One of the worst marketing attitudes is desperation – and we see it all the time. New media marketing, with its high level of competition and many portals for message sharing, can drive companies to feel compelled to be seen and heard. This results in a lot of marketing activity that’s propelled by very little understanding what marketing means.

This is where it gets interesting. The average marketing team for an enterprise level company has various members who have one or two key talents. They make up a talent pool that then becomes the driving head of that business’ marketing efforts. In many cases, that head is controlled by someone outside of marketing who doesn’t understand this side of the business that well but still has a voice that drives expectations. For our enterprise level company, this means that marketing is often directed and dictated by high ups who don’t understand that quality is better than quantity.

We see this problem more so in email marketing because email preceded social media. While social media is a largely mysterious realm of new media marketing that many people are happy to leave to the pros, email marketing doesn’t quite benefit from that hands off attitude. People have been using email regularly since the 90’s, which for us means that there’s a tendency to assume we also understand email marketing. In other words, you might be pushing – or you might get pushed – to quickly draft up a long list of subscribers from existing contacts.

Here’s a small piece of advice: don’t do it.

Email marketing is not a numbers game when it comes to the only thing that matters in email marketing: the end goal. The end goal of any email marketing campaign is to have a high click-through rate.

Novices in this field make a common mistake: throw everyone into one email pile and blast off messages. This is a terrible, terrible mistake. For one, having a high number of contacts who haven’t opted in doesn’t mean you have a high number of people genuinely interested in your email campaigns. Here’s what happens when you engage in that practice: you’re going to have a high bounce rate, subscription rate, and spam rate.

The bad news doesn’t end there. Not only are you losing credibility, you’re also unlikely to get any of these people back as authentic email subscribers. Then there’s the last follow-through of any email campaign – the analytics. When you engage in this practice, your data is completely skewed. You now have, let’s say, 1000 subscribers and no real way to understand behavior patterns once an email goes out.

We could take one case example, but the fact is that almost every company that decides to embrace email marketing is guilty of this time-consuming mistake.

Instead of thinking you’re going to have an army of email subscribers and this high level of activity, understand that email campaigns are a long game just like most other new media marketing strategies. It’s a brick-by-brick process. The first step is to start with the small pool of subscribers you already have and work with creating content they’re going to want. If that means you only have 8 people to send a campaign to, then make sure you make those 8 people happy and motivated to share that campaign with their network.

The second step is to have subscription access points across key places, including social media. You can use widgets, apps, and even directly share a subscription link in your social media “about” page. You definitely want a signup form on your website and a pop-up as well.

Ultimately, email marketing is about data and the last thing you want is skewed data. If you take shortcuts, that’s exactly what you’re going to end up with.