A Grain of Salt: Why Be Wary of Email Expert Advice

One thing to love about the email marketing industry is the plethora of advice and information! One thing to watch about the email marketing industry is the plethora of advice and information!

Often the well-meaning email expert offers great advice based on first-hand experience. That advice has real value! But lacks any caveats.

In the past week, I have seen two examples of this: 1) an article claiming that five lines of text in an email is a best practice (and seven is most definitely two lines too many), and 2) an article about image use in email marketing that totally left out the issue of image blocking.

Be wary of the first article because the only way to really know what works best for you and your company is to test. While five lines might be the perfect number for the article author—based on real-life experience—that doesn’t mean the perfect number for you is also five. It might be three, or 20, or one even! You must be constantly testing, tweaking and yes, checking with your email marketing consultant, to be sure you have established your own best practices for your own best email marketing results.

As far as the second article, this is a faux pas I see a lot as I keep up with email marketing literature. Yes, images are incredibly important as visual elements—the popularity of Pinterest is proof of that!—but the fact remains that many email clients have images blocked as a default setting. Plus there’s the mobile aspect of this as well. Pay attention to your images! But be wary when reading advice that ignores image blocking.

The big takeaway here is making sure you educate yourself in addition to turning to email expert advice to help you optimize your email marketing program. Plenty of folks are out there learning and improving as they spend each day in email marketing, doing their own tweaking and testing. The fact that they offer lessons learned to the rest of us via all this literature is wonderful.

But your email marketing program is yours alone, and it will have its own nuances and best practices. Arm yourself with a great email marketing consultant to guide you when needed, and keep reading all the email expert advice…just stay a little way and take it all with a grain of salt.

Published On: May 30th, 2012Categories: Email marketing best practices

About the Author: Sharon

Sharon Ernst from BetterFasterWriter.com is on a mission to improve the business and marketing writing skills of today’s workforce with her blog, newsletter and online classes. Her newest class on intermediate email copywriting covers 19 tips and techniques non-copywriters can put to use right away for better results. The class has real-life examples and before/after comparisons to make the lessons stick. Find her class at www.betterfasterwriter.com/intermediate-email-copywriting-class. When she’s not busy helping employees, managers and marketers master their writing skills, she and her husband are busy raising pigs, cows, chickens and vegetables on their 20-acre farm.

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