Tag Archives: email

Three Email Marketing Tips for the Bored Email Marketer

by Mana Ionescu

It is common for the seasoned email marketing strategist to notice a pattern of repetitive, typical and established email marketing strategies in the marketplace. There is notable emphasis on the email “holy trinity” – ” subject lines,” “creatives” and “images” – as if all email marketing only needed these three elements.

So after years of testing “subject lines,” “creatives” and “images” to get better “subject lines,” “creatives” and “images” email conversion rates are still dropping. What is the email marketer to do next?

If you, just like me at times, find yourself in this predicament, you may be what I call the “bored email marketer.”

Here are three techniques that boost creativity and help to break away from email marketing boredom:

1. Focus on concepts first not creatives and images.

According to a Merkle Interactive Services 2009 study 52% of email recipients have images turned off in their email reader (via emailstatscenter.com). So more than half of your customers will not see that carefully crafted email creative first. They will see your headline and the first few links you have most prominently placed.

So make a decision to not put creative first this year and focus on developing meaningful concepts that resonate with your target audience.

Take a good look at your goals and work back from them to map the path that will get you there. The first step in the chain that will lead to your goal is understanding the multiple ” personas ” that make up your audience. Based on those “personas” develop multiple concepts to test. Develop content to illustrate the concepts and then develop the creatives. So if you follow the analytics/ hypotheses/ test -planning/ content/ creative/ execution/ post-campaign analysis cycle, there are four other email strategy components to keep the email marketer from getting bored.

2. When you run out of concepts to test, retest concepts from a year ago.

A few years back, before Al Gore’s “fight for green” became mainstream, I developed a campaign to test if “going green” was a stronger driver for web usage than “de-clutter your life.” “Going green” failed the test. A year later, after Gore won the Nobel Peace prize and his global warming message became popular, we re-tested the same two concepts against each other and this time “going green” won.

What we learned here is that trends can change very fast, and we have to change with them, even if it means going back to an old concept. It may be old to the email marketer, but new to our customers.

3. Do the exact opposite of what you have been doing.

When you cannot move the needle enough with new tests it may be time to mix in something which is the complete opposite of what you have been doing so far. If you unsuccessfully tested images, throw in a no-image market-cell. If most of your emails have been short, try testing against a long email. If your communication language has been formal, test against informal copy.

I’m not advising here doing away with tactics that have been consistently proven, nor am I advising throwing away common sense. What I’m advocating is challenging ourselves to break away from patters that keep us stuck in an unproductive comfort zone.

Doing the opposite of what you have been doing may not prove the success you were looking for each time, but it will open up new perspectives, trigger new ideas, freshen up your strategy and keep you from becoming the bored email marketer.

About the Author

Mana Ionescu is President of Lightspan Digital, a Chicago firm that helps small businesses build their brands in their local communities through social media. Mana’s practical tips on digital and social media marketing can be found on her blog at manamica.com and Twitter @manamica.

How to Build Your Email Marketing Contact List

by Darcie Duttweiler

To grow your business in today’s online-dominated environment you’ll need an amazing eNewsletter. Creating a monthly eNewsletter is easy with the plethora of online email marketing companies offering low-cost services. The more difficult part of effective email marketing-once you’ve crafted a catchy newsletter, of course-is building your list. Here are easy steps you can take to make sure your email marketing list is maximized for the most open clicks:

* Make it easy for readers to sign up for your email marketing campaigns. Don’t request too much information-the more you ask for, the fewer people will likely sign up. Just ask for their name and email address.

* Make sure your eNewsletter subscription form is easy to find. If it makes sense to add this to every page of your website without creating clutter, feel free to do so. You can even add a form at the end of popular articles, in addition to having one at the top of the page.

* Utilize social media. Integrate your sign-up forms with your social networks.

* Create an archive so that potential subscribers can see past eNewsletters and are able to decide if they want to sign up.

* Reward your subscribers. You can offer an opt-in bonus for those who sign up for your emails, but you can also reward those who respond in some way-such as answering poll or survey questions or providing testimonials. Appreciated subscribers will want to stick with you-and your email marketing campaigns

* State your Privacy Policy. No one will want to subscribe to your eNewsletter if they think their personal information will be published, so let them know by providing a policy page that clearly outlines you won’t share their information with others.

* Blog often. This helps to build a community with prospects and potential clients, along with complementing your email marketing strategies. You can also post comments on others’ blogs with links back to your site.

* The No. 1 way to build a larger email marketing list is through publishing useful content. No one is going to want to sign up for your eNewsletters if you don’t provide them with unique and worthwhile content. Don’t send out newsletters too often, and make sure your content is worth reading.

For information on email marketing services, including reviews of popular companies, please visit http://www.Email-Marketing-Options.com.

About the Author
Darcie Duttweiler is a copywriter at ChooseWhat.com.