And another thing...

Brad Brenner

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Smart Email Marketing – An Oxymoron?

portland marketing emailWhen it comes to email marketing, few are more hard nosed and jaded as I am. I can delete spam faster than a “Britney Photos Inside” virus attack. So I am always intrigued when I come across unsolicited emails that make me take notice.

It was for this reason that I was particularly impressed when a recent email marketing message I received from Brooke, an AE over at Marketwire, appeared in my IN box. It not only kept me from hitting delete, but also had me hooked and reeled. I’ve included (with permission) a copy of the actual email.

 email marketing sample to portland PR agency

Here is my analysis of what made this such an effective marketing email:

1. The title. The email title is without a doubt, the single most important factor in determining if your email gets read or deleted. This message was entitled “RE: To Tweet Or Not To Tweet.” Using “RE:” was smart. Following “RE:” with the title of my blog post was brilliant. Using “RE:” instantly told me that the info inside was about something I was already interested in. Including the title of one of my blog posts told me “RE” wasn’t simply a common marketing trick (she could have titled the e-mail “RE: Your Blog Post.” and I would have considered it a generic ploy ripe for immediate deletion).

2. The opening was friendly and personable but not overly long or schmaltzy.

3. She quickly provided evidence that she actually read and absorbed the message of my post and provided substantive feedback (so I let my marketing radar guard down and read even further).

4. Her customized intro was followed by her pitch – but by this time, she had my attention and I felt as if she may actually be providing me with something based upon her knowledge of my work.

5. She always assumed the sale. Her offering several options for a meeting was a gentle, yet effective call to action.

The sender’s follow up email was equally effective. She reiterated her “honest” interest in the blog post subject matter. Maybe she was. May she wasn’t. But she did take the time to customize her message.

I realize that most email marketing campaigns are based upon quantity rather than quality. It’s simply a numbers game. Still, I’ve found that taking the time to customize each email will significantly impact your ROI.

I know my agency’s impressive success rate at getting the unsolicited attention of reporters is directly linked in part to careful consideration of each word sent via the introductory email (or phone call). And this requires some prep – ensuring we are familiar with the reporter’s work before we engage. From Oprah’s producers to WSJ columnists, it’s rare when we are unable to connect with our target media.

As I mentioned in my previous post, an estimated 197 billion emails sent each day are unsolicited. Turning a delete into a click to open is often a matter of smart marketing.

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More Stories By Brad Brenner

Brad Lee Brenner is a master blogger, radio host and founder of Brenner Associates, a public relations / communications firm headquartered in Portland, Oregon. Over the past thirty years, Brad has written hundreds of articles that have been published in trade journals, newspapers and online news sources. His focus of expertise includes technology, the medical industry and communications for the digital age.