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10 Things You Need to Stop Doing in Your Marketing Emails

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10 Things You Need to Stop Doing in Your Marketing Emails

Did you know that roughly 45% of emails sent are considered spam?

Yes, that number sounds bad.

Maybe your marketing emails aren’t spam, they can be treated as one by your recipient.

Note: This post was originally published in June 2015, and updated in November 2021 to include new tips and data.

For some people, email marketing is the best way to go, but others commit huge mistakes in their marketing emails and think that it doesn’t work.

So before you leave email marketing behind, why don’t you analyze your marketing emails first? Maybe there are things you can improve that you haven’t seen yet that’s why your efforts are failing miserably.

So, without further ado, here are the top 10 things you should stop doing in your marketing emails to increase open rates and conversions.

1. Generic subject lines

Serious question. How many emails do you receive every day? Maybe too much that you can’t read every single one of them.

According to TechJury, the average office worker receives around 120 emails per day.

What are the odds that your email will be one of the few opened? Or even just noticed?

Too low if your subject line is not as brilliant as Buzzfeed’s email subject lines.

Buzzfeed Marketing Emails Subject Line

Subject lines are one of the most crucial parts of an email, that’s why you have to be very careful when creating one.
Good thing there are ways you can follow to make sure that your emails will go directly to your recipients inbox – meaning higher chances of being opened!

  1. Avoid spammy words like “free,” “limited time,” “buy,” and using all caps, such as “REMINDER,” and “CLICK.”
  2. Be clear. Being witty or super creative with the subject line is fine, but be sure that you’re not compromising clarity. Be clear with your message and intention, and avoid disappointing your recipients by putting up a subject line that will not be further explained in the content.
  3. Be concise. Subject lines that work have 50 characters or fewer. Concise subject lines are recommended if you want it to be fully displayed in the email pane – especially for mobile devices.

A good subject line is not too generic that it doesn’t really speak with your recipients, rather, it should urge them to do something or show that they will benefit from reading your email.

Tip: A/B test your subject lines

A/B testing is when you change certain parts of your email, whether it be the subject line or body copy, to see how the changes impact your results.

By A/B testing, you get to see what works with your audience and what doesn’t. For example, if your subject lines with puns get consistently higher open rates, then moving forward you know it’s better to have punny subject lines.

2. Images that don’t display properly

We’ve all experienced receiving marketing emails with broken images.

I know… that’s frustrating.

Although you can’t always blame yourself or your email marketers for instances like this, because not all recipients can receive visual elements – some can only receive in plain text.

What you can do instead is to limit the usage of images, and make sure that you have proper alt text for all your images to keep your readers away from being clueless on what your images are all about.

Buzzfeed Marketing Emails ALT Text

3. Usage of “noreply” emails

 

Lomography No-reply marketing emails

Generic addresses, especially ‘no-reply’ ones prevent your readers from engaging with your business. And we don’t want that.

We want to receive emails with email addresses that we can reply to – where we can ask questions or give feedback.

‘No-reply’ email addresses have also been proven to decrease open rates, and increase unsubscribe and complaint rates.

If you’re not yet convinced that you should give up using ‘no-reply’ email, perhaps this guideline will finally persuade you.

The CAN-SPAM Act: A Compliance Guide for Business

According to the first item in the CAN-SPAM Act, “Your “From,” “To,” “Reply-To,” and routing information – including the originating domain name and email address – must be accurate and identify the person or business who initiated the message.”

4. Generic salutations

Personalization is a very important part of email creation. We give value and attention to emails that we know is made especially for us. And how do we know it’s for us?

When it’s addressed to us – when names are mentioned.

So stop that “To whom it may concern,” “Dear Sir,” or worse, “{INSERTFIRSTNAME}” salutation and start using actual names.

“…years and years of sifting through emails has conditioned people to discard anything that doesn’t come from a recognizable friend or family member and/or doesn’t open with a personalized greeting. Any message that doesn’t refer to the recipient by name is getting discarded—period—never to be pondered again. You have to be on a first-name basis with your recipient. That’ll get you in the door, so to speak, and leave the recipient open to reading your message.” -Dan Forootan (How Important Is Personalization To Your Email Marketing Campaign?)

If you’re using an email marketing software, check if you’re typing the correct personalization shortcodes. You wouldn’t want your subscriber to end up with a “Dear    ,” or again, {INSERTFIRSTNAME}.

5. Misleading content in marketing emails

You promised something good in your subject line. Now you make sure that the content justifies it.

I’ve been subscribed to HubSpot for quite sometime now, and they never fail to keep their promises. When they say that a free guide or eBook is included, expect that a download link is included in that email – and expect that it’s really free.

HubSpot Email Content

Just like the subject, avoid using spam trigger words like “prize,” “free,” “bonus,” “buy,” and “order.” Instead, use persuasive words like “because,” “you,” and “imagine.”

You can use HubSpot’s The Ultimate List of Email Spam Trigger Words to know what to avoid.

6. No call-to-action

Unless you’re doing a personal email and just want to say hi, you need a call-to-action.

The very reason why you’re marketing through email is because you want to sell something, or perhaps you want your readers to benefit from you. The point is you either want to give, or you need something – usually both.

Make your intentions clear by putting call-to-action. And guide your audience on what to do – until the very last step.

“Be clear and direct with your users, telling them exactly what you’d like them to do.”Conversion Rate Experts

KISSmetrics has always been generous with giving steps and options. Just take this example below:

KISSmetrics Call-to-Action

Including a short explanation or bullets of your product’s features with call-to-action button is also a good way to convert.

Evernote Call-to-Action

7. Multiple marketing emails with the same content

Weeks ago, I committed a mistake that nobody should ever follow.

I published a post in SEO Hacker, and later on decided to modify the headline and slugs. There’s nothing wrong with that – you can always change your title and slugs if you feel that it’s necessary to do so. However, when your published post is automatically being sent to thousands of subscribers, then you have to be careful.

I use an email marketing software called AWeber, and every time we publish an article, it automatically sends an update to our subscribers like this:

SEO Hacker Email Marketing

Once it’s sent, and you modified the slugs of your post, it will generate a new email – regardless if it’s the same post or not. That’s what I did, and that’s the dangerous part.

Just by modifying the slugs, I have sent two emails (in the same day) containing two different titles but the same content and is directed to the same article.

SEO Hacker Email Marketing Mistake

Not a very nice move!

It can confuse your readers, or they may not give importance to your emails at all, because really, who wants to be bombarded with multiple emails with the same content?

8. No option to unsubscribe from marketing emails

Admit it, even if you have compelling content, there will always be people who won’t like (or will stop liking) receiving marketing emails. That’s why you need to give them the option to unsubscribe – and make it visible.

A while back, Gmail started displaying the unsubscribe links at the top of messages.

Unsubscribe Google Feature

But you should still include an ‘unsubscribe’ button. For example, my Leadership Stack Podcast emails have this option at the footer.

Unsubscribe button

9. Not segmenting the customers for marketing emails

Another major mistake that you may be committing is forgetting to segment your customers. Customer segmentation is the process of grouping customers based on various factors such as age, gender, industry, and others.

It’s important to ensure your customers are segmented properly so that the emails they get are personalized. For example, some of my customers work in marketing, some work in SEO, and others are entrepreneurs. If the emails they get don’t fit their demographic, they would just unsubscribe because I’m not adding value to their life.

Besides, receiving the kind of content everyone else receives doesn’t feel good. As a customer, you want to be spoken to. Segmenting customers helps with that.

10. Having generic content

I already touched on it a little earlier: Having generic content doesn’t do anyone any favors. Your customers don’t want to receive the same content as everyone else. They want you to speak to them.

Let’s say you’re asking for a donation, and you’re just asking the same amount from everyone. What if a third of the people you sent that email to are living paycheck-to-paycheck, the other third are living comfortably, and the final third are rich? Expecting all of them to give $50 will be unreasonable, and your email will show them that you don’t care about their situation.

You can avoid that by personalizing your email using dynamic content, where certain parts of your email are filled in by the data your customers provide you. This makes the email – you guessed it – personal for the customer. According to Keela, “When compared to non-personalized email campaigns, personalized emails yield 29% higher unique open rates and 41% unique click rates.”

Key takeaway

Sometimes we get so excited, we want to jump right in and just do things for marketing’s sake, leaving no chance for proper planning and execution.

But, that’s not how it should be – even in email marketing.

Once in a while, you need to do an audit of your email marketing. Ask yourself, “How is it working for me?” and “What are the things I need to improve?” Then you can try different styles, different approaches, perhaps different tones, but never ever commit these 10 email marketing sins. Unless you want to end up in the spam folder of your recipients.

And of course, if you want to be absolutely sure that these 10 deadly sins won’t be committed, we have an email marketing service you can check out.

Happy email marketing, and let me know what you think!


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How to Create an Email Marketing Calendar in 2022

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How many batch and blast marketing emails do you get in a day? More importantly, how often do you mark all of them as “read” without actually reading them? 

Naturally, you don’t want to be just another brand that clutters your customers’ inboxes. So how then can you cut through the noise and ultimately increase your open and click-through rates?

There are two things that determine a successful email marketing campaign: consistency and proper segmentation.

This means that you should be able to reach the right audience, at the right time, with the right message. 

One way to ensure this is through an email marketing calendar

With one, you can plan, create, and schedule your emails for the best possible results.

There are many ways to create an email marketing calendar including using spreadsheets or tools specifically designed for planning. 

PromoPrep Email Calendar

Now, let’s talk about how you can create an email marketing calendar.

Be Clear on Your Goals for Your Email Campaigns

The first step to creating an email campaign calendar is to figure out what type of messages you want to share to your customers.

Do you want to:

  • Promote a new product or event?
  • Re-engage your customers?
  • Encourage them to check out items from their abandoned carts?
  • Launch a seasonal campaign tied to an upcoming sale?
  • Send a newsletter or useful content to establish your expertise in the field? 

Identifying your goals can help you tailor a strategy that makes sense to your recipients. From this list, you can then start to plan the kind of emails that you want to send out, and when they will be sent out. 

Determine the frequency of your send-outs for each campaign

Now that you have a list of campaigns that you want to launch through email, you can then plot these on your working calendar. 

For example, if you want to start sending a newsletter, what are the best practices in doing so? Your research might tell you that it is best sent once a month. You can then go ahead and plot this in your calendar. 

You might also want to run a sale monthly. If so, be sure to block out a day in your calendar for send out. 

The idea is to plot these emails on your calendar to give you a visual idea of how your quarter (or perhaps, year) is shaping up. You might notice that some months may be overloaded with emails and some have huge gaps in them. You can then adjust your emails accordingly—both for your subscribers and the marketing team’s benefit. 

Determine Your Segments

The last thing that you want to do is to send emails that are not relevant to your recipients. After all, not everyone is going to be on the same stage in your marketing funnel — so be sure to segment your emails based on where they are in their buyer’s journey.  

You can do this by determining which campaigns you want to send to everyone, and which ones should go to a specific set of people on your list.  Doing this after you have plotted the frequency of your send-outs will also help you determine which segments will be overloaded with emails and which ones aren’t getting enough attention. 

Actionable tip: for every email that you want to send out, be sure to ask yourself who should this email go to and who shouldn’t receive this email. For example, you don’t want to send a welcome series to someone who has been in your mailing list for a long time.

The better you get at organizing your emailing list, the more equipped you can be in providing better value through your content. This will help you send targeted messages to the right people.

Start Writing Down Potential Email Subject Lines

One of the challenges that marketers face when drafting their email content is in writing the subject line. It has to be catchy, relevant and provides the recipient with a sneak peek at what’s inside the email. In other words, it is a pain to write. 

However, it deserves special attention because it will determine whether your email will get opened or not. No matter how much time you’ve spent creating superb content, well-designed graphics, and hard-to-ignore promotions, all of this will be irrelevant if your subject line fails to catch your audience’s attention. 

A component this important should be planned ahead of time. 

Our advice: Come up with a list of your potential subject lines and run them through email subject line testers. Even with these steps, there’s still a possibility that you’ll end up with an entirely different subject line as your content takes shape — but this will help. 

Determine The Type of Content You Want To Share in Every Email

The next thing that you want to do is to determine the content that you want to include in each of your emails. Your task should then include pulling relevant articles from your blog, linking videos from your brand’s channel, and creating graphics for the body of your email. 

All of this should then be saved in a single folder dedicated to every campaign. This eliminates the possibility of sending the wrong graphics or linking the wrong video to your emails. 

Of course, after all, this, be sure to link each specific folder to the right entry in your email marketing calendar.

Finalize the dates and times of your send-outs

Now that you have a solid idea of what you’ll be sending out, who it will be sent to, and what the content of each email will be, it’s time to determine your publish dates and time. 

Be sure to research what the best practices are in sending out emails. For example, you might find out that the best days to send emails are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. 

Plotting the send-out dates in your calendar lets you or your team manager plot the workflow so each member can be delegated a task with the corresponding deadlines—all in time for the publish date. 

Final Thoughts

Email marketing is all about providing relevant content to the right audience. While there is no single formula that can ensure positive results, coming up with a solid plan and a well-designed email marketing calendar is a good start. 

Just remember that your job as an email marketer does not end after the last email has been sent out. Be sure to constantly monitor each campaign’s performance, employ email A/B testing to improve open rates, and always be prepared to reevaluate and revise your approach. 

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10 Tips On Effective Email Marketing For Mobile Apps in 2022

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10-tips-for-effective-email-marketing-during-mobile-app-development10-tips-for-effective-email-marketing-during-mobile-app-development

If you are one of those who thinks email marketing does not work, then you are definitely missing out on a huge market opportunity.

The reason most people conclude email marketing is least relevant is that they aren’t doing it effectively.

An effective email marketing campaign will still produce tremendous results in 2022. It is a good way that top app development companies in the USA can get their messages out to their customers and clients and can also help to strengthen relationships.

There are basically three types of emails; marketing emails, transactional emails, and operational emails.

Marketing emails consist of a newsletter, announcements, sales promotions, and press releases. Companies send these emails to people who want to receive updates from them. These include; clients, affiliates, prospects etc. This is the type of email you get when you subscribe to a website’s newsletter.

Transactional emails are emails that are triggered by a customer’s action or activities. Some examples of transactional emails include welcome messages, registration confirmations, tracking information, sales receipt, invoice etc. Transactional emails have the best chance of being opened as they are trusted emails. They provide an opportunity for more engagement.

Operational emails communicate important information about a business to customers. This includes informing them of holidays closures, service unavailability, maintenance plans etc. This is one of the least successful emails as people tend to skip it quite frequently.

10 Tips On Effective Email Marketing For Mobile Apps in 2022

Below are ten tips for effective email marketing during mobile app development;


1. Building subscriber list:

The first step towards an effective email marketing campaign for mobile apps is building your subscriber list. Of course, who would you promote to if you don’t have any subscribers?

App development companies can encourage sign up by making sure subscriptions forms are available on their homepage and in every other location on their site. Some websites even have sign-up forms that hover over the page and follows the users as they scroll. It is not intrusive, yet it catches attention.

Another effective method of encouraging sign up is by explaining to readers what they stand to gain by subscribing, perhaps a free ebook, or tutorial.


2. Proper targeting:

In order to have an effective email marketing campaign in 2021, you must learn to target your emails to the right recipient.

One of the top reasons why email marketing fails is because mobile app development companies treat all subscribers as the same, hence sending blanket emails.

To have an effective email marketing campaign you must segregate appropriately. This will require you to gather as much data as possible pertaining to your subscribers; their geographical location, their buying habit etc.

This way, you can send your subscribers messages that resonate more with their needs and interest. This makes it more likely for them to take up your offer.


3. Personalization:

Personalizing your emails is also another proven way top app development companies can boost their email marketing campaign.

Rather than sending a generalized email to all your subscribers using the boring “dear reader”, you can replace this with the recipient’s name.

Current emailing software allows users to interchange the generalized address pattern with the recipient’s name. This creates a feeling of camaraderie and trust and increases the chance of your email being opened and read.


4. Keep it simple:

It gets pretty confusing and annoying when you open a webpage and you are bombarded by flashy graphics, huge fonts and some other elements that obstruct the main content of the page.

Most times people just abandon such pages and head to alternative one. In order to prevent irritating their audience and potential customers, top app development companies need to keep their layout as simple as possible.

You should make it look professional. A good number of people often mistake simplicity with being cheap or substandard, and complexity with top-notch. That is far from the truth. The most successful campaigns and websites (Facebook, Google, and Instagram etc.) are built on simplicity and ease of use.


5. A powerful call to action:

There is no point sending dozens of emails if you don’t tell your readers what you want them to do with.

Call-to-action is an important element of a successful email marketing campaign. It is the push that is sometimes needed to turn a reader into a customer.

A call to action can ask customers to make a purchase, to subscribe to a newsletter, click on a link, fill a survey form etc.

Email marketing example from Netflix.


6.Proper formatting:

The manner by which the content of your email is presented also goes a long way in determining the success of your campaign.

Firstly, learn to use catchy titles and engaging opening lines. Your opening lines must be geared at holding and sustaining the attention of your readers.

Your opening paragraphs must be such as to highlight the subject matter of the content. Do not beat around the bush, you will lose your readers before they get to the sweet part.

Also, mobile app developers have to observe proper formatting of their content so as to make them easily readable. This will include using short paragraphs, using keywords and phrases that are relevant to their content, using bullet points to allow their audience be able to skim through their content and identify the key points, using of images to illustrate message etc.


7. Ability to unsubscribe:

This may seem like a point that is a successful email marketing campaign but it is actually beneficial to it.

For some reasons, a subscriber may want to opt out of your mailing list. If they are unable to or they find extremely difficult to, they may flag your email as spam and this will cause you problems down the line.


8. Ensure it is mobile friendly:

We are in the age of smartphones where the majority of users access the web via their phones than on their desktops.

Therefore, to have a successful email marketing campaign top app development companies must ensure that their emails are mobile friendly.

They must be able to open on mobile without any of the elements of the email missing. One way to confirm how mobile friendly your emails are is to subscribe to your newsletter and then view it on your smartphone.

mobile-friendly-websites


9. Test:

Before you send out emails ensure that you test and double check your message. Make sure all the properties and links to the email are working properly.

You should also check it on different platforms and on a variety of mobile devices. For a more efficient testing, you can utilize tools like Litmus. This tool tests and provides screenshots of your email as it would appear on different email platforms.

It is bad practice to send mass email without testing. If there is any major error this could damage the credibility of your brand tremendously.


10. Monitor your data:

For an effective email marketing campaign to promote your mobile app, it is important that you monitor your data. Take note of how many of your subscribers actually opened their emails and how many carried out the expected action. Other information such as time of day people opened the messages is also equally important.

You can also read more about personalization of mobile app and evolution of app design articles to learn more about.

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How Does Storytelling Work And Why It Should Be Used In E-Mailing

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How Does Storytelling Work And Why It Should Be Used In E-Mailing

We tell each other stories all the time: at family dinners, at friendly parties, during office lunches, sharing photos on social media, shooting dozens of stories a day. And this information sits much more firmly in our heads than just the facts.

Because when we read stories, our brain uses not only the language part of the brain, which converts words into meanings but also the parts of the brain that deal with emotions. We imagine taste, smell, color, and movement by combining what we’ve heard with our own personal experiences.

What is storytelling, where does it come from and where is it used

Storytelling is a method of conveying information in the form of a story in order to engage the listener’s sensory and emotional experience.

It is the emotional connection to the brand and the company that determines the audience’s affection and trust. And a story is a great way to start this attachment. Storytelling is more than simply that. Any story resolves a conflict, “does irreparable good”, or solves a problem.

How storytelling works

Our brain only engages the left hemisphere when we hear boring facts. Stories include the right hemisphere, which generates images, pictures, emotions. It is a chemical reaction that produces oxytocin, which creates the trust necessary for the success of any deal. When you bring in the emotional connection created by the story, the client doesn’t need to be persuaded.

Commercial storytelling serves several functions.

  • Propaganda
  • Unification
  • Communication
  • Influence

Propaganda

Stories have the power to inspire, persuade, and convince. They have the potential to be long-lasting and drive others to do useful things. In early 2017, Nike, for example, promoted women’s freedom of choice in sports.

Unification

Stories help to shape a project’s, brand’s, and/or company’s culture and establish a common identity. Lego came up with a cute commercial, utilizing a sketch from one family’s life to demonstrate how to bring together customers and a company that creates cubes, after which parents stop walking barefoot in the house.

Communication

Stories inspire trust, and trust is the key to understanding. The greater the understanding, the more effective the communications that lead to the goal.

Influence

Stories inspire and build credibility. Steve Jobs was a brilliant entrepreneur, inventor, and industrial designer, as everyone knew. And when he gave his famous Stanford speech, the world recognized him as a wise man in whom one believes unconditionally.

Features of commercial stories

To build storytelling into a company’s marketing, you need to:

  • formulate the purpose of the story;
  • be client-oriented;
  • use the “situation-problem-solution” scheme;
  • show the audience the value of the brand;
  • if possible, use a story to engage the audience or make the client a full participant in it.

How to tell stories that people will believe

You don’t have to be a talented storyteller, creative research paper writer, or director to come up with a story. It is enough to take a plot, phenomenon, or event that really changed your life or the life of someone around you.

Stories can tell:

  • about the creation of the product;
  • about working with clients;
  • about successes and failures;
  • directly about the product;
  • about the company;
  • about anything in general, directly or indirectly related to your business.

Ways to tell a story

Marketers don’t just tell stories with text or video. It can be comics, cards, offline speeches, podcasts, other formats for presenting content, and even multimedia. The main thing is to follow the algorithm.

Storytelling algorithm

Analysis of the target audience for storytelling

True, but marketers and other associated professionals frequently overlook this step, despite the fact that any marketing activities, whether launching an ad campaign or implementing a new product, begins with research on the target audience.

Before telling a story to readers or listeners, you should assess their prior experiences and listening skills. After that, bet on the ones who are more loyal and receptive.

The main idea of storytelling

In marketing, a commercial story catches the user’s attention and establishes an emotional link to the brand, resulting in trust and leading the customer to take a specific action.

When starting to build storytelling in a company, a marketer should keep in mind that there is a story behind every fact. It begins the moment a fact is discovered, and its impact on the further course of events is obvious. This fact becomes important to a certain audience when it somehow affects the context of that audience.

Choosing a hero for storytelling

The stories that a company tells about its job or product are dependent on the client’s context – their life, habits, and interests – rather than the company itself. The main character could be the client’s image or the image of the relative (mother, spouse, child). It could also be a pet, a household object, or another familiar object.

The character is usually drawn from a living person, and the audience thinks, “Oh, this is what my mother would do, and this is what my friend would say”. The character must be completely understood in order for you to know exactly how he would act in a certain situation – for this, you must fully develop the character.

Choosing the plot

It’s not so much about the story itself in commercial storytelling as it is about the advantage the story will give. It is critical in marketing to demonstrate how the brand can solve the customer’s problem.

That’s why storytellers base their stories on the product’s usefulness to the customer. The basis of the story is usually as follows: the hero encounters a problem and solves it with the help of the company’s product.

Storytelling in email marketing

Companies that launch mailing lists often use numbers and a simple listing of facts, and don’t want to scatter the attention of subscribers. They think, if people have already opened the letter, let them get the “maximum benefit”. But why do they need this, if trust in the company has not yet been formed? And trust cannot arise without emotion.

Stories in letters that aren’t just numbers and facts, but also include a plot, characters, and emotional attachment, can affect readings, establish a relationship between the subscriber and the brand, and involve to use of the product.

Most consumers have already developed banner blindness and don’t notice the standard advertising in newsletters, but they are not yet accustomed to letters with stories. That’s why such emails draw attention to themselves.

Features of email storytelling

Content story emails are usually lengthy, but if your story holds the reader’s attention from the beginning, the recipient is more likely to finish the email and possibly take targeted action.

Important: storytelling in a letter begins with the subject and the preheader. No matter how exciting the story is in the letter, it may not be opened at all if the headline is boring.

Storytelling techniques in emails

You can tell stories in letters in the following ways:

  • Blog article announcements as standalone stories.
  • A short story that leads to a targeted action.
  • Letter from the blog editor.
  • Stories in article previewsю
  • Quotes and stories from the brand’s customersю
  • Stories with a brand mascot.
  • Cases.
  • Comics.

You can also include videos in mailings, tell jokes in letters, start a series of letters, conclude each letter with an intrigue – so the reader expects the next one, and use a variety of formats (text + photos + video) in your mailings.

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