Spammers today, like effective bank robbers, always stay one step ahead of the curve, introducing new technology and honing copy to entice people to buy. They do research on colors that drive attention, subject line and copy length and even personalization. So why doesn’t anyone study spam emails to see what new best practices our standard market should employ? I decided to take a look at a sample of 1,422 spam emails recently sent to see what I could learn. This is what I found:
Shortly after my birthday last year, I happened upon a horoscope website. It wasn’t the standard site that told visitors things such as what days would be lucky or unlucky for them. It was far more in-depth.
I typically count the spam email messages I get (yes, I’m an email geek at heart). With more webinars taking place as travel budgets get slashed, this week I counted 27 webinar invites in all shapes and sizes.
I have to admit, I used to be skeptical of Twitter. I also didn't see the integration between Twitter and Facebook with e-mail. But then I started to realize these channels could be very useful to extend the reach of my e-mail programs: We placed links to our e-mails on the social networking sites. And guess what? We saw a great lift in response.
Author's Note: The following isn't a sales pitch, so it's safe to keep reading. A few weeks ago, I got this crazy idea to help Zinio promote one of our newer features called INSIDE. INSIDE enables readers to look inside any digital magazine Zinio carries and read it, along with two additional articles, for free.
In last month’s From the Trenches, I recalled a disagreement I had with a colleague who insisted that a person's content is new — no matter how many times that person uses it — if it's the first time someone else is hearing it.
“What gives?” I asked him after he was done. “Were you too lazy to update your content?” He laughed at me and said something along the lines of, “New city, new faces. To them it’s new content. It’s a good message, and I'll use this presentation as many times as I can before I update it.”
At Zinio, a digital publishing retailer, we send a lot of e-mail to our customers. And having personally founded the Email Experience Council, I love that we rely so much on e-mail. But I have to say, being on the front lines of e-mail marketing definitely has created a new appreciation for the industry best practices that so many of us thought leaders and strategists spew at conferences and events.
The No. 1 question any e-mail marketing professional is asked is, "What is the industry benchmark for XXX?" Meaning: How do the results of my program compare to those of my competitor?" The second most common question is, "What are the best practices for XXX?" This ranges from design to segmentation or even sending trends. A few years ago, best practices in the e-mail marketing industry were pretty common -- and effective. With today's fast-changing digital landscape, the majority of broad and general best practices in e-mail no longer exist.