Email is a veteran in comparison to other digital marketing channels, but it's still an evolving medium. When errors occur, avoid Googled DIY solutions and call in the experts.

Email is no longer an emerging channel – it is considered a staple for marketers. As it has evolved, so has marketers' understanding of the channel.

Despite the knowledge and expertise in the industry, the fact remains that Googling email best practice doesn’t make you an expert.

Recently, I was working with a team that was asking questions about spam words and their impact on deliverability. Rather than answer the question right away, I started asking some questions specifically around why they were asking.


As it turns out, the brand was having some deliverability issues and looked to the Internet to understand possible causes of deliverability challenges. 

And there it was: a list of words to avoid in your email campaigns to better ensure inbox placement and delivery. I believe that article was dated 2002, which is a lifetime ago in email marketing years and not a relevant concern in today’s email world.


The email marketing landscape is constantly changing and in order to keep up on what is happening, you need to have people living and breathing email every day.

Whether these people work for your brand directly, an agency or an ESP, in order to truly get expertise, you need someone focused on the channel.

Here are some things to consider:

When working in marketing for a brand

The focus tends to be on marketing and selling more widgets. Expertise is in the brand and the customer - attempting to truly understand what motivates them to take action and become loyal.

I once had a client tell me that their job was to keep planes in the air, (Read more...) of what department they worked in, but knowing and translating the channels was my job.

Is it critical to understand the fundamentals? Absolutely. But it is an unreasonable expectation to assume that a member of the brand team should be on top of whatever inbox provider is throwing deliverability problems at brands this week – or one of many other email channel specific challenges, which can arise on a daily basis.


Not all email platforms are the same

Just because you have worked on one platform, does not mean that you have worked on them all. This means that when migrating from one platform to another, it is not safe to assume that all of the SLA’s and functional requirements will be exactly as they once were.

It is important that every detailed requirement is shared at the beginning, so that every consideration can be made in accommodating or addressing the need.

The same holds true when implementing a new program on an existing platform. Clearly defining and stating all requirements upfront allows for proper planning and execution for the launch of the program.

Just because it can be Googled, doesn’t mean it is accurate

Not everything you read as a result of a Google search should be applied to your email program as best practice today.


It may have been accurate 10 years ago or whenever the content was written, but the email channel, best practices, functionality, and capabilities are always evolving.

Because of this, content can become dated very quickly. Your program has its own unique set of challenges that should be considered before trying to solve major problems.


So yes - email marketing has been around for a while now, and those working in proximity to the channel have some understanding of how it works and how to use it. This knowledge and understanding helps to run and manage your email program in a “business as usual” status. But when you see issues or want to try something new or different – call in the experts.

Article images via Flickr. 

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