Tips & Tricks

How Your Subject Line is Killing Your Email Campaign [INFOGRAPHIC]

When it comes to your email marketing campaign, do you know the one thing that could make or break it?

Here’s a hint: It’s not the offer you make.

That certainly is important when it comes to email marketing best practices.

However, 69% of your audience might mark the email as spam without opening it to even see the incentive.

email subject line - spam GIF


It’s simple – you didn’t spend enough time working on the email subject line.

If someone catches a whiff of spam in the subject line, at best that email is deleted immediately.

At worst, your email is reported as spam.

In the infographic below by 99firms, you will learn email marketing tips that can improve your open rates by working on your subject line.

The good news is that abiding by email subject line best practices means you probably just need to make a few tweaks.

Let’s have a look at the adjustments in more detail and check out a few email subject line examples.

email subject line - subject line animation
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Personalized Email Subject Lines

It is hard for your recipients to feel special when it is clear that they are one of a few thousand on a list.

Just as there’s a psychology to SEO, so too does tapping into customers’ minds matter for your email marketing.

Don’t make the mistake of sending out emails with generic subject lines.

Instead, use a marketing email subject line that’s tailored to your audience.

There are a lot of software out there that allow you to personalize them more easily.

email subject line - Campaign Monitor

For example, Campaign Monitor includes an email marketing subject line personalization feature that easily allows you to insert tags.

Whether that’s their first name or generic fallback terms (e.g. “tech-head”), these tags automatically fill in the relevant data in your email subject lines.

email subject line - personalization tags

When recipients see their name or other personalized detail in your emails, they’ll more inclined to open them.

Even if you are not going to use the person’s name, mention something that is relevant to them.

For example, you could use dates that matter to them, like their birthday or anniversary.

email subject line - birthday and anniversary emails

Among the top-performing birthday messages, subject line examples include:

  • “A special gift for your Birthday”
  • “Happy Birthday from [Company]”
  • “Your special Birthday Bonus”

Email Best Practices Indicate Keep It Really Short

This should be basic common sense – people’s time is valuable to them.

If you waste it by creating a long email subject line, they are going to assume that the email is just as much of a waste of time.

Then it will go in the trash.

email subject line - character count
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According to CoSchedule, the ideal length of a marketing email subject line is just 17-24 characters.

Often, this means using only 3-5 words.

email subject line - word count
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There’s no one-size-fits-all solution here, though.

A/B test your email subject line length to determine which yields the best open rates.

Here’s A Tip: Try Using An Emoji in Your Email Marketing Subject Lines

This is one to use with caution.

Are your subscribers likely to use emojis or are they more serious?

If the former, add one or two emojis (maximum) to the email subject line.

email subject line - emoji GIF

Do remember that while you are going for a more informal email style, this is a business email.

Too many emojis in your marketing email subject line can create the wrong picture.

Best practices for email marketing with emojis include keeping it relevant and A/B testing with email subject lines that don’t use an emoji.

Through testing, you can determine if the use of emojis actually boosts open rate.

email subject line - top emojis
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You can also test which emojis in your email subject lines are the most effective.

Consider these email subject line examples that use emojis for your next campaign:

email subject line - emoji examples
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Just keep in mind that emojis appear differently across platforms.

Make sure whichever ones you choose not only show up, but also look the way that you’d want in your email subject lines.

Our main email marketing tip when it comes to your subject line?

Think about what your recipient will respond to and work around that.

Ready for more email optimization hacks?

Check out the infographic below.

email subject line - infographic

GROWTH HACKS Tips & Tricks

Taktical Growth Hacks – #109

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Taktical tips and tricks

Growth Hack #1 – 2X More Sign-ups by Predicting Customer Objections:  

CrazyEgg tested the following modifications to their signup process. As a result, they got twice as many people to give them credit card info:

1. Added an FAQ entry, “Why do you need my credit card for a free trial?” – (to prevent multiple free trials for one person).

2. Added an explanation: “Nothing will be billed for 30 days. You can cancel at any time.”

3. Added a list of companies that use their product.

4. Order total: Changed from “$49 per month” to “$0 for 30 days” + small text “after 30 days: $49 per month”.

Crazy Egg installed a survey tool on the checkout page so they could understand what objections were on the minds of visitors right there. This helped to create the FAQ box and subsequent steps to counter those objections and get people to convert.



Growth Hack # 2 – Give Customers FOMO:

The sales concept of scarcity works best when you consistently follow through on the ‘threat’ to expire the offer.

When selling something online, TRY:

– Decreasing your free trial time period (cut it in half or more)

– Limiting free trial units (only X available)

– Display a counter — time OR units are running out

Delayed conversion = lost conversion. Encourage them to ACT NOW.

Source: 500 startups


Taktical tips and tricks

Growth Hack #3 – 3 Steps to Earn 192% More Google Shopping Ads Revenue:

With just a few steps, you can make more from your Google Shopping Ads. Here’s how:

1. Analyze your query data and pick out long tail (more than 3 words long) search terms that are product-specific and generate the highest volume and revenue. Raise your bids on those terms.

2. Set up remarketing ads to those who:

– Viewed basket, didn’t commit to purchase

– Viewed a high ‘detail-view’ to checkout-rate product

– Viewed website for over 4 minutes in one session

– Viewed site in the past 5, 10 and 15 days

– Viewed site from high converting location

– Viewed site from high converting device

– Viewed site and in top lifetime value segment

3. Segment your data by mobile devices, gender, age, geography and find who generates the highest ROI. Then focus your ads specifically on the most valuable segment.

If you find that time and day influence ROI, you can use a chart like this to track:

Create scripts to automate bidding across this custom schedule.


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How To Guides

How to Connect Your Facebook Ads with WhatsApp

What has a bigger user base than Messenger and Instagram?


Which platform was bought by Facebook for $19 billion?


What messaging app is the most popular in the world, with over 1.5 billion users across 180 countries and 60 billion messages sent daily?

All together now: WhatsApp!

facebook whatsapp - MAUs
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Yes, WhatsApp seems in every way to be Facebook’s newest darling acquisition and the platform for marketers to watch in the near future.

The introduction of the WhatsApp Business API was just one step in the right direction for those looking to advertise on WhatsApp.

Then in August, Facebook introduced ads that open up a pre-loaded message on WhatsApp.

Similar to their Messenger ads, these let users communicate directly with businesses from Facebook to WhatsApp.

Now it’s your turn to reach the massive audience on WhatsApp with your Facebook ads.

facebook whatsapp - texting GIF

We’re explaining why you should care about WhatsApp advertising.

We’ll also describe how to connect Facebook with WhatsApp and launch these types of Facebook ads.

When you’re able to expand your reach to the engaged and international user base on WhatsApp through direct communication, you’ll see a boost to your bottom line.

Additionally, you’ll be better prepared when even more opportunities for advertising on WhatsApp inevitably emerge.

Why WhatsApp Matters for Businesses

WhatsApp is the leading messaging platform in all but 25 countries in the world.

This makes it an excellent tool for reaching international customers and any that are not already using other popular apps like WeChat and Messenger.

facebook whatsapp - top messenger apps
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Some major markets that prefer WhatsApp include India, the UK, and the APAC region.

In India alone, WhatsApp is the first choice for messaging for 96% of people that own a smartphone (an impressive 97% of the total population).

Though the U.S. still hasn’t adopted WhatsApp to the same extent, Facebook’s acquisition of the app in 2014 is helping to change that.

In the meantime, it’s clear that the messaging platform has an impressive international audience.

These users have also proven to be engaged.

facebook whatsapp - whatsapp stats
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For marketers considering Facebook WhatsApp advertising, these engagement statistics matter:

For any business looking to go global (or already is), WhatsApp is an essential piece of the marketing puzzle.

Between the active user base, international reach, and now new opportunities for WhatsApp Facebook ads, the time has come to tap into this audience.

So let’s explore how to do that.

facebook whatsapp - whatsapp interface
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How to Get Your WhatsApp Facebook Ads Set Up

Advertising on WhatsApp with Facebook ads is a great way to get your brand in front of potential customers using the platform.  

With WhatsApp Facebook ads, users can start a conversation directly with your brand.

This can benefit customer service, boost brand loyalty, and encourage sales right from the messaging app.

For anyone familiar with Messenger ads, the process of setting up WhatsApp and your Facebook is similar.

First, though you need to create a WhatsApp Business profile.

facebook whatsapp - whatsapp business app

Create a WhatsApp Business Account and Connect It to Facebook

Over 3 million people have opened and are actively using WhatsApp Business profiles.

You have two options when creating a business account.

Download the App

The first is to download the standalone WhatsApp Business app for Android.

An SMS message is sent to your phone upon signup in order to verify your number.

facebook whatsapp - whatsapp business profile
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Then, you just fill in your business name and profile.

With all this in place, don’t forget to connect your WhatsApp to your Facebook page.

Use the API

Alternatively, you can create an account using the WhatsApp Business API.

Start by creating a WhatsApp account under Business Manager on Facebook.

facebook whatsapp - business settingsGo to Business Settings in the top right corner of Business Manager.

From there, navigate to Accounts and select Add a WhatsApp Account.

facebook whatsapp - whatsapp business account
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On the Create WhatsApp Business Account page, fill in the relevant information.

Once you’ve completed the account creation steps, save your changes.

At this point, your profile should be all set to go and you are now able to create WhatsApp Facebook ads.

Set Up Your Facebook WhatsApp Campaign

Now that you’ve connected your WhatsApp and Facebook, you can begin creating ads.

Begin by entering Ads Manager and going to Ads Creation.

facebook whatsapp - messages objectiveCreate a new campaign, and select Messages as the campaign objective.

facebook whatsapp - message destination

Then, select WhatsApp as the Message Destination.

facebook whatsapp - audience

Fill in your campaign’s audience, placement, and budget details.

facebook whatsapp - placements

facebook whatsapp - budget

Keep in mind that you cannot target people under 18 years old with Facebook WhatsApp ads.

Under Ad Setup, choose the images, text, and and headline you’d like to use.

facebook whatsapp - whatsapp ads
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Review all of the details then click “Confirm” to complete setup and launch your ad.

Get Ready for WhatsApp Advertising

Facebook WhatsApp ads are just the beginning of what will be a bright future for marketing on this platform.

The best way to prepare your business for WhatsApp advertising is to get acquainted with the features of the messaging app today.

facebook whatsapp

Launching WhatsApp Facebook ads is a great start.

You can get to know your audience on the platform and the best ways to reach them.

Then, you’ll be ready to scale your campaign when advertising on WhatsApp inevitably becomes the next biggest marketing trend.

GROWTH HACKS Tips & Tricks

Taktical Growth Hacks – #108

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Taktical tips and tricks

Growth Hack #1 – Find Your Website’s Worst Performing Posts:  

Most of the time, we like to look for the most popular pages on our website. This is especially helpful for coming up with new blog post ideas.

But opportunity also lies in identifying your worst performing pages. This process is how you find holes in your content and search engine marketing strategy.

Ideally, you want to keep prospects on your site long enough to convert them from lead or customer. For this reason, you need to do the following:

– Go to the Behavior tab in the Google Analytics menu.

– Click Exit Pages under the Site Content menu.

This process will show you the pages where prospects most often exit your website. With that information, you can then analyze these pages and look for ways to keep prospects engaged with your website.

You can then decide the right strategy to make these pages more engaging: change the design or re-write the content. Which you choose will depend on how important the page is.



Growth Hack # 2 – Boost Performance 680% by Using One Column For Your Landing Pages:

Marketing Experiments did a test where they compared two variants of a landing page.: One with a main column and a column to the right, and one with a single column.

The single column variant outperformed the two column design by a stunning 680.6%!



Taktical tips and tricks

Growth Hack #3 – How to Create a Roundup Blog Post That Earns You Links From the Experts:

A blog post roundup can be the best way to get your content onto high-quality domains. You just need to know how to earn these links.

Here’s how to create a roundup like a pro:

1. Visit “Search Twitter bios” on FollowerWonk.

2. Input your keyword (SEO, cars, etc.)

3. See the list of the most influential experts in your niche.

4. Find their emails.

5. Send a VERY short email. Example: “I’m doing a roundup of X experts … As one of X gurus, can you please reply to my short question …”

6. At the end say thanks to every expert and send them a link to your roundup (don’t ask them to share).



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Tips & Tricks

3 Holiday Marketing Tools to Make Life More Manageable (and Less Miserable) This Season

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, right?

‘Tis the season of online shoppers spending over $108 billion on their holiday purchases.

From November to the end of December, retailers can earn upwards of 25% of their total annual sales revenue.

And with predictions of holiday sales set to increase between 4.3% and 4.8%, it really does seem like it’s actually the most wonderful time of year.

holiday marketing - holiday sales revenueHowever, all of those sales and the huge amounts of potential this time of year means holiday marketing can become a hassle.

The stress of keeping up with the competition while optimizing your own holiday marketing campaigns can make even the most zen marketer want to tear their hair out.

There’s social media to monitor.

Email marketing newsletters that need to go out.

Promotions and associated materials need to be confirmed and scheduled.

holiday marketing - Seinfeld GIF

With all this going on with your holiday marketing, it helps to have something extra at your disposal.

So, we’re taking a look at the three best marketing tools you can use this season.

With these platforms at your disposal, your holiday marketing campaigns can be both more successful and easier to manage.

It’s time to stop pulling your hair out and start enjoying this time of year.

1. Use Chatbots for Holiday Social Media Marketing and Monitoring

Mobile messaging is on the rise in a big way.

eMarketer predicted that more than one-fourth of the global population will use a mobile messaging app by 2019.

Already, 45.5% of the U.S. population uses a messaging app.

holiday marketing - mobile messaging app adoption
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Businesses are discovering that these apps provide an excellent way to reach customers directly, and vice-versa.

As a result, over 2 billion business-related messages are sent through Facebook Messenger.

Now, chatbots make these interactions even easier while boosting your social media marketing efforts.

holiday marketing - chatbot benefits
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Self-serve chatbot tools like Snaps let you create a branded chatbot and deploy it on the messaging platform your customers are using.

Here are just a few ways you can use a chatbot during the holidays as a social media marketing tool:

    • Answer customer service questions.
    • Have a personalized conversation with users and suggest products they can purchase right from the message app to boost conversion.
  • Direct ads to open a chat with your bot to generate new leads.
holiday marketing - chatbot GIF
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Chatbots automate your holiday social media marketing campaigns so you can spend less time monitoring your platforms and more time focusing on higher-priority tasks.

2. Automate Your Holiday Email Marketing

No holiday marketing campaign is complete without email.

You can use holiday email marketing for running promotions or contests, re-engaging customers, and winning back abandoned carts – just to name a few ideas.

Plus, successful email marketing can lead to 20% of your holiday sales and yield 42X ROI.

holiday marketing - effective channels
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However, holiday email marketing can often be time-consuming and tedious.

There’s the need to create an eye-catching newsletter design, fill it with engaging content, and then schedule it at the right time.

Take some of the stress out of the process by automating your holiday email marketing.

Email marketing platforms like MailChimp have a feature that lets you schedule an email message based on a certain trigger or time.

For example, Live Love Polish used MailChimp email automation to re-engage the 9% of their customers that enter their email but don’t complete check out.

holiday marketing - BarkBox email
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During the holidays, messages like this can be the key to winning back customers, getting new leads, and upselling.

And, thanks to automation, getting the right content delivered at the right time is even easier.

3. Social Media Scheduling Tools Can Save the Day

Some of the best social media marketing tools are those that assist with scheduling.

You can rely on these social media scheduling tools to make your holiday marketing campaigns less stressful with a simple, set-it-and-forget-it approach.

holiday marketing - HootSuite
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HootSuite is considered by many to be the best social media marketing tool for managing and scheduling across accounts.

You can create your content then input it into the platform as far ahead as you want.

No more scrambling to throw together a last-minute Facebook post or forgetting to Tweet one day.

Social media scheduling tools like HootSuite can maintain your presence on these accounts during the hectic holiday time period.

Not only does this let you focus less on the nitty-gritty logistics, but it also makes holiday social media marketing campaigns more efficient and optimized.

You can spot any gaps in your content while ensuring you’re reaching customers consistently throughout this important season.

holiday marketing - NYC GovThe NYC Government used HootSuite to manage their 280 social media channels.

With a social media scheduling tool at their disposal, they organized their strategy to boost engagement and reach.

Here are the results they saw:

    • Tripled their social media following in two years
  • Increased digital reach by 85%

Sure, your organization may not have nearly that many accounts.

However, you can still enjoy similar benefits that the NYC Government enjoyed.

Consider using a scheduling tool for holiday marketing campaigns involving a countdown, for example.

Each day, you can have a post that counts down to New Years.

Some of these could be promotional offers, while others could just be a funny or unique message.

This campaign becomes far easier to manage when you’re able to set it up ahead of time with a social media scheduling tool. holiday marketing

Your Best Holiday Marketing Awaits

The holiday season is a busy time for everyone personally.

You have to deal with family in town, planning your holiday trip, and getting the perfect gifts for friends and relatives.

Don’t add even more stress to the holidays professionally.

With the best marketing tools by your side, you can enhance campaigns while making your own life easier.

From automated email marketing to the best social media marketing tools, the above are just three ways to have your best holiday season.

You know what can make your life even easier next year?

Leaving your holiday marketing to the professionals.

Working with a digital marketing agency can be the ultimate way to sit back and finally understand why everyone calls this the most wonderful time of year.

Want to know more?

Get in touch with us today before the holiday mayhem strikes again next year.

GROWTH HACKS Tips & Tricks

Taktical Growth Hacks – #107

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Taktical growth hacks

Growth Hack #1 – Timing is Everything:  

The Taktical team usually sends cold emails at 9:00-9:30 AM. The average email open rate was 55%.

Then we thought, what if we sent emails a bit earlier so that when a person wakes up, an email is already in the inbox? The email’s subject, body, and everything else stayed the same. Only the send time changed.


Open rate dropped down by 30%. We switched back to 9:00-9:30 AM. The average email open rate got back to 55%.

Lesson learned: Just because you send an email earlier does not mean your prospect will open it.


Growth Hack # 2 – SEO Rich Snippet Hack for E-Commerce Sites:

We all know that urgency increases conversion rates.

People are more inclined to make a purchase if they see a limited stock level, or something that says “Buy now – the offer will expire soon!”

The Limited Availability JSON-LD Code will help inform the search engines that you are running a time-limited sale, so they could include this info into your rich snippets.

Here’s the code:

Also, this code will let you specify the number of items on sale, a short campaign description, and location.

It’s especially helpful this holiday season as you run promotions and other short-term sales.



Taktical growth hacks

Growth Hack #3 – Add WhatsApp to Your Social Share Buttons:

BuzzFeed tested WhatsApp’s share button and found that 38% more people share via WhatsApp than via Twitter! In fact, WhatsApp shares were almost the same level as Facebook and Instagram.

Maybe that`s because WhatsApp has over 1.5 billion users(vs Twitter`s 335M), plus the open rate is over 90%.

How to embed the share button:

1. WordPress plugin.

2. AddToAny widget.



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GROWTH HACKS Tips & Tricks

Taktical Growth Hacks – #106

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Taktical Growth Hacks

Growth Hack #1 – Boost Email Captures by 785% Overnight:  

It’s called a content upgrade.

Normally people have to pay for premium content. You can give it away in exchange for an email address.

Take a blog post or a video that you’ve got and offer an extra bonus as a PDF. Make your users give up their emails to get the upgrade.

Brian from Backlinko added “Download PDF version of this article” in exchange for an email. Instantly he saw a 785% increase in conversions!

Other folks utilize the same technique on their YouTube channels, offering “Download the PDF transcription of this video”.



Growth Hack # 2 – How Negative Headlines Lead to +63% CTR:

Outbrain is the leading native content advertiser. They compared 65,000 paid blog article advertisement titles that contained positive (“always” or “best”) superlatives, negative (“never” or “worst”) superlatives and no superlatives.

The result?

Headlines with negative superlatives performed 30% better than ones without superlatives.

And the average click-through rate on headlines with negative superlatives was a staggering 63% higher than that of their positive counterparts.



Taktical Growth Hacks

Growth Hack #3 – Copy the Onboarding Flows of Famous Apps:


Don’t copy brand name onboarding/activation flows because they’re famous; copy them because THEY WORK.

Major apps with massive user bases have already trained people to follow a set activation flow. Your new users are probably already their existing users!

So, let them do what they’re used to and set up your onboarding to be similar to the major players’.

Source: 500 Startups


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Small talk

The Unbelievably Bad 5 Marketing Mistakes That Companies Made in 2018

There are certain moments that can define a day, month, or even year.

When it comes to marketing, it only takes moments like these to make or break a campaign.

In the 21st century, campaigns like Budweiser’s “Whassup” and Dos Equis’ “Most Interesting Man in the World” launched those brands to icon status.

Unfortunately, not all marketing moments are good ones.

Every year, there are a handful of bad marketing ideas that make a brand memorable in all the wrong ways.

2018 was no exception.

bad marketing campaigns

Here we’ve rounded up the absolute worst marketing campaigns of the year.

Whether it comes down to companies with bad marketing strategies or just bad ideas, these mistakes are the ones we’ll never forget from 2018.

This round-up isn’t just to bring attention to exceptionally poor advertising.

Use these examples of companies with bad marketing to also improve your own strategy.

Getting acquainted with the worst marketing campaigns of 2018 puts you in a position to do better.

With a combination of marketing best practices and an understanding of what bad marketing ideas are made of, you can make sure to never end up on a list like this one.

In the meantime, though, read on to see what made our picks for the unbelievably bad marketing campaigns of this year.

1. Heineken Accused of Racism After Their Bad Marketing Campaign

bad marketing campaigns - Heineken
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In their “Lighter is Better” campaign, Heineken created an ad in which a bartender slides a beer past three African-American people at a bar.

It comes to a stop in front of a lighter-skinned woman, and the words “Sometimes, lighter is better” appear on the screen.

It’s pretty easy to tell just from that summary that this was going to a pretty bad marketing idea.

Reactions on Twitter came from both customers and well-known celebrities, like hip-hop star Chance the Rapper.

bad marketing campaigns - Chance the Rapper

In response, Heineken pulled the ad and released a public apology.

However, this could not undo the damage already done to the beer company’s reputation thanks to their bad marketing campaign.

So what could they have done to avoid the fiasco?

Well, you would think playing the ad in front of almost anyone before release would’ve been enough to prevent it from launching.

bad marketing campaigns - Henieken apology
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However, companies with bad marketing moments like these do help uncover a few marketing best practices.

Consider screening your ad to an outside group that has no stake in your company or to a department that did not play a role in its creation.

When those charged with critiquing an ad can approach it from an objective standpoint, you’re better positioned to catch mistakes or negative implications.

It takes more than one set of eyes to catch the mistakes that could lead to a bad marketing campaign.

2. Bad Timing Led to the Milwaukee Bucks’ Marketing Campaign Fail

bad marketing campaigns - Milwaukee Bucks
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The Milwaukee Bucks were celebrating their 50th anniversary when the news broke that head coach Jason Kidd was fired.

As a result, anyone visiting the team’s Twitter page was greeted with balloons that appeared over headlines like “The Bucks have relieved Jason Kidd of Head Coaching Duties”.

With it appearing like the Milwaukee Bucks were celebrating the firing of Kidd, it’s no wonder this goes down as one of the worst marketing campaigns of the year.

The marketing team quickly pulled the birthday announcement from their page.

bad marketing campaigns - Bucks Twitter response
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However, it wasn’t quick enough to stop tons of fans and followers from voicing their incredulous responses publicly.

Make sure you manage the timing of your marketing campaigns wisely.

Communication among department and teams is crucial here so you don’t end up missing a major announcement or update that could affect your marketing strategy.

3. Domino’s Pizza Took a Tattoo Marketing Campaign Too Far

bad marketing campaigns - Domino's
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Usually, a marketing campaign over-performing is a good thing.

But, in the case of Domino’s, their tattoo initiative quickly became one of the worst marketing campaigns of the year because of an overwhelming number of entries.

When the campaign first launched in Russia, it promised fans 100 free pizzas per year for 100 years.

The only condition was that they had to get the company’s logo tattooed on their body and share it on social media.

What Domino’s didn’t anticipate was the flood of participants.

In just days, they received over 350 entries.

bad marketing campaigns - Domino's on Instagram
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This level of engagement threatened both the profitability of the campaign and the bottom line of the business.

Domino’s couldn’t risk giving out so many free pizzas for life to so many customers so had to cancel the campaign.

They earned a spot among companies with bad marketing strategies because of their lack of foresight.

By underestimating the popularity of their deal, Domino’s took a hit to their reputation and their revenue.

Anticipate high engagement when you’re launching a marketing campaign that includes a coupon or incentive.

And, make sure that whatever you’re offering is scalable enough so as to not hurt your bottom line no matter how popular your campaign becomes.

4. The Worst Marketing Campaign on Snapchat Cost the Platform $800 Million

bad marketing campaigns - Would You Rather?
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When the mobile game app “Would You Rather?” launched an ad campaign on Snapchat, they made one of the worst marketing campaign mistakes.

One of the ads featured Rihanna and Chris Brown, asking users if they would rather slap Rihanna or punch Chris Brown.

It was a clear reference to the 2009 incident in which Chris Brown was convicted of assaulting Rihanna.

At the time, it was one of the most high-profile cases of domestic violence.

Seven years later, this Snapchat campaign seemed to be making light of it for their own gain.

bad marketing campaigns - Snapchat stock drop
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Rihanna reacted on social media, saying:

“Now SNAPCHAT I know you already know you ain’t my fav app out there! But I’m just trying to figure out what the point was with this mess!. . .I’d love to call it ignorance but I know you ain’t that dumb. You spent money to animate something that would intentionally bring shame to DV victims and made a joke of it.”

Immediately following this blast, Snapchat shares dropped 4%, costing the company $800 million.

Though the platform apologized for what was clearly a bad marketing idea from the get-go, the damage was done.

bad marketing campaigns - Snapchat reaction on Twitter

The reactions that continued to roll in after the ad was deleted cost the platform even more.

As a result, shares dropped again for a total loss of over $1.2 billion.

Basically the biggest lesson to learn here is to be respectful of your audience.

Avoid inflammatory or offensive language that could not only damage your reputation, but also severely upset customers.

5. H&M’s Monkey Sweatshirt Was a Bad Marketing Idea From the Start

bad marketing campaigns - H&M
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At the beginning of 2018, H&M launched a new collection of child sweatshirts on its UK website.

Where they went wrong during this campaign was with the choice of imagery.

The retailer chose a product image that featured an African-American boy wearing a sweatshirt with the words, “Coolest Monkey In the Jungle”.

The racist nature of relating African-American people to monkeys has a long, dark history.

And as a global company with other incidents like this in the past that they could have learned from, H&M should’ve known better.

bad marketing campaigns - H&M reaction on Twitter

Instead, it caused massive fan reaction across Twitter.

Additionally, both the Weeknd and G-Eazy pulled their support from the retailer and issued public statements condemning the ad.

The insensitivity and lack of thought that went into this idea places it among the bad marketing campaigns that defined 2018.

This is another instance in which sharing a marketing idea among objective viewers can help avoid major mistakes.

It doesn’t take a discerning eye to spot the concerns that can lead to the worst marketing campaigns.

How to Not Suffer from Bad Marketing Like These Companies

bad marketing campaigns - mistake

Every example listed above of the worst marketing campaigns of 2018 could’ve been avoided.

Maybe it comes down to getting an outside opinion before launch.

Or perhaps it’s ensuring that a campaign can scale without damaging both a brand’s reputation and bottom line.

It may even be worth it to discuss your options with a professional marketing agency that has the track record of success.

Keeping in mind marketing best practices definitely helps avoid bad marketing ideas.

Having examples of companies with bad marketing strategies also lets you learn from their mistakes.

Just don’t do what these guys did, employ some common sense, and you can make sure to never land on a list of the worst marketing campaigns of the year.