This morning I got the best of the season’s marketing emails so far. And by “best” I mean so laughably bad that it…well…it inspired this post.

Let’s start with the subject line: Give the Gift of E This Fall!

Really? E? Can I exchange it for heroin if E’s not my thing? And while it might technically be Fall, to all practical purposes, it’s Winter.

And the greeting line: Good morning erinfaye (at)

When sending marketing emails, if you have a list that doesn’t have a field for “First Name,” just go with “Hi.” My email address is not my name.

The next paragraph explained to me that ebooks make “great gifts,” but “many holiday shoppers remain in the dark about the ebook gifting process.”

Way to insult your potential customers!

At which point it launched into a list of content that the sending company has produced about gifting ebooks. Aside from the fact that they used the Euro sign in lieu of regular bullet points, it was interesting content. But it was buried behind so much terribly delivery that I doubt anyone who received the email even noticed.

For a company whose business is producing and selling ebooks, there’s really no excuse for this.

My point? Just this: When sending marketing emails, take a moment to see them from the recipient’s point of view. Don’t be lazy. If you are offering content (a guest post or an excerpt, say), then make sure the content that delivers your offer isn’t pitiful. If you want to be artistic, fine. But € is not a bullet point.

If you’re an author or a publisher, don’t be afraid to send a personal message. Your brand, after all, is your stories. So don’t hesitate to tell them.