Sunday, 19 June 2011, 6:00 PM

A Gigantic Header

I just have to show you this newsletter.

expeditionary artist

Every email designer would be terrified to see this big picture on top of the page. In this case though it seems to work – after all they have an opening frequency of 30 %. Evidently it works very well in a mobile phone  too. Check what Campaign Monitor says about the letter here.

I felt I had to show you this since I so often claim that a big picture on top of the page isn’t the optimal choice. But sometimes the exception confirms the rule …


Tuesday, 7 June 2011, 11:51 PM

Welcome, Bienvenidos, Välkommen -– Done Right

I’ve always stressed that welcoming emails have to be extremely well thought out. The first impression is indeed an important one, but if it’s not a good impression, it will be the last impression. We don’t want our customers questioning why they ever signed up for that email in their inbox.

Let’s take a look at what happens when I first register for Innocents newsletter. Carefree, happy words of joy are sprinkled throughout this lovely welcome – assisting my mind in forgetting the fact that I’m sharing all kinds of personal information with them, including my preferred flavor of chewing gum. I smiled and told them what they wanted to know.

I also chose how often I wanted the newsletter. Have a look for yourself below:

Here’s something else to digest, saying “thank you”. It’s a lot better than: “You are now a subscriber to our newsletter.” Or even worse: “You’ve now been added to our list of subscribers.” As a customer, I don’t want to hear that I’ve just been “added” to a “list of subscribers”. I want to feel like an individual.

Facebook, Twitter, and blog integration are always major brownie points.

Nice work, Innocent! When you start offering spirulina juice I’ll become your most faithful customer!


Wednesday, 1 June 2011, 12:08 AM

Examples of Newsletters in HTML And Text Format

I happen to like Amazon’s many newsletters. The newsletters I get from them are usually adjusted to the way I use their website, which items I look at or buy etc. But then I get something surprising, a traditional newsletter that doesn’t seem to be segmented at all. In this case it’s “Hot Offers in Electronics & Computing”. I haven’t been clicking around or ordering from the electronics section as of late, nothing even close. I smell a sales email.

Remember our last post about HTML and plain text? Amazon sends most of their emails in HTML, but they also offer you a “downgrade” to a plain text version in their reactivation emails and order receipts. Have a look below:

This is how the newsletter looks in both HTML and plain text

If you want to test the different newsletter formats, you can jump between HTML and plain text directly in your email client – assuming the sender is sending both formats. Here’s a how to in Mac Mail:

Friday, 20 May 2011, 6:32 PM

Bin Laden – Emailing Ten Years Undercover

Here’s how Mr Laden kept up with friends, family and co-workers without being found out.

Read it at MSNBC here.

Friday, 20 May 2011, 6:27 PM

Send More Emails, Make More Money, Annoy More Humans

Now here’s a strange statement in a world where spam isn’t very welcome. Dela Quist believes that we should send more emails – and more than one of the same email at that! Read the article and tell us what you think.

I get stuck on two of his comments chiefly:

“The more people you have on the list and the more emails you send, the more money you will make. And because of that, one of the weirdest things about email is how little people spend in trying to acquire email addresses.”

If everyone would try to get as many email addresses as possible in order to earn as much money as possible – how would that affect email marketing in the long run? More spam? Better spam filters? More angry people? Probably.

What Dela doesn’t share with us is the statistics after this “strategy”. How does it affect the number of unsubscriptions? And what’s the click frequency in the long run? Not to mention the relationship with the customers…

Just about anything can sound great if you look at the short term stats only.

“My mother doesn’t know whether there was permission or not, it doesn’t matter to her. She’ll either respond to the email or not respond to the email.”

So I guess it’s ok to collect email addresses and shoot out newsletters randomly…

Is no one thinking of the customers’ interests? Some are…just not Mr. Quist.

I work a lot with the web, and I love to listen to The Big Web Show – a show where entrepreneurs in the webosphere tell their experiences and success stories. It’s mostly the nerds of the business who are being interviewed. One common thread connects these nerds – they don’t focus on money. On the contrary, these people are driven by the thought of creating something that people will love, solutions and knowledge that will help people. But above all, they want to do what they love and are passionate about.

In an interview with designer Andy Rutledge, he talks about how absolutely important quality is. He describes it as “uncompromising professionalism”. He mentions why he avoids working together with customers that don’t share the values and development of his company – you mean everything isn’t about money? He also adds a somewhat different policy that his company has stuck to from the start: Never to have more than seven employees. Why?  So his company will always have personal dialog with its customers…always.

A great way of looking at their own business.

Dela Quist’s approach to email marketing is soiling the channel. Email marketing is not a channel for unaddressed direct advertising.

“If you build it, they will come” – thanks Ray Liotta. Build relationships first, money will come later – or sooner.

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