washable rugs a puppy and email copywriting mistakesA rug, a puppy, and a lesson in email copywriting…

You might wonder why this post on email copywriting includes a picture of an adorable puppy. Well, here’s why: A few months ago, I bought a rug from Ruggable for our kitchen. Last week we brought home a puppy. Still confused? Hang on…

If you’re not familiar with Ruggable, it’s a washable rug. And if you’re not familiar with puppies, let me tell you that house training a puppy means you need a washable rug!

This kitchen rug has worked out better than I had hoped. It’s lovely to look at, comfortable to stand on, distressed-looking to hide stains, and long enough to cover more of the floor in front of my workspace than my old rug…which is important to me because I spend a lot of time in the kitchen.

I have loved everything about the rug, so much so I bought two more for the mudroom. (When you live on 22 acres that turn to mud in the Pacific Northwet winter, washable rugs are a must in the mudroom!)

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a washable rug and a puppy and email copywriting mistakesAnd as you can see in these pictures, the kitchen rug has been a hit with the puppy too.

But there is one thing I have not liked about Ruggable: the barrage of emails in my inbox, a barrage that undoes any hard work their marketing team did on their email copywriting.

As a retired email copywriter, it’s frustrating to see emails blasted out like this. And it works against the marketer’s goal, because “too many emails” is the number 2 reason people unsubscribe from emails!

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You want to grow your email list, not shrink it, right? And you want your emails to get opened and engaged with too.

So here are three things not do if you want all that hard work of email copywriting to actually work…

One: Don’t opt me into a list without my permission. I didn’t sign up for emails from Ruggable. I wanted to save the rugs I was looking at on their website and I had to hand over my email address to do so. Then the barrage started. Instead, make sure you ask for permission, meaning asking the consumer to sign up for your emails.

Two: Don’t make me tell you to send fewer emails. If you’re showing up in my inbox multiple times a day and I am not engaging with any of your emails, you’re obviously showing up far too often. So stop. Instead, you can filter out the unengaged to a different list that sends fewer emails. You can send a message that links to a preference center to allow the consumer to choose the frequency. You can…you get the idea.

Don’t keep sending the same message over and over and over again. If almost every sales email you send me offers a discount or tells me the sale is about to end, I stop believing you. It becomes noise. I don’t jump at the offer because I know there will be another offer. Instead, get creative and send different types of messages.

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Which leads me to what Ruggable did right:

  • Do send the non-sales sales email. Ruggable recently sent a reminder email with tips on how to wash their rugs. I opened that one! I needed the reminder, because, well, the puppy.

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I can think of several other types of emails Ruggable could send that would be engaging and helpful, meaning the email copywriting would be read. Not every email has to be a sales email! In fact, when every email is a sales email, it’s a turnoff. Sometimes send useful emails instead:

  • How about tips for choosing a style of rug?
  • Or advice on how to know what size? (Is the sofa supposed to be on the area rug or not? What size rug fits my dining room table? Etc.)
  • Ruggable pushes swapping out your rugs, so advice on storing the rug you’re not using would be good.
  • How about an email on stain removal, just in case?
  • Or tips for how to make your rug last longer would also be useful.

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Ruggable has an innovative product that I love, and their emails seem to be attractive. But I can’t tell you if their email copywriting is any good or not because I don’t open the emails. There are too many and they are too sales-y.

My final word on the do’s and don’ts? Do be like Ruggable with a useful product that makes your customers’ lives easier. But don’t be like Ruggable by thwarting the hard work of your email copywriting team with too many emails. Do send useful emails that go beyond selling. And do enjoy the puppy pictures. 🙂

Sharon Ernst is a freelance editor and writer at www.weknowwords.com, a teacher and coach at www.betterfasterwriter.com. And a farmer and planet saver at www.literalroadfarm.com.