Plug It, Stick It, Rock it: The New Email Mantra?

So I am hanging out on Captiva Island, Fla., this week at MediaPost's own Email Insider Summit -- and for those of you who have been here before, you know exactly what that means. For those of you who have not -- well, I encourage you to find out.

I have been attending these summits for many years now, and there are always stories that become folklore among us -- stories that always manage to bubble to the surface at inconvenient and embarrassing times. So, rather than wait for that moment, I figured I would 1) create it, and 2) turn it into email advice. Here goes:

In December, I had the opportunity to attend the winter Email Insider Summit in Park City, Utah. During the event, one vendor collected business cards and drew winners for various prizes. I was the winner of a Rock-It Speaker. It was an unusual prize, with an even more questionable tag line: "Plug it, stick it, rock it." This of course became the joke of the conference. During the welcome reception last night, Ryan (you know who you are) reminded me of this "win.” So now that you know the backstory, here’s my advice:

Your email program is what it is -- often promotional -- so don't be afraid to actually plug your brand, your purpose and the desired result. The average consumer doesn't spend a whole lot of time trying to figure out the hidden meaning behind your creative copy; rather, she wants you to get to the point, so she can get on with the rest of her day. That being said, you need find a good balance between infomercial and novel. Tell your story and plug your brand. It seems today that many marketers are gun-shy on marketing. But plug it and love it!

Not like that....c'mon. Think more along the lines of a gymnast sticking a landing. You need to finish your email message strong; this is not the time to be a softy. You have a point (otherwise you shouldn't be sending the message in the first place), so stick the landing. Don't be ambiguous; tell recipients what you want them to do, when you want them to do it and how you want it to happen. You do need to show some tact and exercise some common sense. It sounds really obvious, but too often I see brands trying to be cute or witty at the expense of the actual message. So instead, stick it.

No matter what anyone says, email is still an integral communication vehicle and the backbone of many other channels. Be proud of the channel and rock it, internally and externally. Internally you need to be the champion of the channel -- make sure it is adequately considered and rolled into the communication mix. Externally, you need to present relevant and timely communications to your customers. Creating an experience that they appreciate can be as simple as a "free shipping" offer. If I have learned nothing else over the course of 12+ years in this channel, it's that sometimes you need to keep it simple to rock it.

A special shoutout to OrigAudio (the makers of the Rock-It Speaker) for the fodder for this article. While we live in different industries, your tagline has inspired my new email marketing battle cry.

So I challenge you all to plug it, stick it, rock it! And with that, I head back to the events and prepare for a fun-filled day of email marketing best practices and topnotch networking events as I round out the week here in Captiva. To all my friends at MediaPost: you too should plug it, stick it, rock it!

3 comments about "Plug It, Stick It, Rock it: The New Email Mantra?".
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  1. Karen Talavera from Synchronicity Marketing, April 26, 2012 at 2:34 p.m.

    Nice job Kara - must've been challenging to break away to write this - I applaud your dedication!

    The Rock-It Speaker - perfect award for a Rockin' Speaker! See you on the island tomorrow.

  2. Kara Trivunovic from Epsilon, April 26, 2012 at 3:57 p.m.

    Thanks Karen! It was a bit tough to break away from the festivities to pen the article, but it was a fun one to write. And thanks for the speaking Kudos! I have to say that you are a Rockin' Speaker too! Hope to see you on the boat tonight!

  3. Arthur Einstein from Loyalty Builders, April 29, 2012 at 2:16 p.m.

    Kara, This is really excellent advice - basics that don't get the attention they deserve. It's odd that as advertising gets more numbers driven the messages seem to wander and get get self- indulgent. Writers bent on being 'creative' lose site of the priorities of readers.

    I'm passing this on to colleagues. Thanks

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