emails on a laptop screen

What not to do in an email campaign

Estimated reading time: 3 min

Once you send an email, it’s impossible to recall it back. Once you send an email with a mistake, you can kiss your reputation goodbye.

In the case of MTV bringing their popular television show, MTV Unplugged, to New Zealand, their advertising strategy left a lot to be desired.

MTV vs. Millennials

Earlier this year, in June, when MTV announced that they were doing an Unplugged series in New Zealand, Millennials across the nation rejoiced.

For those that don’t know, MTV Unplugged is a television show which features artists performing stripped back versions of their hit songs. The show has been featuring artists since 1989, so you can imagine the excitement when MTV NZ announced this news on Facebook.

The artist they’d chosen to feature in the first ever episode of MTV Unplugged NZ was Maala, a singer-songwriter of electric-pop music. Tickets were free but limited. To enter, you had to submit your details and await an email.

Email #1

email-1

In the excitement of winning tickets, it’s understandable that we could forgive the use of Times New Roman and just the overall lacklustre layout in this email sent en masse to all winners.

On closer inspection, there are a few more things wrong with this.

Email received 07th July, which is a Friday. Instructions are to RSVP by Monday 10th July to confirm tickets.

What is wrong with this? Firstly, for those that entered with their work emails, or don’t check emails on the weekend, it’s likely that this email would go unread by many until recipients were back into the work groove on Monday.

Secondly, three days can be considered a bit short notice to make plans.

Thirdly, Wednesday 12th August, 2017, doesn’t exist! It did in the year 2015, but unfortunately, time travel isn’t an option just yet.

Email #2

email-2massive-facepalm-gif

Well, that’s embarrassing! We can either assume that this little big mistake missed the multiple rounds of test emails, or that the marketing team skipped testing completely. At least they finally realised that serif fonts weren’t the best way to convey their messages.

A few things to take note:

  • Not a good first impression about MTV NZ (or the teams behind it)!
  • This email was sent Friday 7th July, promoting an event that’s only five days away.
  • They called the wrong date a “typo”, as though someone has misspelt “July”. Close enough.

Email #3

Do you think they got the hint that a single weekend wasn’t enough to wait for RSVPs? Or perhaps people found they couldn’t make it on Wednesday, 12th August, 2015?

Either way, they extended the RSVP date until the morning before the event. They also jumped back on board the serif train and still haven’t learnt that the way to communicate with digital natives is either through gifs, cat videos, or really, anything with a picture and a splash of colour.

This is a prime example of what not to do

So, MTV Unplugged hit New Zealand’s shores with quite a splash, and probably not in the best way. They also sent me an email confirming my tickets three times. Did this mean I had two tickets or six? Very confusing.

All in all, it’s a great example of how badly a brand’s reputation can be hurt by a few simple rookie mistakes. The whole event felt rushed, and while it progressed somewhat smoothly on the day, we can all learn that emails are still very important!

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