You always ask that question to other people so now I ask you, ARE YOU SMOKING CRACK? You told my boss that we shouldincrease the number of e-mails we send out? You were joking, right? You know our company. We can barely do one e-mail every other week and now you want us to dosix times that? SHOOT ME NOW.”
Nope, not smoking crack although I must say that it should accompanymany clients’ first payments these days. (“Here’s your retainer fee and a little something extra for the stress we know we’re going to cause you…”)
As for SHOOTING YOU NOW, I know where you work. That’s torture enough for you.
The problem with your company is that youfolks approach every e-mail like you are creating the next Sistine Chapel.
Last I counted, there are eight departments and over thirty people involved in every e-mail and that’s BEFORE it’s deployed. I get that you are a REALLY big organization and that a lot of people need to be in the loop. However, I’ve also seen the comments that go to your creative team and most of them are nit-picky, “move this 1/64 of an inch so it lines up exactly” scrawls written by some wackadoodle-run-amok that feels they need to mark their territory like a dog, er, with a red pen.
A couple quick facts about e-mail —
E-mails are meant to be acted upon IMMEDIATELY, not saved and/or printed out to read later. The cold, harsh reality is that e-mails have a very short shelf life (typically less than 48 hours) so the faster you get thereaderto your site (or on the phone, if that’s your preference), the better. That requires strategy, not the random navel pontification of design tangents.
E-mails are NOT meant to be wall art. I know. I know. Your dreams of millions of customers printing out your e-mails, framing them and hanging them over their fireplaces have just been shattered. Spending days and days developing and honing the “perfect” e-mail is a complete exercise in futility. People who feel the need to change the red burst from cherry to fire-engine colored should be shot public-execution style. Period.
Most of your e-mail success will happen outside the envelope. The majority of your e-mail success will come from the To, From, Subject Line, Format, Deliverability and the first 1-2 inches of your e-mail. In other words, perfecting the “guts” (aka the body of the email) is often a colossal waste of time. I’m not saying that creative isn’t important — IT IS — but you’ll likely get more bang from your buck by getting the six things I listed above right.
If you focus on what’s really important, getting out e-mails will be so MUCH easier and as an added bonus you’ll reduce your need for bullets and/or cocaine.
Please note: the six times frequency that Carrie describes above is not meant for all companies. It could be more or it could be less for yours. If you need help figuring out how many times you should be mailing, write us today at firstname.lastname@example.org.