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March 2, 2020

The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing in 2020

email symbol on row of colourful envelopes
Photo Credit: RaHuL Rodriguez via flickr

If you want the ultimate guide to email marketing, then you need to take advice from expert sources. This article features information and in-depth advice from industry experts and industry specialists. Here, in bite sized chunks, are the most important lessons you need to learn about email marketing. 

Take a Step towards Self Reference

Ever watch Rick & Morty, or the Marvel Deadpool movies and see how they break the fourth wall to self reference themselves. If done correctly, then it feels like a funny inside joke that draws the viewer in. We have been pulling the same moves for the last 10 years, and it has been working.

Their emails make the presumption that the reader is already an old friend. Resumable doesn’t mind bringing up how promotional some of their emails are, or how the recipient hasn’t bothered to call for months. It seems like a bit of fun, but it draws the reader in and helps get their guard down. You are not pretending to be an old friend, or something spammy in that area, you are self referencing yourself and poking gentle fun at yourself with the idea that the reader is in on the joke. 

Go for a Niche and Stick With It (Spectre)

The people behind Spectre apply the same principles to every facet of their marketing. They chose a niche and stuck to it. The truth is that their marketing scares many people. To some it looks a little too high class, and to others it looks a little like something a hipster would love. Yet, scaring off people is part of the point. 

If you want to attract a certain niche audience, then you have to be prepared to scare off a whole subsection of other people. Sometimes, if you want to keep the most important people on your email list, then you need to scare of some of the others and be willing to take the losses. With that in mind, try not to please everybody at once because a broader focus often has weaker results. Plus, if you take a broad approach, then you will always have a harder time figuring what is “Not” working. 

The Analytics Do Not Matter (Web Promotion)

Analytics are very important when it comes to digital marketing, but they do not matter so much when it comes to email marketing because they can never tell you the full story. There are just too many variables. All your web analytics can tell you is if your users are actually receiving your emails. 

There are too many variables. For example, let’s say that Jimmy loves his emails from “Company P,” but he is too busy to read them and forgets about them for a year. Your analytics may show you are doing a terrible job, but in fact Jimmy is still a loyal fan. 

Let’s say that you always put your topic in your subtitle, and then one week you do not and your email open rate quadruples. This metric is meaningless because all that has happened is that your readers are now inconvenienced because they have to look at your email before realizing if they want to read it.

Wave a Big Red Flag That Says, “I Am Selling You Something” (Ashford & Ashford)

The old saying that, “What people don’t know won’t hurt them” is wrong. When you are selling to people via email, you need to be as upfront as possible. If you are selling something, then you need to wave a big red flag that says, “I wish to sell you something with this email.” The trick is to “Not” be salesy because it is obnoxious and annoying. 

Take the example of the magician. He/she talks and acts quite normally, but when doing a trick, he/she descends into this showmanship horse-twaddle. Why? Why do magicians do it? Did somebody tell them that normal people cannot do tricks? 

When you wave your red flag on your email, make sure you are not being obnoxious, pretentious or salesy like those stupid magicians. Make it clear that you are selling, but it is a subtle soft sell rather than a “90% off – Last Units Left – 2 Hour Deadline” type of sale. 

If you do it the right way, then the people who still open your emails are probably the hottest leads you will ever have. These are the people who are prepared to hear what you say, and finding these people is more valuable and worthwhile than any marketing gimmick you will find online.


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Ava Williams is a Resumeble editor and a career expert from Vancouver. She finds her inspiration in blogging and career courses. Meet her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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