subject line but it's clearly not from someone I've emailed. Tricking people into opening your email is NEVER a good idea. It might get you more opens, but you've also made your prospect feel like a boob and potentially wasted their time.

Here's a list of similarly slimy habits that marketers need to quit this year:

  1. Trick Subject Lines/Clickbait Headlines:
    Your aim with email or content is not just to get the recipient to open/click. Hopefully, you have a clear message and call-to-action that aligns with your campaign goal. If your prospects aren't engaging, you might need a re-write to draw them in. If it still doesn't get people's interest, then it's time to completely rethink your topic and messaging.
  2. Usurping Socially Motivated Hashtags:
    Shame on you if you're even thinking about taking advantage of the hashtag that's trending because of a natural disaster or social awareness campaign. Unless you're contributing something of value to the conversation, back away from the keyboard.
  3. Fudging Numbers:
    If you fabricate stats about the quality of your product or service, your customers will find out eventually. And creating an expectation that you can't meet leads to unhappy and disloyal customers.
  4. Denying Mistakes:
    Brands are made up of people, and people make mistakes. It's better to admit when you've made an error than risk that the public will think you had bad intentions all along.
  5. Impossible Pop-Ups:
    Banners that look like part of a UX, pop-ups that you can't easily close, ads that persistantly cover a portion of your content - all of these things are sure to irritate your audience and inspire them to go elsewhere to find what they're looking for.
  6. Autoplay:
    It's never not annoying.

Photo by Mann Chhabra on Unsplash