A couple months ago, I attended my first email marketing conference and came back to the office with pages of notes, my brain packed full of information, and a fire in my belly to completely revamp our email marketing program. Due to time constraints, limited bandwidth, other projects needing immediate attention and the lack of an unlimited budget, I haven’t been able to completely revamp our program. Instead, I have been taking baby steps and applying small nuggets of what I learned to improve our email marketing.

While the entire conference exceeded my expectations, my real “aha!” moments came during the session led by Flint McGlaughlin, Director of MECLABS. Not only was he one of the best speakers I have ever heard, he provided excellent insight and takeaways that I could implement immediately.

Flint had such good information that I wanted to share my top five “aha!” takeaways:

  1. eme = rv(of+i) – (f+a): email optimization (eme) = relevance (rv) x (offer (of) + incentive (i)) – (friction (f) + anxiety (a)): While you typically wouldn’t associate this type of scientific formula with email marketing, it makes sense if you really look at it and think about it. Optimize your emails by increasing the relevance, offer and incentive and decreasing the friction and anxiety. Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it?
  2. Your headline is your pick-up line: Start the conversation on a high note and keep it coming, because you have seven seconds to get and keep your reader’s interest in the first paragraph of your email.
  3. Understand the thought sequence and optimize it: Think about how people read and the logical sequence of thoughts when composing your emails. Don’t put your call to action above the fold; you haven’t developed the logical thought sequence yet.
  4. Clarity trumps persuasion: Be clear in your marketing. Don’t try and trick your customers into buying your product or service. Don’t market TO them. Communicate WITH them.
  5. The goal of an email is to sell the click. The goal of the landing page is to sell the product/service.

Adjusting my thinking about our email marketing and applying some of the “aha!” takeaways is one small step in the right direction of improving and enhancing how we engage with our customers via email.