Email Marketing Critique: Buyer’s Industry Guide

The Buyer’s Industry Guide (or BIG) has recently put me on their list – which I don’t remember signing up for, however I sign up for a lot of mailing lists so it’s probably fine.

I received their first email this morning and it’s a mixed bag of decent design and bad copywriting.

The trouble is, most corporate emails are, and I want to shed some light on what they could improve on. Hopefully you can take this critique and apply it to your own email marketing campaigns to make them better.


What they’ve done well

First off, the template that they’ve used is nice and clean. It’s probably based on a mailchimp email template, but the colours are nice and easy to read and it’s laid out well.

The primary header is an image, but they’ve basically repeated the headline as text which makes up for it. Even if I don’t turn images on, I still get to see a headline.

They show me a lot of information in this email about ad sizes and the contact details are easy to find and to read.

That’s pretty much where the positives about this email end.

What they can improve on

There needs to be a stronger headline.

“Big is now bigger”

What does this mean? I have no context for this email and the headline is confusing. More convenient than what? More effective than what? More EXPOSURE than what??

They talk about more more more bigger bigger bigger but they haven’t given a single benefit statement. No one wants bigger for the sake of bigger – there’s got to a benefit behind why bigger is better. How will this product make my job easier (this is B2B selling remember)?

What’s with the social media icons?

The social media icons are floating after the starting copy for no apparent reason. There is no explanation at all about what they want me to do with those icons. Is this email designed to convert me into a social user or is it designed to sell me something else? I’m confused.

The next section is yet another mish mash of text that doesn’t really have any goal. What are the “Buyers” buying? How are you going to increase my sales? Why can’t I “afford” to miss a single issue?

What are they selling?

Next up is a deadline for something I’m still not sure about. What are they selling again? Oh yeah, it’s a full page ad! Finally they tell me what I can buy… but still no benefit. They seem to be more interested in telling me how good THEY are instead of what it’s going to do for ME.

What do I do next?

There’s no strong call to action. The only one I found was “Call us:” which is a piss poor CTA.

Why not, “Find out more about how we can get your business the exposure it needs in your industry by calling us:”

Or better yet: “Find out how you can find more customers in our next issue. Give us a call now or just hit reply to this email”


Remember that good email marketing is more about the writing than about the design. It’s great to have a good looking email, but the copy still has to speak to the end user. Focus on what THEY will get out of your product or service, not why YOU are so brilliant or amazing. Write email copy as if each prospect is cold to your service. Make it interesting. Speak TO them instead of AT them.

After all, email is one of the most personal ways to market your stuff and one of the BEST ways to get it sold.

Let me know your thoughts below.

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