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Welcome to our latest fortnightly eBulletin, posted here on Tuesday, 22 July 2014. In this issue:


6 tips to avoid the spam filters (infographic)

Email marketing good practice is changing all the time, right? Well, yes and no. Yes it's essential that we monitor our metrics and keep an eye on industry trends. But no, many of the core principles stay the same. Here's Adestra's 6 tips to avoid the spam filters:

  1. Don't look like a spammer - golden oldies here of excessive exclamation marks, use of caps, and spam trigger words. But any of these in moderation is OK!
  2. Don't 'spray and pray', ie: send blanket emails to large numbers. Segmented lists always get the best responses.
  3. Don't neglect list hygiene: sending to bad email addresses impacts your sender reputation.
  4. Don't overload your subscribers (too long, too frequent). They'll disengage (and spam filters look at engagement metrics), or complain.
  5. Use bought-in lists with care. How they respond to you is your problem, but how do you know their experience of previous companies? You can nurture your in-house lists but bought-in are an unknown quantity.
  6. Ensure you have an easy unsubscribe link - it's a legal requirement.
Adestra's Don't Look Like a Spammer infographic expands on this with some useful new statistics, too, highly recommended.

Our Email Marketing Workshop is the place to be for much more like this, and lends itself brilliantly to in-company tailored days too.


6 steps for writing simple copy (about anything)

It's dead easy to say 'less is more', but so very hard to apply in reality. Thanks to Copyblogger for lots of their customary good advice, liberally sprinkled with quotes, in support of these 6 steps:

  1. Have only ONE goal.
  2. Have only ONE (specific) audience.
  3. Make it conversational.
  4. Avoid jargon/insider language.
  5. Cut the adjectives and adverbs.
  6. Cut till it hurts - cutting copy to the bone is hard and can include those elegant, clever paragraphs of which you were proud. (But it's not about you.)

"You should always be suspicious of complicated things. You should be even more suspicious of people who make simple things complicated." Perry Marshall (American online marketing strategist)

Inspirational stuff to give you not only the confidence to cut your own copy, but also the arguments for why it's the right thing to do when colleagues disagree.

Read 6 Steps for Writing Simple Copy at Copyblogger.

Our next Copywriting Workshop is on 23 October in London, OR email me ( ) to ask about an in-house course tailored around you and at your convenience.


Can't do automated emails? Here are '3 easy wins' from the CampaignMaster blog

Automated = event-triggered, ie: an automatic response to an action taken by a customer online. Automated emailings are currently a hot topic; there's no shortage of fancy ideas and software to help you do it, but most organisations (and not just publishers) are currently doing very little. Here are three to get you started:

1. The 'thank you email'. Triggered when someone downloads a white paper, or a sample chapter or article (or any other interaction on your website). Those customers may already be getting something in their inbox, but if it's a bald acknowledgement then you're missing a simple marketing trick. This is a great opportunity to write an excellent, customer-friendly email at a time when recipients are predisposed to be receptive. And you can include mention of other things they may be interested in. Just ensure the content won't date and your email is good to go whenever it's triggered.

2. The RSS round-up. Can you pull your latest blog content into your enewsletter automatically under a suitable heading? CampaignMaster, Mailchimp and Adestra definitely offer this: talk to your ESP to find out more.

3. A 'welcome series' of emails. This is a staged send to new customers and can be used to introduce them to the benefits and functionality of what they've just signed up to. The example given is a Waitrose supermarket reward card campaign, which delivers information about the scheme, a reminder of how to use the card, and details of offers and events. The principle is 100% applicable to any online subscription or resource, from electronic journal platform to online language resource.

If you recognise the potential here, find out what automated responders you're currently sending and get re-writing!

Read the '3 Easy Wins' post on the CampaignMaster blog.

Quick wins and automation are definitely themes on our Impressive Marketing Plans on a Small Budget workshop. Runs in Oxford on 11 September.


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