Six Questions to Improve Your Email Marketing

In my post “Your Email List Stinks,” I whine a bit about getting added to email marketing lists without permission, leading to all of those well-crafted but uninteresting email messages that I’m sure we all see. Every time I receive an email marketing message, there is a cumulative psychological effect. This can be positive or negative. I might not respond every time, but if you don’t respect my time, I won’t pay attention. If you are lucky, I’ll unsubscribe before I get negative feelings toward the organization.

In an effort to improve your email marketing efforts, you need to stop thinking about the size of the list and focus on one perfect customer. Consider the following questions:

  1. Is your message consistently interesting, or just recycling last week’s email?
  2. Is your message time sensitive, timely, or just at the same time as last week?
  3. Is your message unique to the character of your organization, or can I find the same content anywhere/everywhere else?
  4. Is your message something that I will want to reply to, perhaps with a follow-up question?
  5. Is your message worth sharing with my friends, or worth learning the shortcut key for deleting?
  6. Is your message saying what you want to say to your perfect customer, or are you dripping and dripping like Chinese water torture?

(Side note on drip methods, email is a natural place for drip marketing tactics, I just recommend that your “drips” be wildly interesting.)

Attention is the only scarce resource in most of our lives. Please don’t abuse my attention.

And a final note, if you don’t understand CAN-SPAM, please go read the FTC’s CAN-SPAM Act: A Compliance Guide for Business. In fact, go read it anyway just as a healthy reminder.