Posted on May 21, 2013
In 2008 and 2010 I double-dog dared marketers to experiment with some little-used, out-of-the-box, perhaps even weird tactics. Some of those tactics are not so uncommon anymore while others are just as rare as they ever were.
Since it’s been more than three years and email marketing is all about experimentation, I think we need some fresh dares. So here we go. I dare you—no, I double-dog dare you!—to… Read my entire Email Insider column >>
Posted on May 20, 2013
You can now find every image posted on EmailMarketingRules.com on Pinterest. Just visit the Email Marketing Rules pinboard or click on any image in any of my posts and you’ll be taken directly to the pin on Pinterest.
Posted on May 16, 2013
If you operate more than one brand, it can be tempting to abuse an email opt-in at one of your brands by extending it to your other brands. Because of the dangers of increased spam complaints, the vast majority of brands wisely resist this temptation and many smartly use their email programs to raise awareness of their other brands and secure additional opt-ins.
The opportunities start with the email signup form and signup confirmation page. For instance, Gap uses a universal email opt-in page that allows a consumer to sign up for emails from multiple brands at the same time, along with product category preferences as well.
Every email you send offers an opportunity to raise awareness of your other brands and drive subscribers to the websites of your sister brands. For instance, Toys “R” Us promotes Babies “R” Us in the header of each of their promotional emails. Garnet Hill does the same thing with their Garnet Hill Kids brand.
Because header space is so valuable, it’s more common to promote sister brands in footers. I often refer to these as “sister brand bars,” similar to a social media bar that promotes the social networks where you are active. For instance, Banana Republic, SeaWorld, Neiman Marcus and Crate & Barrel include the logos of all of their sister brands at the bottom of their emails.
Taking it up a notch, some brands have included secondary messaging from sister brands, although it’s much more common to send full, dedicated emails from a sister brand. For instance, West Elm periodically sends their subscribers emails from West Elm Market; and Anthropologie recently sent their subscribers an email about their sister brand, Terrain. That email smartly included an opt-in request to get emails from Terrain.
The rule that keeps brands honest when doing this is that these emails should use your usual sender address (preferably your usual sender name as well) and the unsubscribe should cover the brand they opted in to receive messages from, not just the sister brand. If that seems like too big of a risk, then you should stick to the less invasive tactics like sister brand bars.
Whatever your approach, take advantage of the email opt-in you do have to try to secure others, just as you use your email program to build your social following.
Posted on May 15, 2013
The Good, the Bad and the Best: Practices for a Post-Wild West Email Marketing World
Adopting email marketing best practices isn’t about ticking boxes. It’s about execution. Join me on Tuesday, May 28, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. (EDT), as I discuss a variety of best practices and share real-world examples of brands with good, bad and the best executions. Topics to be covered will include signup forms, welcome emails, mobile-friendly emails, preheaders, personalization, unsubscribe pages, and more.
Posted on May 13, 2013
My book on email marketing best practices, Email Marketing Rules, is now available in paperback with a Foreword by Jay Baer, the President of Convince & Convert, author of Youtility, and co-author of The NOW Revolution. Jay is that rare individual that understands how social media, email marketing and content marketing all work together. I am honored to have him write the foreword, where he discusses the currency of modern marketing.
I am also happy to announce that for every paperback purchased through Amazon.com’s CreateSpace I will donate $1 to the ExactTarget Foundation to support projects and programs that reduce childhood hunger, improve education, and spur entrepreneurship. To learn more about the Foundation’s work, please visit ExactTargetFoundation.org.