Email Marketing: Everything You Always Wanted to Know (But Were Afraid to Ask!)

by Allen Voivod

email-marketing-mavensLast week, we had the pleasure of again working with Heather Jackson, New England Regional Development Director for Constant Contact, for a half-day workshop entitled “Digital Marketing 2015: Learn, Have Fun, Make It Work.” (That’s us with Heather and other “A-Ha!” Tribe members who attended the workshop.)

Since my phone was running the Meerkat feed, and there was no WiFi available, I got to take notes instead of tweet them! So here are the pearls of wisdom I pulled from Heather’s presentation, “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Email Marketing But Were Afraid to Ask!”

Heather was also part of the latest product in our “A-Ha!” Shop, the Email Marketing Biz Breakthrough Program. To celebrate its debut, you can pick it up from now through April 10th for just $20 (normally $67) when you use promo code BLOGEMAIL at checkout!


Entrepreneurs want to email, but they’re afraid to overwhelm people because of all the email they get themselves, and they empathize!

Why email? 99% at least see your name and subject line. (Compare that to social!)

What to email? Well…

  • What’s valuable to you? What’s an email you always open?
  • What do YOU know that they don’t?
  • Help them avoid mistakes.
  • Tips and tricks of the trade.
  • Favorite things about your industry.
  • Help people know you better. Insurance company example – after they added the Red Sox schedule and a local minors schedule, and a recipe, those became the most clicked-on things.
  • Give away the farm. Show people you’re the expert. People won’t decide to become as good as you are and take business away from you!
  • From Pat Flynn – can you give people at least a tiny little win?
  • What you have access to that they don’t.
  • Original isn’t required – just interesting, relevant, helpful.

60% of email is read on a mobile phone. That has implications for what to send and when to send it – and busts the idea that there’s an ideal time/day each week to send it.

Less is more. Don’t put your whole blog post on there! In fact, not only will it not all get read, you won’t know whether it was or wasn’t. You’d rather drive people off the email and onto your website to check out your whole content.

You gotta look good! And you must have it through a service provider – best reasons why include: better management of a contact database, better measurement data, and regulatory 1-click unsubscribe compliance.

Make it clear what you want people to do. Images are going to get more clicks. Also, image must link out to some place on your website. (Even the homepage!)

Don’t let your image descriptions be blank or “IMG2387.jpg” – message! And if the image has all the info, you need it in text in the email, too.

***Make your call to action be on the first scroll for mobile!***

“Now, Later, Never.” That’s how you weed through your inbox. You want to get people to “Now.” And since less is more, then you train people to know that your stuff won’t take long, so they’re more inclined to “Now.”

Who’s it from, what’s the subject line – two critical items to get the open.

2 seconds to get someone’s attention with a name/email, 2 words in the subject line to get them to even read the rest of the subject line!

Magazine cover teasers – still the art of perfection!

***What is the mindset of your customer in the moment you’re sending the email? How can you help them best at 2pm on a Thursday? 8pm on a Saturday? Be relevant to your ideal customer in the moment they need to hear from you.***

Subject Line (and Headline) Formula: Number or ?  + adjective + keyword + promise

Funny makes money!

80/20 rule for value versus promotion. 80% tangible (free!) value for the reader, 20% promotional material.

Monthly is most common for regular email sending, but… Ask yourself: “When are my readers likely to take the action I want?” THAT’S when to send it. Mobile has changed the game about when to send, because people aren’t at a desk 9a-5p.

Start with when’s NOT a good time, then what’s the right mindset, then survey your audience about their preferences, to get at a good time to send.

How to split test: Split your list, send the exact same email to different people on different days. Which is the best day? Then, which is the best time on that day? If it doesn’t matter, then use the subject line and the content to focus on the value you deliver. Try different value propositions.

Repurpose and reuse the same content across multiple platforms – it’s totally cool to do it!

Content curation helps you mix up what you put out, present yourself as a well-rounded expert who’s willing to freely share resources. Also creates goodwill with the people whose content you’re sharing.

Where to get ideas for email content, and how to handle it:

  • Feedly – RSS reader to pull in your feeds for content sharing. (Flipboard, too!)
  • Google Alerts, Email Newsletters, Social Media also for content discovery. Retweet a follower once a day (or more!) to fill out your content.
  • Scheduler: HootSuite, Buffer
  • Engagement: MarketMe Suite (like Nutshell Mail)
  • Events are great sources for curated content.

Be curious! Be you! Be fun! Don’t overthink your content strategy. If something helped you, feel free to share it.

***Your social media voice should be your voice after a glass of wine!***


Now, don’t forget: The Email Marketing Biz Breakthrough Program is just $20 (normally $67) when you use promo code BLOGEMAIL at checkout from now through April 10th. Get yours today!

  • Lasting Matters

    Thanks for your cliff notes Allen Voivod

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