I must be getting old. I went from my usual pop culture references to dad jokes in this weekly wrap. I even make a “This Land Is Your Land” reference. What is happening? Designing Email Templates for Men and Women I started to write a “men are from Mars, women are from Venus” joke here, but then I realized it wasn’t ten years ago and it probably wasn’t going to be funny (or maybe that’s just my excuse for not coming up with a good enough joke). Gender is a good factor to take into account when segmenting your email campaigns. Learn about Designing Email Templates for Men and Women. Email Personalization? Only if You Know Me, Please It sounds to me like Paul is starting to notice that Big Brother is watching and he doesn’t necessarily like it. Oh yeah. That was a 1984 reference (not the outdated TV show). I swear I’ll work in a more current reference soon. Until then find out what had Paul saying, Email Personalization? Only if You Know Me, Please. The State of Email on Its 50th Anniversary in 2015 You may say, how can Hal possibly know what it’s going to be like in 2015? If you frequently read Hal’s posts on our blog, you would know it’s entirely possible that he has these capabilities. He never ceases to amaze us with his knowledge and wit. I’m saying he might be able to see the future. You don’t need any other reason to read about The State of Email on Its 50th Anniversary in 2015. Support Update: What Is the Benchmark Free Edition? We’re telling you there’s a free edition of Benchmark Email. Do I even need to say something witty to get you to read about it? Check out Michelle’s latest Support Update: What Is the Benchmark Free Edition? How Small Businesses Can Attract Quality Recruits A friend was just telling me that her roommate has Rubik’s Cube Expert listed on their resume. I’ll leave it up to you to decide if that would qualify as a quality recruit in your book. Children’s toy experts aside, find out How Small Businesses Can Attract Quality Recruits. Telltale Games Hires Knotice: Video Games and Email Marketing True story: I almost failed out of college my freshman year due to excessive playing of Halo. So you could imagine my excitement when I read a headline involving video games. For all my fellow video game nerds, check out Telltale Games Hires Knotice: Video Games and Email Marketing. Walgreens’ Autoresponder Campaign Has My Order Backwards I was very proud of my internet prowess the other day, until Walgreens almost had me pulling my hair out. Thankfully, the end result was not bald Andy. I would end up getting my autographed photo of Earth, Wind and Fire, but not before Walgreens’ Autoresponder Campaign Had My Order Backwards. Encourage Your Patrons to Share Your Restaurant Email Content You might drink too much tequila if you see the word patron in the context of a restaurant and don’t think of customers. It doesn’t even make sense as the tequila when you make it plural. Nevertheless...that just happened. While I hang my head in shame, find out how to Encourage Your Patrons to Share Your Restaurant Email Content. Yahoo Mail’s New Ad Targeting Software Puts the User in Control Sometimes you can hear a word a thousand times and never think twice about it, but then you really look at it and it just seems so weird. Yahoo is one of those words for me. My apologies if you waste the next 20 minutes of your life staring at the word Yahoo. When you get done with that, see how Yahoo Mail’s New Ad Targeting Software Puts the User in Control. New Event Marketing Manual from Benchmark Email! This land was made for you and me and, according to Pierce in this article, email marketing was made for event planning. I guess I missed that part of the song. It must be true though. Pierce hasn’t ever given me a reason to doubt him. Check out the New Event Marketing Manual from Benchmark Email!
You know about merge tags, they’re the little codes that help you make an email feel personal. Blogger Hal has a great article where he describes the annoyance and danger of email over-personalization in your newsletter, yet when judiciously applied in proper amounts, they are a very effective tool. I’d like to make another suggestion to you as you decide exactly how to best employ email personalization: use them as you’d speak them, especially when it comes to subject lines. Who’s Calling Out My Name from My Inbox Let’s take a look at a snapshot of my inbox a few days back. I received two personalized emails from two very different companies. One I noticed immediately, one I ignored completely (at least for a while). Though they started out the same, they took two very different paths to my brain. These emails arrived on the same day, one after the next. And though both companies personalized the subject line, I really only noticed the email from the café. So I have to ask myself why. Was it because I wasn’t in the market to rent a car? Well, I wasn’t exactly looking for a baby bundt cake, either. Personal Subject Lines Work when Trusted The subject line works in tandem with the identity of the sender. They’re right next to each other and are most likely judged together. When it came to the two emails above, I quickly paired the sender with the subject line. And one relationship is stronger than the other. One is friendlier than the other. One is more personal than the other - and it isn’t a rent-a-car company. When I go to this mystery café, everyone is friendly. The atmosphere is homey. The people were very friendly when asking for email addresses. Honestly, they really don’t know my name but I wouldn’t be shocked if I walked in and they said it. Personal Subject Lines Are Awkward when Perceived as Inappropriate And that’s just my point. I haven’t rented a car in quite a while but I would be shocked if I walked up to the rental desk tomorrow and they called out my name. I don’t care if it’s their policy to use my first name at the counter, we just don’t do enough business together to warrant anything but that one fake moment. Before You Personalize, Ask Yourself These Questions: Does my recipient know me? This is important. If you wouldn’t call them by their first name when seeing them in the street, you can’t say yes until you ask yourself the next questions. Does my recipient remember me? Maybe three years ago you had a great customer relationship with this person, but now it’s gone stale. If there’s a good chance that they’ll be scratching their head when looking at your company name in the inbox, leave their first name out of this. Does my company business/culture/mood reflect a friendly atmosphere? This is where some types of companies just have a natural advantage. A restaurant, a pub, a neighborhood market can all get away with first name basis greetings all day long because you’d expect that in their stores. Financial institutions, large companies and online merchants have to work a little harder to establish this… except if you’re Zappo’s – they exude friendly. Are the next words in my subject line more important than the recipient’s name? If so, you might want to rethink starting out with a name personalization in the subject line. Some readers see their first name, mentally tag the email as commercial, then promptly skip and move on. Not Rules, Just Guidelines for Thought Please understand that I’m certainly not discouraging you from using personalization in the subject line. We actually preach that strategy here as it’s a proven attention getter (learn more about it with our conditional formatting option). But spammers and email marketers with questionable (read: old, stale or borrowed) lists know this trick too. First name personalization works best if your relationship is personal. Stop and ask yourself if it’s truly appropriate to use it in each instance. You’ll get better results when you do.