Todd Martin

Todd Martin

Sales Strategy

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Email Marketing is Still Kickin’: 5 Best Practices

August 5, 2013

Yes, it’s more interesting to noodle around with photos and video and clever social media updates. But is all of that activity more effective than email marketing?

 The industry-watchers say No. Email marketing is in some ways superior to social selling, say many of them.

Todd Martin 073013 image 1

How can that be, you wonder, as you think about the near-repetitive stress injuries you’ve gotten from deleting unsolicited email after unsolicited email.

But occasionally you open a few, don’t you? And you sometimes click through them to a vendor’s website. Granted, they’re often your favorite retailers anyway. Still, don’t you occasionally at least hold an email back because it grabbed your attention instantly? Why?

Just Leave Me Alone, OK?

 Even if you’ve signed up to receive content through email from a company, you’ve probably felt some of the same disdain that I have when those companies:

  • Send me additional content that I didn’t request
  • Spam me, disguising the repetitive missives with different wording in the subject line
  • Don’t unsubscribe me when I’ve clearly asked to be cut loose, and
  • Beg, when I don’t respond. Is it something we SAID? We want you BACK, Mr. TODD MARTIN.

A Tough Row to Hoe

It’s harder to grab a prospect’s attention through email than social media. But, we’re told, email marketing still holds a lot of sway. It just has to be done skillfully. Entire books have been written about that topic, and there are consultants that pull in big bucks for crafting effective ones.

So there’s only much I can say in a blog post. What I’d like to do is share some of the best practices I’ve seen work in developing and distributing marketing messages through email.

  • Edit. And then edit some more. You don’t have a lot of opportunities to get in front of your customers and prospects. When you do, make sure it’s not the last time they’ll give you an audience. Grammar matters, and spelling and punctuation. So does the integrity of your links.
  • Believe that everyone is going to read your privacy policy. Make it airtight and accommodating, and abide by it. Don’t write it in legalese, but in common English. You might even insert some humor.Todd Martin 073013 image 2
  • Be upfront. How often are they going to receive email updates from you? How can they opt out? Are you going to restrict your mailings to only those they’ve requested? Make this information prominent.
  • Be repetitive. Not in a bad way. Every marketing email should feature access to your privacy policy, opt-out information, preferences, etc. Your readers didn’t keep that first email you sent, so be respectful and make it easy for them to get off your list. You will inevitably lose customers and prospects, but don’t frustrate them in the process.
  • Use your own intuition. While you’re speeding through your list of emails every day — keeping 1-2 percent of them, the experts say — make a note of what was different about the messages you actually read, and why. You’re a salesperson, but you’re also a consumer of business and personal goods and services. Take your own reactions to heart — they’re as valid as a fancy infographic or research study.

Stock images courtesy of

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