What Email Marketers Can Learn From Famous Lefties

Left-handed people are often touted for their creativity—from musicians like David Bowie to inventors like Leonardo da Vinci.  Since National Left Handers’ Day is celebrated annually on Aug. 13, I thought it was a good time to apply lessons learned from some famous lefties to email marketing strategies.

Your Email Program Can be Anything -- Just Not Dull

David Letterman claims that his “greatest fear in life is being dull,” but anyone who watched his version of “The Late Show” can attest to the fact that he is a lot of things, but dull is not one of them.  Letterman always brought a sense of levity and fun to the show, but also knew when to be slightly more serious, like  when interviewing big guests like President Obama.



Take it from Dave: Being dull is what causes people to tune out and ultimately ignore your email communications. Take a serious look at your open and click metrics. If you see a significant portion of your audience not engaging, ask yourself honestly, “Is my program dull?” If the answer is yes, start testing and introducing content that is more engaging, like fun video, interesting cinemagraphs, animation, humorous content: you pick. Like Dave said, “You can be awful. Just don’t bother being dull.”

Play the Long Game with Your Email Program

Sir Paul McCartney is one of the most respected artists of all time (although some Millennials seem to be out of the loop). From an illustrious start in the 1960s with the Beatles to forming Wings and even spurring a successful solo career, McCartney knows a thing or two about playing the long game. At 74 he still creates new music and sells out stadiums.

As marketers, we can learn a lot from Sir Paul. While the Beatles had many hit songs (can anyone help singing “Hey Jude” or “Here Comes the Sun” when it comes on the radio?), he knows how to take it a step further. He has threaded together a series of successes—some larger than others—to create an amazing career.

While your email program may have the periodic one-hit wonder that drives out-of-this-world engagement or sales, the key to being successful in this channel is no different from what our favorite Beatle does: make sure the successes come together to build something bigger.

Email is a relationship channel – and relationships have longevity. One email success, or failure, should not be enough to take your program down if you are doing it right. Evaluate your messages and determine if each one moves you toward that longevity or is it just a flash in the pan. Having a good mix of both is what brings long-term success.

Not Everyone Will Love Your Email Program

There's no doubt that Picasso’s work has made a major impact on the art world, though he may not have lent an ear to popular opinion. While many are moved by paintings like "Guernica," a lot of people are turned off by its odd, cubist style and confused portraiture. While Picasso appealed to the artists in his own eclectic circle, many traditional critics disliked his work.

At the end of the day, different things appeal to different people, and your email program is no different. As long as you are relevant to those who  love your brand and remain relevant to them, your program will be appreciated for years to come.  

Make sure you consider your audience every step of the way. While they all share a common love for the brand, each of your critics is different.

 For example the content (and even channel) you would leverage for the teenage back-to-schooler is very different from what you might send to his/her mother. When it comes to both art and email marketing, it is often better to execute very well for a small audience than to do a mediocre job for a general audience.  What’s important is knowing who your audience is and what will appeal to them.

Whether lefties are really are more creative or it’s all a myth, we can learn a lot from what made these particular ones so creatively successful, using their lessons to evolve our email marketing strategies.

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