(Wedding) Email Marketing At Its Worst

Wednesday, 03 February 2010

Call me old-fashioned, but I like email. As much as I enjoy Facebook, their private messaging system seems less than secure and much more apt to lose information than my trusty Gmail account. And I would be lost without the organizing, labeling and archiving features of email.

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I shop (a lot), and so I of course get a ton of sale/coupon/shopping event emails. Which might be contributing to why I love email so much. Now that I’m planning a wedding (to the one and only social and viral marketing scientist, Dan Zarrella), I get even more email. Weddings are a huge money-making industry, and the internet has elevated this cash cow to new heights.

Weddings = Timeless = BAD Digital Marketing

While many planning aspects have been made easier and more affordable thanks to wedding websites, it appears that just as many, if not more, wedding vendors have no idea what they are doing online. Weddings are timeless, and some companies are definitely stuck in the past. Much like mortgages, weddings are a huge search term, and a bride-to-be’s email address is a highly sought commodity. But it seems that many wedding vendors have zero budget for design or marketing advice.

And so, without further ado (or “I do”), I give you the worst email in the history of email marketing. At least, to this future Mrs.

It may be hard to see the true horror of this email, as the entire email is a giant image that require large ammounts of horizontal scrolling. Just to see a super cheesy sunset and an inexplicable grey box that looks suspiciously like it may have been used for real postal mailing of some kind and then simply scanned to create an email campaign. Oh, and did you notice the 6 competing fonts? And to top it off, they addressed me as “Dear Alison Invited Guest.”

Not at all the look or impersonal feeling I want associated with my special day. So wedding marketers and vendors, take note: you have a lot of competitors, but it’s not difficult to look better than 99% of them. Try harder.


  • I’m SO glad we decided not to participate in those shows. As a wedding vendor we try so hard to make sure our marketing is consistent and not annoying. As a bride not that long ago, I remember what it was like to get spammed beyond belief with messages similar to this. That is why I stick to my guns with my one follow-up email rule and each email I send after a bridal show is personalized and concise. I take a lot of pride in the marketing of Photo Fun Box – and you’re right it’s not that difficult if you just try.

    Great post, Alison!

    Comment by Marissa Sweazy — February 3, 2010 @ 11:27 am
  • You make another good point, Marissa: even if YOUR marketing is good, when you get slapped into something like an event that sends out stuff like this, it cheapens your brand.

    Comment by Alison — February 3, 2010 @ 11:29 am
  • I’ve gotten the same things! I actually had a similar blog post not too long ago, but mine was a slightly different experience:

    I’d registered for a bridal show about a month ago, but didn’t make it to the show due to illness. I’m *still* getting emails that say something along the lines of, “it was great to meet you at the Spinelli’s bridal show! Let me tell you about all the fabulous deals I have.” Clearly, we didn’t meet because I wasn’t at the show!

    Unfortunately for those types of vendors, I’m in email marketing (more from a database side, but that’s beside the point) and know just how easy it is to split a list into “registered for show” and “visited booth,” so I have no patience for this sort of thing. Plus, I worked for a wedding photographer while I was laid off from work for a while, so I’ve seen both sides of the booth, so to speak.

    Marketing-savvy brides unite! I’m thinking a wedding-vendor marketing consulting biz would do wonders.

    Great post!

    Comment by Leah — February 3, 2010 @ 11:44 am
  • Haha, I get those too Leah! I must have made quite an impression that they remember meeting someone that didn’t attend, let alone visit their booth. Your post on The Wrong Way to Follow Up got it right. Good luck on your wedding planning!

    Comment by Alison — February 3, 2010 @ 11:51 am
  • [...] going to tell your friends, online or off, about the average experience you just had. But if some email was too horrible for words, or a customer service rep was unbelievably stellar, you are much more likely to spread the [...]

  • Interesting. Funny to read but also something to think about.

    Comment by Alicia Johnson — November 5, 2012 @ 11:09 pm

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