When you’re an elementary school kid, Thursday is “Opposite Day.” In that same youthful spirit: Instead of offering tips for effective messaging that adheres to best practices and pleases–rather than angers–consumers, we’re going to showcase an example of what NOT to do.

Recently our office received this email (two screen shots are of the same message) from what seems to be a  company called Believe Audio:

First off, the message didn\’t even come to  the  specific email address; it came to something called \”Believe Audio Mailing List.\” We have no idea how our accounts got on this list to begin with, nor the email address/addresses to which these guys were actually sending.

It gets better. The top of the message says  that recipients can remove themselves from the company’s mailing list by replying to the email with REMOVE in the subject line.  However: In the first screen shot notice that the sender leaves out the \”from address\”! There is also no \”reply-to address\” when you try to reply to the email. Thus,  when you add REMOVE in the subject line, it doesn\’t matter because you can not send the email to anyone.

To be sure, you  can see in the second screen shot that a \”mail-to address\” does appear in the header stamp further down, in Outlook. So yes,  the recipient is able to send the sender a message asking to be removed. But the company sure made it hard to do so.

The  kicker?  These guys  use Spam Arrest, a program that makes message-senders confirm they are not a robot spamming. Thus, you need to enter in a word that is displayed on the screen in order for your removal request to be sent–to the person who spammed YOU in the first place!

Now it’s time to state the obvious:

1. This company should only send  email to  addresses whose owners have opted-in to receive these specific types of messages.
2. The message should show the address to which the message is being sent.
3. The message  should show the company’s “from address” and let someone reply easily, without having to go through a challenge response system like Spam Arrest.
4. This company needs to provide an opt-out link in all its messages that will–RIGHT AWAY–remove recipients from the mailing list.

Here’s a fifth  fact: Believe Audio should read up on best practices for email marketing, and then stick to them. We suggest our white paper, Digital Marketing Best Practices for Geniuses. A more ironic title was never written.

Eydie Cubarrubia, Marketing Communications Manager, mobileStorm

“I’d rather you text me”