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Email Marketing: The Good, the Bad, and the WOW!

Video Summary

In this overview of email marketing best practices, you'll learn the essential do’s and don’ts for creating killer email marketing campaigns and strategy that won’t kill you (like breaking the law). And you’ll see live examples of email marketing strategies that nurture customer relationships and help drive more sales. -- Even those familiar with email marketing will learn something new in this high energy presentation including the following… 5 things you should always do in email marketing -- 5 things you should never do in email marketing The right way to grow and nurture your email marketing list -- The anatomy of email marketing design and layout in 2018 -- How to avoid the common pitfalls and mistakes many email marketers mak


Each day, I get to work with clients doing big-idea-driven, multi-channel campaigns to weave in the best of what data-driven strategy can do to build and boost customer relationships. I get genuinely excited to share best practices, test new ideas, and see awesome results.

Starting with my role as Digital Marketing Evangelist at emfluence, I've been preaching the good word of great email marketing in both online and offline communities for years. I lead email marketing and customer-driven marketing strategy for Barkley clients and get to celebrate trends and highlight smart stuff the public, speaking for audiences from Las Vegas to New Orleans to New York, and in March of 2013 on the line-up at South by Southwest Interactive in Austin.

A May 2005 graduate of the Mizzou Journalism School: my first foray into content production. I started my career in media sales for a Top 40 radio station in Kansas City. I was recruited away to lead season ticket marketing for Theater League. There, I learned direct mail and email marketing and brushed up my stage skills.

In October of 2008, after evangelizing the product for a year as a client, emfluence asked me to join their team to launch an in house marketing department to oversee their external relations and brand management across all channels.

For three years as Marketing Manager, I managed partnerships and opportunities for emfluence with other Kansas City marketing communities and businesses as well as a comprehensive and cohesive digital and email marketing campaign, promoting the emfluence Marketing Platform, and our strategic services. In 2013, I finally got to put the truth on my business card: Digital Marketing Evangelist!

In 2016, I accepted the exciting role of Director of Data-Driven Marketing at Barkley, working as lead CRM strategist for fortune 1000 companies like Dairy Queen and Spirit Airlines, soaking up all the smarts of my fellow partners and helping integrate data.

Specialties: email marketing strategy and tactical execution, integrated emerging media campaign planning, social media strategy and planning, networking and promotion, email marketing design and copywriting, database analytics, results tracking, research and reporting, event management including trade show exhibition.

Conversational language experience in French.

What you will learn?

  • What is email marketing and why is it advantageous over other mediums
  • Why email marketing is still an effective way to convert customers
  • Best practices in email marketing to help you become successful
  • Why it’s necessary to get permission


Who’s ready? That’s what I needed. Thank you, guys. Sorry, the only explanation is Gremlins, this computer worked perfectly well an hour ago. I tested it. Just proves you should test things more than once. So, thank you for spending your first breakout session after eating a bunch of food with me on email marketing. I love to see a full room. I can tell that you guys are my people.


So, I’m going to spend the next 40 minutes, no 35. We’re going to spend the next short bit of time talking through one of my favorite topics and one I hope you love too, email marketing. In this session, we’re going to talk a little bit about the good, the bad and the whoa that was good. That was awesome! And then in the next session, if you want to stick around, I’m going to build on that and talk about using data to create a personal feel or personalization at scale.


So, for today’s session, we got to start by laying the ground rules. First thing you will learn from me are 1, okay you learn one thing, I’m an email nut. I love this stuff and I have a very good reason for it and people ask me, are you still excited about email marketing like it’s 2018. Are you sure that’s where you want to commit? Yeah, no I am, I love this. I stole this blatantly but I’m getting giving credit to kiss my tricks that random number a few years ago, and this is a few years ago that said if the entire volume of email in one day were equivalent to one cup of rice, by comparison Facebook, total content on Facebook is equal to 12 grains. So yeah, we’re still here. We’re good. Oh, and Twitter is the 4 grains that are sort of shaded in the corner. By the way I love Twitter and Facebook. This is not a knock on them, but I do have a few advantages over them.


[00:01:56] Direct Medium


Email marketing is what we call a direct medium. Meaning, from me, the brand to you and I don’t me to you like as in a television spot. I mean to you Ivot, to you Jennifer, to you Laura. I can actually personalize everything that I send to the recipients on the other end. I can send it at the right time for you. For example, now might a poor time to sell you pizza, maybe a good time to sell you ice cream or chocolate. Or I can view your engagement on an aggregated level and determine what things were most engaging for you, or most important to you and I can change what I send next based on that activity. So I can, before machine learning was a cool word to use in marketing, I can actually use the data that I have to make everything that I send you get a little bit smarter. So, I can send it at a time that’s relevant to you, with the content that’s relevant to you, and my very favorite thing, I can automate it all.


[00:02:55] Email VS Social


Oh, and I almost forgot, where we talk about the differences of email and social, usually starts around read rates. Average open rate for an email is somewhere in the 15 to 20 to 25 range depending on how large your organization or your list is, or how old it is, how long you’ve been growing it. The average read rate for a social media post, anybody? Let’s say without a significant budget. 2% is the last organic number that they shared and that was in 2012. We know the game has changed and I’m not implying that email is free to send either, but we can expect a higher engagement rate partially because email marketing is kind of like cheating. And what I mean by that is, I already got you on my list. This is a database of people who has said yes once already. So, the next yes becomes that much easier. And Facebook can be like that too or Twitter can be like that too but it’s a lot more of a stream of consciousness or a stream of information that I have to be present to see, whereas my inbox, something is delivered to me. I have two options, I can delete it and ignore it, or I can read it and then delete it. No matter what, I still had to look at it. Still, it came to me, still waiting for me unopened. We cheat right. We do see a lift in engagement in that case. Oh and this is by the way, I use this example, their open rate for the Beer Festival in Kansas City that I am a part of, is 45%. So, if you sell beer festivals, you’re going to expect that too. Cool.


Here’s another piece of this and I’m going to get back to why it’s awesome for us but really quickly, these numbers come out every year and every year customers, including millennials and Gen-Z, still prefer to receive permission-based communications from brands, through email. Yes, they would rather Snapchat their friends. Yes, they would rather call or text their family, maybe not call. My grandmother would love it if that were the case. But they prefer that their brands send them email. I would love for people to sign up for my text messages because the read rates for those are somewhere in the 95% range but getting a yes for text message is significantly harder than getting a yes for email. This is the preference of our customers.


Actually, this is another way of looking at this. So, other fan favorites, email followed by direct mail. Turns out that’s still a thing. Again, we’re just talking about what they prefer from their brands. Then it goes into things like a mobile app or social media channels. And chatbots with asterisks at the bottom that’s like not enough data to make a significant impact on the numbers. This is really why I do what I do, and this is what I want to share with you guys today.


Email marketing is my favorite channel. I’m a data driven marketer, I have a lot of channels at my disposal. And email marketing is still my favorite channel because when I look at Google Analytics, this is usually what I see. Email’s on there 3 times. It is the second highest revenue under CPC, cost per click marketing, and every time I pay for cost per click, I still have to pay again. When I pay for an email eyeball, it costs me a tenth of a penny at the most to send to that person. So, I love email because email makes me look really good.


So, let’s figure out how to make you guys look really good too. The number from the DNA and this number has not unfortunately been updated in the last 2 years, is that for every $1 you invest in email marketing, you can expect $28 in return on marketing investment. Now, that’s not like profit margins but that’s good and bad marketing. That’s cars and bubblegum but 2800% ROI, only if you’re doing it right. So, let’s do it right.


[00:06:49] Vocabulary


A couple of vocab things. I am super, super guilty of this. I start saying things like pre-header and about a third of the audience is like, can you get what she said? So, I’m going to run down a couple of words really quickly. What’s in an email? First, the subject line, which isn’t actually in the email but it does make up 40% of the reason people open your emails so it is an important component. The second one is the pre-header, does anybody already working with pre-headers or writing copies for pre-headers now? You guys are a savvy audience. What a pre-header, front row? You guys get picked on. That’s right, it’s the text from the email that pulls in as a preview into the inbox. How many of you have gotten something just in the last day? I’m going to answer this for you. You all have emails in your inbox right now that the pre-header text is “Can’t see this email, click here.” We can do better than that. So, make sure you’re using that to your advantage. That’s your unfair advantage in the inbox. Number 3 is a branded graphic. In the last few years we have seen this change from a full width to more of a half-width. Why would we do that? Mobile. When I run this thing through a mobile device, I’m only seeing that branded header and whatever’s to the right of it, dips underneath it. That’s also really behind a lot of the design and layout changes that we’ve noticed in the last 8 years in general. For example, lots of big open white spaces, or big bullet proof buttons, that are fat thumb friendly, not that any of you have fat thumbs. I’m just saying in general, It’s easier to click on big buttons than a list of links.


You got your sort of main message, followed by usually supporting messages. Sometimes, you have no supporting messages and sometimes, like with one of my retail clients, you have no fewer than 30 supporting messages and every time we test it, there’s still people making it to the bottom of the email. So, we keep doing it. But this is your anatomy lesson at the very, very bottom, you’ll have the footer and the reason I bring that up is, one of the do’s is going to involve that footer in a legal way.


This is what it looks like. Enter retail client. At the top you can actually see the subject line and pre-header Notice that in my creative, the pre-header doesn’t show up. That’s actually optional if that heavy lifting that the pre-header is going to do is try to get an open, not necessarily try and draw the reader in, especially when it’s usually smaller font. Then we don’t actually have to show it in the html at all, your ESP, email service provider can help you with that or I can help you with that. The brand across the top, notice that that gets its own clean line but it’s actually quite small so on a mobile device, we’re already set up for success and optimizing for that. The big-branded headline here, five, eight words of text in that hero image and then we move right into things like body copy or bullet proof buttons meaning buttons that look exactly like that whether images are turned on or turned off. I’ll show you another example of that in just a second.


And then of course the product grid. On a mobile device, the product grid goes from 4 across to just 2 across, very fluid design here. That’s kind of what we’re starting with, with the anatomy of an email. So, you’re ready. I can totally do this.


[00:09:55] Five Things to Do


Five things to always do. Five things to never do, except for say always or never. And then a few examples that I think kicked particularly strong butt. First to go, the things you should know, so I feel a little like the gentleman that was in this room before me showed a picture of Santa Clause. The gravestone of Santa Clause and a kid crying because Santa clause is dead. I feel a little like that when I say that just because you send an email doesn’t mean that somebody received it. This is the art, science and true pain in my butt called deliverability. Whether or not it arrives in the inbox isn’t actually up to us, the sender, it is up to the inbox provider like Yahoo or Hotmail or Gmail and if they don’t like you, they don’t have to deliver you, and they don’t have to tell you, they didn’t deliver you. This is not a bounce back right. AOL if they think you’re spam, they’ll bounce you back as spam. At least you knew. You knew somebody called you a bad name. Otherwise, for example, Yahoo will just not deliver you and your open rate just tanked. You don’t know why, it basically just never showed up in people’s inboxes. There are 3 stages of this and you can kind of see this represented on this graph. Most of the email gets into the inbox and in the United States that number is only 75ish %. We make it through to the inbox for 75% of our recipients. Ouch. Like a fourth of our audience didn’t even get our email.


There’s also the junk folder, the hated enemy of the email marketer, the junk folder. Unfortunately, there’s a worse enemy and that’s mything and that’s what I’m talking about. Which is literally Yahoo didn’t put you in the junk folder, they just didn’t deliver you and now you got to figure out why. So, there’s a lot of reasons why but I would liken it to high school. If enough people call you something, then that’s what you are. Your reputation actually matters in email marketing. In this case, we’re saying it’s the people who received your email. So that spam button is for the all-powerful. If enough people click that spam button, then by God Yahoo says, you’re spam. Nothing much you can do about it except for not look like spam to your subscribers. So, your reputation is sort of how you get through to the inbox. There are a couple of components to this but the biggest one is that people don’t typically like to be surprised to get email.  Like surprised on your birthday, good thing. Surprises in your inbox, I didn’t sign up for this. Who sold my email address? Unfortunately, if you show unexpectedly in the inbox, that’s a bad thing.


[00:12:37] Get Permission


So, my first, always, get permission. Now if you are a marketer that literally has even one person on your list in another country, this is required. In the US, we have this cushy, cushy law, can’t spam, we’ll talk a little more about it in a second, that literally means you can spam anybody you want until they tell you to stop. So, you don’t have to have somebody’s explicit permission in the United States. But if you don’t, if you get a list of people that you are going to send content to let’s say, and it’s unexpected to them, they are much more likely to hit that spam button than anything else in your email. So, get permission. This by the way, we already have a Seth Godin homage today, so I’ll just lean on that and say that in 1999, he super foretold this right, “Get people’s permission to market to them and then when you talk, they listen.” That this, except that they have a punishment button right there in their inbox if you don’t do it the way that they think.


[00:13:39] Definitions of Spam


By the way there are two definitions of spam for the consumer. One is, I didn’t sign up for this. What’s the other one? This isn’t relevant to me, I don’t want it or worse, I don’t want this anymore, spam. I’m like, you signed up. You signed up for this, I didn’t do it wrong. I followed the rules. I don’t want this anymore. So, the customer’s definition of spam, the legal definition of spam in the US very lax. The customer’s definition of spam is the one that we’re going to use when it comes to actually deciding who to send to. So, get permission.


This is an example from Dairy Queen. This is the value proposition. What I am offering you in exchange for your email address. In content marketing, sometimes it’s the content that we offer. It’s not always a coupon certainly. This is also a little bit of social proof right. Join the 4.3 million people who are members of the Blizzard Fan Club. Social pressure, social pressure. What it doesn’t look like, pre-checked check boxes, that’s not really permission. In this example, by the way at the top, this for the awfulhorribleknot.com, is anybody here from the Knot?  Sweet. So, the awfulhorribleknot.com, when you sign up, takes all your information and then in a blue section on the right-hand side, in small font with pre-checked check boxes, it says “Do you want offers from our partners.” Cool, thanks, bye. How surprised am I going to be to get offers from third party partners in my inbox?


This is spam, who stole my email address? Technically this is permission. They think this is getting permission. It’s just tricksy permission, it’s not explicit permission right. Or this example, this is one that I see in B2B all the time. If you are a member of an organization, this is an example of I sit on the board for like the Kansas City Direct Marketing Association, so my contact information is listed as a Board Member. Fine. If you scrape my name off of that website and automatically put it into your marketing automation systems, that’s not permission. That’s not even close. In fact, in the US, this is even illegal, it’s called harvesting. The other way you can get into trouble here is and this is the one I hear my clients, well couldn’t we just, I have the first and last names of everybody at this company and I know that the company’s email address format is first initial, last name @ company.com. Can’t I just create the email addresses? No, that one’s also harvesting and it’s also considered illegal even in the United States. So, beware. Offer value and people will actually engage with you. I think Drew’s talk basically set me up for this whole presentation. Offer something that they want and then when they receive it, the open rate actually represents that they wanted it from you.


[00:16:20] Follow the Law


Alright, what does it look like to follow the law? Number 2, always, always, always follow the law in whatever country applies to you. I will caveat here that in Canada, CASL applies if there is somebody, this sucks by the way, I’m just going to preface this, I have only bad news at the front and then really good news at the last half. In Canada, the law is if somebody receives your email while they are on Canadian soil, CASL applies. Like none on your list is on a vacation to Canada? That’s pretty low odds. So unfortunately, we’re also probably working with CASL, the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation in addition they can’t spam. Basically, get permission. Get somebody’s permission to email them.


[00:17:05] Spam


So, can spam, super simple. Five pieces of this. One, you have to accurately identify yourself. In marketing, I would recommend that anyway. You should have clear intent, again probably a good idea anyway. You have to have a working opt out mechanism and this is where a lot of real spam falls short. There’s no unsubscribe link in marketing emails with spam. It has to work. It can work immediately or up to ten days. It has to have a physical address. Does anybody know why? Why would I put a physical mailing address at the bottom of my emails? What is it? It is required by law. Why would they require that? What’s the purpose of that? So, people can drive over and yell at you in person. So close actually. It’s so that if you don’t trust a source and you want to get off of their list but you don’t want to click on any of the links on their email because it could be nefarious, they have to be able to write you a letter to unsubscribe.


I’ve been in email marketing for 11 years. How many letters have I gotten? None. It doesn’t matter, it’s the law. That was the original thinking at least and it was opened up in 2008 to include PO Boxes. So small businesses don’t have to put a home address for example on their outgoing email. Mostly this validates that you are a real business, with a real address.


[00:18:34] Don’t Commit Fraud


Then the clear intent we kind of talked about but the last one on here is don’t commit fraud. I kind of feel like I stand up here say things that mostly you are like “Yeah that sounds like a terrible idea, who would do that?” That one’s a different law but you can’t commit fraud in email marketing. More often, it’s unintentional miscommunication. Free puppies, when you open this email, but you sell televisions. Make sure you’re not writing don’t take Buzzfeed as your best source of how to write a subject line. Intrigue is good, tricksy is bad. Or else, you should just do it because it’s the law.


Here’s what happens, they are mostly going after the really egregious offenders right. Spam canons that basically take over a whole inbox. So, in this case It’s actually the owners of the inboxes, a Comcast or a Road Runner can take a spammer to court and actually prosecute them for cluttering up their inbox users’ inboxes.


In Canada, a person can take you to court that’s fun. That would super not work in the United States in my opinion. With GDPR in the EU, an individual can request their data and request information. It’s actually a system of the government that would prosecute you for not following the law, if that makes sense. So somebody can write a business and ask for what information the business has on them but the prosecution and monitoring of how people follow these laws is a government entity. Lots more to come on that. I am no GDPR expert yet. I have a feeling on May 26th we’re going to get smart real quick.


This is what it looks like. A quick fix. Who works from ARAG? This is a legal insurance provider. Even the “from” name is sort of the friendly ARAG law expresso @ARAGlegal.com. I would also caution you against the “no reply at” If somebody wants to email you back, isn’t that a good thing? Yes, you’re going to get some bounces but you’re also possibly going to have some conversations with your customers. Okay, see the five essential uses for DIY docs? Pretty clear intent right and then the rest of it goes on the footer. Unsubscribe, manage your preferences, you’re receiving this because and the physical address. They have a phone number as well. And again that’s because if somebody wants to call them, they would love to take your phonecall. We would love to get an inbound phonecall from an email that we sent out. I’ll send the slides out. If anyone wants to leave a card with me, I’ll make sure that everyone gets a copy of the slides so you don’t have to take pictures if you don’t want to.


[00:21:15] Have a Plan


Alright, always have a plan. Good for girl scouts. Good for us. Always have a plan and that can be something that you write down in excel. This is actually a system called Influence. This is a company that I worked at before I was at Barkley, where I am now. They actually build in a marketing calendar which you can use to sort of plan your email and social media content across dates. My brain works better this way. Excel is the love of my life, besides my husband. But this is actually how my brain works. I can where the Tuesdays fall, things like that. So, have a plan and make sure that its integrated with your global marketing calendar. So, you have an email marketing plan and a social media plan, you do not have a content plan right. You have a content calendar, try to sync out your content calendar. This also means set goals. Have a plan for what you’re going to measure this campaign by. What are the metrics? When you guys give each other a high five at the end of a campaign, is it because you got a high open rate? Like, I’ll give you a high five when you get a high open rate but probably the guy or girl, lady excuse me, who signs your checks, is going to give you a high five when that drives revenues or leads or some sort of funnel progression from the people receiving your emails.


This is an example of a performance framework from AROG, the same company that we saw before and its sort of that engagement funnel, that sort of traditional marketing funnel and then what our goals and metrics are at each stage. So, we might have content that suits each stage of that. How will that eventually be measured as successful? Alright, so speaking of success, how do you know if it works?


So, one of my favorite things about email marketers is you can ask any question and answer it with “it depends”. It’s also the most obnoxious thing about email marketers but it’s because everyone’s audience in this room is going to be very different. Sometimes the best day to send is at 5:00am on Saturdays. Sometimes it’s 10:00am on Tuesdays or 5:00pm on Wednesdays. You never know until you test it. So, testing day of week.


Subject lines, not copy versus copy but like does a short subject line really perform better than a long subject line? Or if we say, I have an example in here, let’s play a game, shall we? This is a subject line test that we actually ran. This is a cause marketing campaign for a four-profit company and these are the three subject lines that we used. I’m going to ask you which one you think won. I’m going to read them to you really quickly. Help us solve hungry. You guys are so ratty. Help us solve hunger donating 1 million meals or you can help solve hunger and you think it is? C, why? The most important work in the English language is the word free or you. Except for that didn’t win.


Okay so I said the Buzzfeed thing but now I kind of take it back because donating 1 million meals, it’s a pretty good headline. But the most clicks actually went to “A”. Why? So, okay there’s a distinction. What’s the difference between “A and C”? It’s action oriented. Help us solve hunger is a call to action in the subject line. The people that opened that were ready and primed to take an action. There’s also a slight difference between, we learned that an emplicit “You” is as powerful as an explicit “You”, so you can help solve hunger. What’s the other difference between A and C? You don’t have to think of the solution. Perfect answer right. We’ve got, you can help solve hunger. Boy, that’s a lot of ask, it’s only 1:30pm and I feel like I’ve really got a lot on my plate today, so I can’t get to that right now but thank you. That’s so lovely of you to ask. Or help us solve hunger. We’re doing a thing and all you have to do is participate. Very different asks. So, for disclosure, we meant to test help us solve hunger and you can help us solve hunger. Even email marketers make mistakes. But we had to retest this because truly we wanted the clicks. We wanted it to be donations right. We wanted it to be somebody who carried through the rest of the actions. So, getting more opens is fine but we actually wanted it to be measured in donations




[00:26:02] Use Your Secret Weapon


Alright, number five, always use your secret weapons and we’ll talk so much more about this in the next session. But your secret weapon in email, the thing that not many other channels can do, data. In this case, this is the Spirit Airlines, 24-hour before you fly reminder email. There’s got to be a better name for that. Are you ready for your trip? This is all the information you are going to need. So how many of you have flown Spirit Airlines? Oh, actually that’s a good percentage. How many of you know that you have to pay extra for your bags on Spirit Airlines? Same hands, cool.


So, three years ago that was a lesser known fact and we had a lot of really angry people at the airport because you pay for your boarding pass when you check in unless you printed it at home you can save it. You pay for your carry-on bags. Your flight was $30, the carry on cost you extra but you can choose whether to buy that or not and you can save money if you book it before you get to the airport. That’s what this email does. If you don’t have your bags booked yet, then it invites you to do so before you get to the airport. If you have not chosen your seat and you definitely want that aisle seat, they encourage you to do that before you get to the airport.


So, this entire email, not only is it timely because it’s driven by data, it’s 24 hours before you fly. Its also go content modules that appear or disappear magically based on whether or not they are relevant to you, to try and educate you so you’re just a little less pissed off when you get to the airport. And it worked. We’ve actually seen Spirit Airlines NPS score, Net Promoter Score, people who like you minus people who hate you, we’ve seen that NPS score, not only go above zero for the first time, in the last few years, we’ve seen them consistently roll towards a twenty, which is actually quite admirable considering where they came from. So, it’s a little bit steady.


[00:27:59] Five Things You Should Never Do


Alright, the bad. These are a little bit faster and I want to be mindful of the time here. So, five things you should never do. One, don’t start from scratch. If you sit down on the Wednesday of every month with a blank email like I wonder what I should write. Ouch. We’re content marketers. You’ve written it already. The email is the vessel to deliver it to your people. Don’t start from scratch. That can be blog content, that can be video content. In this case, Dairy Queen had a Queen to Queen video meaning we delivered the Queen of England a Blizzard on her birthday. She did not take our visit, but the video was really fun. The blog posts in the example on the left actually automatically pull in for me and all I have to do is hit send. So, don’t start from scratch.


Don’t use one big image. Why? By the way, this example from IKEA is a couple of years old and I intentionally don’t update it. They probably updated it since then, so I can say that now because it’s old. This is what 25% of your audience is likely to see, 25% of your audience probably has images turned off including versions of Outlook and Android. It’s a beautiful email, by the way. It says nothing by the way. If I’m clicking through my inbox and I don’t let images load, I got nothing. How’s this looking on a mobile device? The answer is not great. It’s a little hard to read the body copy and button copy at however many pixels that it. It’s real hard at 300 pixels wide. So, make sure you’re actually designing for areas of text and areas of image.


Here’s an example with the bullet proof button that I promised from before. Text in the image up top, four words, whopping four words here. This 33% off is also an image only because they really like their brand font. I taught them a little bit on this, but we can do, and then through text. Even if images are off, you can still see fresh savings click here. By the way, click here for Sprit Airlines, I’ve been working on this account for two years. They’ve tested probably three dozen calls to action and click here still works every time. It’s obvious right, clarity trumps cleverness. Alright, how about this one? This one looks very visual and actually even the slants here. How many of you in here have done email designer code before?  A few right, this slant here, only nerds care about this so tune out for about five seconds if you do not care about this. This slant right here is actually the top of the image below it and then all I have is the background color here and the white background right above it. So tricksy. My designers had a ball with this. I was like yeah you can get creative, I can code that, fun stuff. See I told you it was nerdy.


Then the bulletproof button which is literally a single cell, one row, one column table with a background color. It’s a text link. I just took the underline off the text, shows up just like that whether images are on or off. You’re already going to know my stance on this but don’t buy an email list because you don’t actually have that person’s permission.


Last case study I had is a person that bought 25,000 email addresses, got a 9% open rate. It’s higher than I thought it would be, I guess. A 1.5% clickthrough rate, except where they were counting the unsubscribe link clicks. Yeah, that is cheating. Four links to the actual promotional landing page, zero conversions. Alright, I have to get moving pretty quickly, sorry guys. I think I missed more minutes in the beginning than I thought.


So, instead use your email list to buy your media or you can actually grow your email list, by using every other channel to acquire email addresses. Like a register to win promotion. Lots of ways that you come in contact with your customer. Email is just one of the things that you want to acquire from them.


Don’t ignore mobile. That’s the fast version of this slid. Don’t ignore mobile. It’s 2018, the at home retailer that you saw at the beginning, knows for a fact that 80% of their openers are seeing their email on a mobile device. You should know what yours is but the chances are, if you’re B2B, chances are you’re still on the 25% range. Fair? Otherwise, you’ve got to care.


Couple of examples here, and again I’ll give you the slide deck, so you don’t have to take pictures of that. And then last, don’t send without knowing what it looks like and this is from a tool set called Litmus, understanding that I will get through spam filters, or I probably won’t get through spam filters because I’m selling Cialis or Rolexes or something. And I yell in all caps with exclamation points. That can get you sent to the spam folder when you don’t actually belong there. Alright I had to blaze through that because I really wanted to show you at least two examples here and I am overtime but I’m overtime for my own session. So, I’m going to get you to your next session after two quick examples.


One, remember we talked about pre-headers? In this case, Sprit Airlines actually shows their pre-header intentionally, and by the way, that’s the deal for the day. I literally don’t have to read the rest of the email. I already know what the deal is and it’s a link, so I can click straight on it. My tip to you, write your subject lines and pre-headers together. When they dance together, when they play together, it typically has a better impact. Warning, don’t write a pre-header pay off that doesn’t also pay off in the body. What I mean is if you have a “You have to see us before” and it pays off in the pre-header but never says anything about that in the body copy, there’s at least some percentage of your audience that has no idea what the punchline was. So, make sure you pay it off in the body as well.


Last but not least, video. Last year somebody asked me, what do you think the biggest trend in email is going to be in 2018? And I said, we’re there right. Not quite there in email, but for social, even how we share with each other, animation or visual expression, it is how we communicate now, and email has to catch up to that.


So, what we do for video and email, this is an animated gift. My friend Erick Stonestreet from Kansas City, he’s my friend. He’s holding a sign that we animated. Small file here. We’re just trying to drive a little bit of attention to that space with motion. And then this, is video and email which is to say, it is literally a screenshot of that video with the play button over it and then a link out to YouTube where you can actually watch it because there are like two inboxes that will even play video embedded in an email. So, we just cheat. We cheat, and we link out to the video instead. And the cool thing is, if your Gmail subscribers get that email, the YouTube link is pulled in for them at the bottom of the email so they never have to leave the email.


Alright guys. You hung in there with me. Thank you so much for spending your first session after lunch with me



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