Email Tips Filtered Through The Lens Of Advice To My Daughter

The kids are officially back at school after an extended winter break due to the sub-zero weather we were having here in “The Region”  (that’s what residents affectionately call Northwest Indiana). But the extra time with my daughter proved to be invaluable.  At nine years old, she is growing up quickly and formulating her approach to dealing with challenges. And she actually came to me for some advice! I was doing a little dance inside, but remained cool, calm and collected on the outside.

When I reflected back on what we discussed, it dawned on me that the advice I shared with my daughter could really lend itself nicely to the email world. So over the course of my next few posts, I will bring to you the top five pieces of advice I shared with her -- with an email twist.

Today we will look at point #1: Not everyone is going to like you.  Let’s explore this from a few different perspectives focusing on subscribers, creative and internal interaction.

The reality is that not everyone is going to like you, in life or in the inbox. While this may come with a lot of tears as it did for my little one, marketers must know their audience isn’t everyone.



Many marketers want to amass a database of email addresses because quantity is often valued over quality. I cannot believe this is still the case, as it was a challenge I faced over a decade ago when I was on the client side. But if quantity is going to be the focus, you have to come to grips with the fact that not all subscribers are going to like you, and therefore you will likely have a much higher number of SPAM complaints and/or above average unengaged subscribers.  There's a tradeoff here that you have to expect and be willing to accept: quantity for engagement.


Another aspect of your program is your creative  -- which, by nature is extremely subjective. Internally and externally it is not uncommon to get mixed feedback and you just have to accept that fact that you can’t please everyone. My husband had a birthday this weekend and showed me the “strange” birthday email he received from Southwest Airlines, which gave him the choice of watching a birthday song performed four ways: rock, country, opera or hip-hop. He thought it was a little weird. I LOVED IT!

Internal Interaction
Finally, let’s look at the perception of email marketing inside your organization. For some companies, it’s a  highly valued channel, while other organizations see it differently.   But t as I told my daughter, you just keep doing your best -- and if people don’t appreciate that, then it’s their issue.

The key takeaway is that you need to be doing your best.  If you are just phoning it in, doing what you are told to do and not leveraging the expertise and knowledge you have to make your programs successful, then maybe the reputation is earned. Not everyone is going to be enamored by email marketing but, it is up to you to show them why they should be.

The reality is that there is an audience out there for you to talk to, engage with and get excited about your brand, but it isn’t going to be every person that comes across your website, steps into your store or calls your customer service center.  If you focus on the ones you really “click” with, the experience can be much more enjoyable for everyone involved. Whichsegues nicely into the topic for my next post: You only need a few good friends.

Until next time.

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