As a newcomer to the field of digital media, I’ve been steadily climbing the steep learning curve as an email marketing coordinator at RTI. I thought I’d share some of the most important things I’ve learned so far so you all know what NOT to do when writing political email.

1) Using your own personal writing style.

Clients don’t care about your unique writing style. They want you to be able to mirror the style of their past emails so as to create a coherent voice for their organization. Read through old emails to get a sense of what the client is looking for.

2) Writing too formally.

Emails tend to have a pretty casual style, which can be an adjustment if you’re used to writing proposals or academic essays. Remember to tone down the formality and write as if you’re talking to a real person.

3) Prioritizing what you like over what works.

Just because YOU prefer a certain graphic or subject line, doesn’t mean your list will. That’s what a/b tests are for. You can send out different versions of an email to small segments of your list and see which version gets more clicks, donations, or whatever other marker you’re using. You might be surprised by what the data tells you.

4) Not proofing thoroughly.

Don’t assume that just because three other people approved an email before you that there are no typos. They’re easy to miss, so always read carefully with the assumption that no one else has proofed that piece before. And if you are the last person to proof an email before it goes out, make sure to double (or maybe triple…) check everything.

5) Sitting too close to the Jenga tower.

When playing a friendly office round of Jenga, do not sit directly next to the tower. It will fall on you, and your coworker will make a slow motion film out of your reaction and put it on the Internet. For reference, see here.