Email Thursday – The 6 Precepts of Email



This week, we’ll cover The 6 Precepts of Email. Relatively simple to follow and easy to understand, these rules and guidelines can give you guidance when managing an email channel in order to stay on top of best practices within the industry. Since this is a little more in-depth than some of my other posts, we’ll get right to it.

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  1. The first thing we need to look at is the welcome email. The “welcome” email is perhaps one of the most important emails you can send any subscriber. It sets the tone for all communications to come and serves as the first chance to show your value proposition to the subscriber. Designing this along with a landing page is a good idea as well to keep the message consistent.
  2. The second rule is to slot new subscribers into a “newbie” track. Now, this is not necessarily relevant to everyone here. If you are a small retailer without the budget f the big boys, this rule may not apply to you. For you, perhaps you can think about having an “abridged” newbie track… welcome, welcome followup, then into the sandbox along with the rest of the kids.
  3. Clarify your value proposition. This is a VERY important aspect of email marketing. What makes your emails stand out from your competition? If your value proposition is not abundantly clear, you run the risk of losing the new subscriber before you can convert them into a customer. That means you spend money getting them on your list and saw no return on that. Money wasted and a lost customer. Double whammy. Try to occupy a space in their mind.

  4. Use Consistent Branding. This doesn’t just mean use consistent branding among all of your emails (although this is a must) but it means throughout all of your outbound marketing initiatives. Website, emails, coupons, PPC… everything. Stay consistent, stay relevant. In email, make sure your newsletters and triggers have a similar look and feel as well as a similar tone to the body copy. Images and colors should all be consistent.
  5. Establish and use personality. This doesn’t mean you need to make everything as funny as you can or as poignant as you can, but create a personality and stick to it. For me, it helps to imagine an actual person and to step into that person’s shoes. If you can create a person in your mind complete with how that individual speaks, then you can put yourself in their place and speak with their voice. This is the voice of your brand.
  6. Get relevant. Try to make your emails as specific to the user as possible. Attempt to migrate to a communications strategy that focuses more on a user’s behavior and interaction with your brand as opposed to a strategy that pivots on dates or seasonality only.

If you can try to keep these in mind and follow them, you stand to improve the success of your campaigns greatly.