The New Rules of Email Marketing: Webinar Takeaways

I don’t often get to attend all the webinars that Vocus puts on, but I’m never disappointed when I do. Today’s was no exception. With DJ Waldow, co-author of The Rebel’s Guide to Email Marketing, as the presenter the webinar was lively interactive and full of great tips regardless of your industry. My notes and takeaways from the webinar are below.

General:

  • Send timely target valuable human emails to people who want it.
  • Speak #human, not jargon. Obvious, but not always followed.
  • “Talk directly to the recipient.” –@djwaldow (in human language, be personal!)
  • Don’t send “ugly emails” we all get them every day and still open them. Design doesn’t override content. “Beauty is in the eye of the subscriber.”
  • You might want to check more than the open rate, like the click-throughs and forwards.
  • Make your unsubscribe link obvious – make it easy. As in, don’t make them more frustrated.
  • Video in email: embed screenshots, not autoplay.

Audience/recipient:

  • Use #emailmarketing to build trust and provide value.
  • If you have trust with your audience, they’ll forgive a few email mistakes/chances.
  • Build trust before you get the person’s email address.
  • Know your audience/clients/members. The better you know them, the more likely they open your email.
  • Shouldn’t we be sad that the industry open rate average is about 20%? even for subscription based lists?

Subject line:

  • Subject words to avoid advice is old, outdated, not true (for example, search your inbox for the word Free or any subject line in all caps.)
  • Use a compelling subject line. But it only works if you earned your subscribers trust.
  • Any rule that starts out always is never a good rule.
  • Flip side: check your own spam folder. See what subject lines they use. Free and ALL CAPS might not be in the folder
  • Love A/B subject line tests! Helps you know your audience better!
  • The 30 and 50 characters a rule to break. So it cuts off on an iphone or tablet? If your subscribers trust you, they don’t care.
  • Shouldn’t a subject line be more like an article headline? Less gimmick, more substance? journalism tactics can work for advertising and marketing too! It should be a combination of human elements and a headline aspect.  Might be more work, but could be worth it.
  • As the subject line characters go up the open rate goes down, but the click to open rate, goes up!
  • A subject should be all about what’s in it for the reader not your agenda.

In summary, know your audience but don’t be afraid to try new things. As DJ Waldow said, “Don’t forget to have fun with email marketing!” It’s just email, not life or death. Plus with email, you don’t even risk paper cuts! You can see the entire Twitter conversation from the hashtag: #VocusWebinar.

What do you think?

Extra tip: consider incorporating a twitter contest into the webinar, you might be surprised at the results!

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Nice Brands Finish First! webinar takeaways

Today’s Vocus webinar didn’t disappoint. With HARO founder, Peter Shankman, as the presenter the webinar was lively interactive and full of great tips whether you’re a big company with lots of money at your disposal or a small non-profit.

My notes and takeaways from the webinar:

  • Have a good sense of humor. It accentuates the good and lets the negative roll off.
  • Make yourself and company feel like a friend. Not a cold unfeeling entity. 
  • Add to the conversation, don’t detract from it. This is especially true during tragedies. Be human first and a marketer second. Silence can be best. As Peter Shankman said, “Shut up once in awhile.”
  • No person or brand gets bashed for being respectful.
  • I’d rather be known as nice than cool. Nice is good.
  • Take 30 seconds a day and spread a little happiness. Make people happy they chose YOU and your company/organization.
  • If you ask yourself for a second if this will offend someone DON’T POST IT.
  • Making people smile will drive repeat business. Even a little smile. Shouldn’t that be what it’s all about?
  • Do the right thing because it is the right thing to do. Don’t do it to make money, the money will come later.
  • empower your employees to do nice things. Don’t make it hard!
  • Regular people are the bread and butter for your brand. Celebrities are like jam. Good in moderation. Don’t chase the jam only to lose the bread and butter. The celebrities might have louder megaphones, but making more regular people happy will have the same impact.

While Peter Shankman shared the grandiose gestures brands have done for him (Morton’stoothpaste, etc.) brands don’t have to make big or expensive statements to be friendly. Your customers, clients and members have choices, make them want to choose you. Scripts are great for consistency, but by moving away from consistency and into individual experiences you can create a better business atmosphere. If you make someone happy, they’ll at least tell someone if not broadcast it on social media.

You can see the entire Twitter conversation from the hashtag: #VocusWebinar.

What do you think?