Some may decry the advent of political correctness in our email marketing text, but it is nonetheless imperative to ensure that the content of your campaigns does not offend any group among its audience. Your text should strive to be fully neutral when it comes to ethnicity and demographic factors.

Maintaining Gender Neutrality

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences is holding fast to its “Best Actress” Oscars, but other awards, such as the Screen Actors Guild, have already graduated to “Best Female Actor” nominations. Your email marketing campaign content should always be strictly gender neutral as “femalized” terms are viewed as highly objectionable by a considerable percentage of your female audience. For example: actress, poetress, comedienne, heroine, executress and starlet are completely verboten. Instead, use gender-neutral terms such as actor, poet, comedian, hero, executor and star. Furthermore, Mrs. and Miss are generally seen as patronizing, thus the best way to address the female honorific is with the term Ms.

Potential Slurs & Epithets

No self-respecting, sane email marketers would use a racial epithet or ethnic slur in their content. Yes, there are many obvious “street” derogatory terms that are obviously offensive, wrong and need never be spoken nor written. However, there are also many terms that are considered derogatory by various groups, and they are surprisingly found commonly in articles and advertisements on major media. What are those potentially offensive words? We’d rather not publish those either, but if you’re unaware of them, perhaps a Google search might help you with terms to avoid or to exercise caution with when using. You might be surprised to find out that a seemingly harmless term to you has a very loaded meaning for someone else.

Context Is the Key to Proper or Improper Usage

In order to keep your email marketing content completely neutral and avoid unwittingly offending an ethnic or demographic group, you should very carefully analyze your usage in context of any of those potentially or sometimes offensive terms. Excise or change those terms if at all possible. Quite obviously, context is the key to the proper utilization of some terms, and some should just never be used whatsoever.