Refining Your Email Marketing


Inboxes are full of email marketing from companies we’ve registered with and others we haven’t. As I come across tips or best practices, I usually save them to Evernote and share with clients when it’s appropriate. Here are a few I’ve found helpful in communicating best practices to add value through email marketing and stop spamming people. I’ve also included some excerpts from each I found most helpful.

37 Tips for Writing Emails that Get Opened, Read, and Clicked

  1. Quit wasting people’s time. Only email when you have something truly valuable or helpful to say.
  2. Be useful. Don’t just email when you need something from your readers. Be helpful. Be generous. Be friendly. Be like real friend.
  3. Don’t be creepy. Feel free to personalize emails, but don’t repeat people’s name too often, because it makes you sound like a call center script.
  4. Be on their side. Remind people that they’re not alone. Tell them you understand their struggles. Empathize with them, and ask how you can help.
  5. Give people a reward for reading. Make sure people benefit from reading your emails. How? Share a useful tip. Make them feel better. Inspire them.
  6. Use a number. Because digits — like 4 or 37 — stop wandering eyes.
  7. Point out common mistakes. Because nobody wants to be perceived as silly.
  8. Quit cleverness. Simple, specific subject lines beat clever alternatives every time.
  9. Experiment. Be a rebel and try something new. Dare to be different. You’ll be surprised by what works and what doesn’t.
  10. Learn from the masters. Subscribe to excellent email lists and analyze their subject lines. You’re guaranteed to learn something.
  11. Keep it short. Edit your emails with rigor. Long and unwieldy emails slaughter your readers’ interest. Challenge yourself to cut your text by half next time you edit.
  12. Ask questions. Imagine having a face-to-face conversation with your reader. You’d ask questions in that situation, wouldn’t you?
  13. Don’t follow a strict formula. Blueprinted emails quickly bore the boots off your readers.
  14. Add a personal touch. Because you’re trying to get readers to know, like, and trust you, aren’t you?
  15. Don’t automate your greeting. Try warm wishes, best regards, or greetings from sunny England. Mixing up your greetings makes you less robotic, and more personal.
  16. Develop a natural voice. Stop thinking about email marketing. Consider your emails to be a way of talking to your customers or readers.
  17. Add personality. Use words and expressions only you can use. Be human.
  18. Stop being dull. Understand the telltale signs of boring writing. Write short, strong sentences. Be to the point. And break high school rules.
  19. Highlight benefits. Don’t sell your product. Instead, sell the benefit it offers your customer.
  20. Don’t follow a strict formula. Because formulaic emails sound robotic and are boring as heck.
  21. Work toward your aim. Tell interesting stories that lead to your sales message.
  22. Insert multiple links (to the same page). Because it increases your chances of people clicking that link.
  23. Have an impeccably clear call to action. Tell your readers exactly what you expect them to do next, and remind them why it’s in their best interest to buy.

Four Essential Rules for Customer Emails

  • Only communicate when you have something useful to say
  • Regular empty emails bother people
  • Don’t direct people to parts of your site they can’t access
  • Think about what’s valuable to your customer, not your business

Best Practices for Email Subject Lines

  • Avoid ‘free’, ‘help’ , ‘percent off’, and ‘reminder’
  • Keep your subject line to 50 characters.
  • Subject lines framed as questions can often perform better.
  • Avoid repetitive subject lines

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Mistake #1: Not testing enough.
  • Mistake #4: Writing like a spammer.
  • Mistake #6: Not including an unsubscribe link.
  • Mistake #7: Sending emails “out of the blue.”
  • Mistake #10: Not using full paths in your images and hyperlinks.



Churn and Burn

I’ve been reading lately about causes of churn, specifically as it relates to web based products, and ways to prevent it or at least reduce it.

I stumbled across these great slides that speak simply to both:

Causes of Churn

Reasons for Customer Churn

Stop churn before it starts

Flawless Onboarding

simplify product discussions

Screen 2014-11-16 at 5.00.59 PM

When looking to improve your product, weigh your idea against these 4 questions:

  • Will this idea improve an existing feature?
  • Will this idea get more people to use the product?
  • Will this idea get people to use the product more?
  • Is it a new feature to support a new workflow?

If you can answer yes to and of these questions, your idea might not be worth implementing at all.

*Image Credit: @destraynor

A humor filled overview of net neutrality

Connecting with Excellent Content, Consistently

It’s important to exist in an environment that provides inspiration and fuels creativity. A large part of that for me has involves reading. Since most my my day is spent on the computer, most of what I read comes from articles and blogs. Over time, sources have a way of rising to the top or dropping off into the abyss of endless meaninglessness. Typically, if I find my self reflecting on something hours or even days after I read it, it’s usually a source I revisit.

Right now, these are two sources I check almost everyday. Enjoy!

A Clear Call to Action

Happy Monday – Featuring Great Lighting