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Email marketing rules are all the rage. Emails are easy to create, track and share. Emails are both time and cost effective while giving you the opportunity to target people you already know are interested, too. Social media is temporary and highly saturated, so getting leads onto your email list as soon as possible is important. But once they’re on your email list, standing out from the countless emails your customers already receive every day can be a challenge so it’s important to break some email marketing rules. Breaking these rules could be what helps you and your products stand out from the crowd:

Email Marketing Rules 1 through 7, and How to Break Them

1. Take advantage of your inbox access and email as much as you can.

How to break it:

More is not more. Everyone is busy – including all those names on your list. Don’t bombard busy inboxes; instead, create fewer, but super impactful emails.

The same goes for the other extreme, too. If you don’t email often enough, people will get so distracted by other product updates, they’ll probably forget about yours.

So how to email enough but not too much?

Develop a strategy. Create a posting schedule and stick to it. Consistency is a hugely important brand value, and if you set the frequency expectation from sign-up, subscribers are more likely to stay on your list, opening those missives.

2. Talk to all customers the same

How to break it:

All customers are not created equal, and that’s why email marketing software offers you the option to segment your list.

Imagine you own a skincare line. A salon may be interested in stocking your products. A teenager may be interested inyouru skin-clearing range. A more mature lady may be interested in your anti-aging products.

Should you send the same campaigns to all three sections of your audience, or should you create more targeted messages and offers for each group?

3. Don’t ask for anything in return

How to break it:

Every single marketing activity (both email and otherwise) should have a purpose. There’s always something you’re trying to get out of the interaction. It could be feedback, it could be inspiration, it could be a sale. It could be help spreading the word, it could be an eye on your latest blog post.

But how will anyone know if you don’t ask for it? Stop assuming your audience reads between the lines and just tell them what you want. Your call to action is the most necessary part of any email.

4. Consider your headlines carefully.

How to break it:

My experience is that email subject lines are an epic source of procrastination. People dawdle over hitting send while they obsess about the “perfect” title.

Take all the effort out of the equation and use CoSchedule’s free headline analyzer.

Also, a good rule of thumb is to avoid trigger words like “free”, “save” and “cash” – they can lead to your message getting flagged as spam.

4. Make your emails visually exciting

How to break it:

All of your pieces of email marketing software offer a range of free templates to make your campaigns look striking, but this is not always the best way to go.

For starters, some email clients won’t even be able to view your missives. And then secondly, this kind of design can make prospects feel marketed to, rather than spoken to. It’s much less personal.

As a matter of course, you should offer a plain text alternative, and give subscribers the choice.

5. The bigger the list, the better

How to break it:

You want the people receiving your emails to open them, read them and click through to whatever you’re offering. If your list is filled with random people that aren’t even interested in your products you won’t achieve that goal.

Clean out your list regularly, so that you can make sure you’re targeting the most interested parties. And don’t get offended by unsubscribes – consider them a natural list cleanser.

6. The “send time” will make or break your campaign

How to break it:

This is another source of procrastination for many email marketers. You will no doubt have seen an infographic or two promising that a certain time on a certain day will lead to more conversions, but it’s simply untrue.

Your geographic location, your niche and your customer base all play a role, so there really is no one-size-fits-all approach.

And actually, 85% of opens happen 2 days after receiving an email, and 32% of linked purchases happen 2 weeks after.

Bonus! You need to offer a freebie to add names to your list.

How to break it:

One core principle of list management is that retention is just as important as the acquisition.

In other words, finding new prospects is no more important than nurturing those already in sight.

By all means, create a fantastic freebie to lure people onto your list, but don’t stop there. Keep offering free content to your subscribers so that they keep feeling value.

THAT is how you stand out from the crowd and keep earning your spot in their inbox.

About the author

Jo Gifford

Jo Gifford

I help people work in smarter, creative ways + get their message out to the world via killer content—blogs, copy, images + social. I am a designer, writer, blogger, mentor, author, creativity addict + prolific geek.
 You could call it a portfolio career of multi-potential multi-passions. I call it being me.

3 comments

  1. Brandon

    Nice blog.
    Email marketing comprises serious brainstorming to get the best outcome. Your tips are decent enough to determine the best strategy for a successful work.

    Thanks for share.

    1. Selz

      Bryce Patterson

      Hey Brandon, great to hear you found this post helpful! Thanks for checking us out and commenting.

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