#emailmarketingfail: Wrong Name, Zero Opt-In

Since I write regularly for my martial arts program and my employer, this blog has taken a bit of a backseat. Until now.

Often I find myself scratching my head at the email marketing messages I am sent by organizations.

For more than a year, I’ve made a serious effort to up my email marketing game (among other marketing aspects). All the while, I see other organizations seem to have not supported their email marketers.

Making a flub is okay, in my book – it happens. However, I like to call it the egregious #emailmarketingfails, usually via hashtag. Sometimes, though, 140 characters isn’t enough.

For now, I will not reveal any information about the sender. Nor will I include a screenshot so as not to give away the sender’s organization. That seems irrelevant to me at this point.

Here we go…

Thursday morning, 8:49 a.m.

I receive an email from a company with whom I have no recollection of interacting.

Subject line: Meeting Request

A pretty poor subject line for someone you’ve never interacted with before. Why would you try to schedule a meeting with me if I’ve never interacted with you? Even if I’ve only filled out one form on your website, I’m probably not ready to buy.

I assume at this point my email was distributed via a list since I didn’t recognize the sender’s name or company. I was ready to delete the email right then until I read the first line.

Hi Akansh,

Seriously? You can’t even get the first name field right? I know I’ve never submitted any form as an “Akansh.” My alias is way better than that.

Clearly this marketer – the Director of Business Development & Strategic Partnerships – is incompetent at developing business. Or he cultivates stupid leads who buy into this ridiculous email marketing method.

Because I didn’t want to be on the receiving end of any future marketing, I thought I would send him a message.

Hi —,

You’ve got the wrong email here. Please remove me from your mailing list.


After all, the email he’d sent wasn’t part of a mass campaign – there was no unsubscribe button. With no response from the sender, I figured he’d taken care of it.

Thursday afternoon, 3:17 p.m.

So imagine my surprise six hours later when I get one of their newsletters in my inbox.

How quick do you think I unsubscribed and marked that email as spam?


  1. Don’t buy lists.
  2. Make sure your data is correct.
  3. If you send a regular email to someone and they ask you to cease communications, do it.
  4. Additionally, always include an unsubscribe link as many of any email campaign. Let people filter themselves out so you’re not trying to target them, and focus on growing your list organically.


By Adam Bockler

Adam Bockler is a B2B marketing professional, a black belt martial arts instructor, DDP Yoga instructor, and a personal trainer.

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