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Posts Tagged ‘email’

I have to admit that I never unsubscribed from the Obama campaign emails, and I was just reading in Bloomberg that I’m not alone. Part of the reason I hung in there was the messaging. It was good. Okay. Very good. Stuff like “Do this for Michelle.” “Join Michelle and me” These, especially got my attention because we all love Michelle Obama.

No surprise, the Obama people are smart
They tested and retested every subject line as many as 18 times to tens of millions of readers, including me, to get the maximum impact. The killer? I will be outspent. The poor-little-me approach apparently generated more than $2.5M. Casual worked best as well as slipping in the occasional “hell” or “damn”. People love a little bit of naughty. Conclusion: Most people have a nearly limitless capacity for e-mail and won’t unsubscribe no matter how many they’re sent.

Okay. We’re addicted to our email
But we also know that we need to be constantly trying to compete for eyeballs. It’s madness out there. How to turn boring into scintillating?

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I’ve been using Constant Contact (CC) for five years. I used to be their biggest fan because I loved their customer support–it’s hard not to love their award-winning support team. I also give them high marks for staying on top of technology, and constantly improving their product. When I first started using them, it was right before Christmas; I was on a deadline and hopelessly stuck. I called them, and a really nice little guy wasn’t busy so he just created the newsletter for me. That’s some serious customer service.

I don’t know about you, but I hate paying for something I don’t use

While I try to do a monthly newsletter, I have to admit that sometimes it just doesn’t happen, which means that I continue to pay CC for my “monthly” newsletter. I also pay them an extra $5/month for the privilege of using more than five images–which I think is important–nobody these days wants to look at a page full of text. CC plays games with lists as well. I carefully culled my list down to fewer than 500 so I wouldn’t have to pay for the next increment, but they calculated the number based on the number of email addresses in my system, not the newly imported list.

I switched to Vertical Response and pay for what I use

So I’m now using Vertical Response (VR). There’s a learning curve, the Help menu sucks and the customer support doesn’t begin to compare to that of CC. But the good news? I can use as many images as I want, I pay for only what I use, and my newsletter bill is now in the neighborhood of $8/month rather than $30. I can’t tell you how much I’m enjoying this. Get this: One of my clients sends her quarterly newsletter to more than 1,200 clients, and we just migrated to VR, which represents a significant savings because she was being charged for eight months worth of newsletters that she never sent.

CC charges by the month. If you’re not sending a monthly newsletter, it’s time to rethink your provider strategy. I’m now a VR power user. Ask me about saving money using Vertical Response and other pragmatic marketing solutions that work. It’s what we do at Top of Mind Marketing.

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Email: Sometimes it seems to replicate. I am finding this even truer now that I finally broke down and bought an iPhone, which has totally changed my life. Now I know why they call these SmartPhones–they have only a passing resemblance to my old BlackBerry. With my iPhone, I love checking Facebook and Twitter, which are sources of yet more messaging back and forth, and I find myself drowning in data.

A good way to cut down is to eliminate those emails that have one-word answers. “Agreed.” “You bet.” “Thanks.” These responses are superfluous. If you send an email to someone saying “Thanks”, they well may send one back saying, “Thank you”. Yes, it’s nice to be courteous, but thank someone in another email where you’re providing something substantive.

Back when I used to work in an office, I shared space with a bunch of developers who hated direct communications. They didn’t know how to have a conversation or talk on the phone. Every communication was via email, and I find that I default to this as well–it provides the opportunity to think something through as I write it. But there are times when actually having a conversation is much more efficient–being able to get an immediate response can be a real time-saver.

Eliminating one-word response emails is one promise that deserves a big commitment.

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