Fool Me Once …

February 17, 2016

by Kim Stangle

Marketers use a number of tactics to increase the open rate on emails they send to customers—and, with good reason.  In 2015 alone, some 205 billion emails were sent per day.  With those numbers, it’s easy to understand why perfecting the subject line is as critical as the content of the email.

Most email platforms even offer tips and tricks to help along the way.  MailChimp gives step-by-step best practices; MyEmma has an interactive “split test showdown” to help users pick winning subject lines; and, companies like Mequoda offer great resources like this list to help perfect your copywriting skills.

With all of those resources, I’m left scratching my head about an email tactic that I’m quite certain is not a mistake.  I’ve opted in for emails from retailer West Elm and, generally speaking, they didn’t seem anymore offensive than any other.  But, then yesterday I received this:oops

At first, I was thinking, “Ooh, a discount code.”  But, then I remembered that email seemed vaguely familiar.  Sure enough, a quick search of my inbox yielded this:


And, you guessed it … no sign of that “old email.”


Business is built by building trust, not by cheap marketing ploys.  Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me.



How to be Confident in the Workplace

July 13, 2015

by Vianka McConville

Last week, C&P VP Kim Stangle shared an email marketing piece that was interesting, to say the least.  It sold keys for women to be more confident in the workplace.

Long story short – we’re not buying it.  However, here is some free advice to boost the confidence of anyone in the workplace:  body language shapes who you are and how confident you feel.

Amy Cuddy shares research on the subject during this 21-minute TED Talk.  There are positions of power that chemically make you feel more confident.  Watch the talk to find out what they are.

Cheers to good advice for women AND men in the workplace!

Please, Just Don’t Do This with Your Email Marketing Campaigns

December 3, 2014

by Kerry Martin

I don’t know about you, but I received quite a lot of marketing emails this year for Cyber Monday.  With my stuffed inbox, it reminded me just how difficult it is sometimes to manage effective email campaigns.

As any good communicator knows, to stand out through all the clutter you have to speak directly to your specific audience.  That means targeting emails to audiences like previous customers, prospects, internal audiences and many more market segments.

There are a lot of email management systems out there, from Constant Contact to Mail Chimp and others, and they all vary on price and options of how many emails you get per month or how big your entire subscriber list is.  However, I submit that the best way to pick the email service that’s right for you is to determine how these mail services segment your different lists and how they manage subscribers—or more importantly, how they manage subscribers who wish to opt out from receiving your message.

Say, for example, that you have subscribers who are part of multiple segments, like “insiders,” “current customers” and “birthday list.”  If your Cyber Monday emails annoy them to the point that they want to stop receiving emails about product deals, you better make sure that the unsubscribe button doesn’t stop them from receiving all of your emails.  It’s always best to have some kind of option that allows them to only unsubscribe from specific lists.

That’s why I recommend finding an email service that lets you customize what your subscriber sees when they click the unsubscribe button.  It should take them to a page where they have options like “Unsubscribe from promotional and discount emails” or “Stop receiving ALL emails from company.”

Whatever you do, make sure that the email system allows you to tailor this opt-out language.  Otherwise, you could be sending your loyal customer, potential prospect or valued insider to a page that would only make sense to the person who is managing the email campaigns.

Case in point … this landing page that I came to when trying to unsubscribe from getting too many email blasts from Medieval Times.  Seriously.

email preferences

Effortless Messaging

June 10, 2014

by Kim Taylor

Have you heard of Zingerman’s?  If you haven’t, you’re welcome.  If you have, you probably already know that as a brand they just “get it.” I’d rank them alongside brands like Ben & Jerry’s and Life is Good.  Cool products and a brand story that works.  They know their audience and their messaging is custom-made for them.

Speaking of custom-made messaging … I couldn’t help but giggle when I saw this email:


I can’t say for sure if the demand for their Reuben Kits caused an issue with their site, or if they’re just maximizing promotion of their Father’s Day gifts.  Either way, their message was clever enough to make me reconsider my own dad’s day purchase.

If you truly know your audience, messaging really can be effortless.

You Mean You Forgot the Conversation We Never Had?

April 26, 2012

by Dan Ward

Email marketers (OK, spammers) are becoming more and more sophisticated, but this one takes the cake.

Not only is it personalized, it also includes an email that I supposedly sent to the spammer, requesting that he follow up with me! It obviously is meant to reach busy people who might say, “gee, I normally wouldn’t give this guy the time of day, but apparently we’ve already talked and I asked him to follow up. He must be legit.” It also is meant to skate through spam filters, and on this point it was successful.

What made it a little less successful is the fact that “Steve Smith” sent the exact same message to my partner, Kim Taylor, suggesting that she made the exact same “follow up” request to him at the exact same time on the exact same day.

Memo to “Steve Smith at Tri-Cities Financial:” Since you have the power of putting words in my mouth, I wonder if you can guess the words I’m thinking of right now.

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