a creative way to get your message across

Email blasts are not new…for my Christmas card to audio’connell Voice Over Talent clients and friends I sent out over 2,500 emails in a single click (“faster than a locomotive, able to leap tall building in a single bound!“). I’m sure you do the same thing…it’s cheap it’s fast and you can capture briefly the attention of a lot of people when ever you feel you need to do that.

But where I think we end up lacking in our collective email blasts is in creativity. Should we tell one story, should we tell multiple stories? Should we microtarget the list or will buckshot do? Most of us don’t drill down very deep. Well at least I don’t.

The above example from my friend and vendor Don Papaj of Marketing Tech shows some simple yet I think effective creativity. (Editor’s note: Yes, I have used his company’s services for direct mail postcards and no this is not a paid nor expected {certainly not expected by Don} commercial). What you cannot see in this graphic is the animation that Marketing Technologies of Western New York includes in this .gif. The buffalo is sleeping on the treadmill and his belly goes up and down with the beer on it (very Buffalo).

I don’t know if there is a holiday that goes by where I don’t get a Marketing Technologies email and that bison isn’t doing something with some kind of logical tie in to a service Don and his team offer. All it takes is a little planning, maybe a bit of technical knowledge (or a vendor who can help provide that technical knowledge) and your email blast can be memorable too.

To be sure, it doesn’t have to look like Don’s….but what about what your are doing in your email marketing is memorable? Why does a recipient want to read your stuff? I mean, you may like the content but do your customers?

I do my own creative on my email blasts – mine aren’t nearly as nice as Don’s stuff but for better or worse the emails are infused with my personality. I try and add SOMETHING that’s different, helpful or funny. I want it to resonate with my audience.

My 2011 Christmas card has at present (with many folks still on vacation since I sent it last Friday) a click thru rate (those who opened it) of 32%. My regular quarterly blast gets about 28% click throughs. Now with email marketing, alot of a blast’s success depends on the list, time of year, messaging…lots of variables…but mine are getting read and I usually end up getting 2-3 calls on new business, the timing of which I can attribute to the email blast. “Aren’t I great,” he said, thumping his chest. No I’m not and that’s not why I offer those stats.

Much like government statistics, answers vary on what the median average is for an email marketing click thru rate. A very quick scan of Google showed “experts” who say 4-6% click thru is great. Others say a median percentage runs between 12-18%. So I’m scoring well but I never feel like it’s good enough.

I should play with the lists, target a bit more specifically and…and…and…oh hell, I got a business to run here and it ain’t a direct mail house. My point is kick up your creative and your blasts may be more explosive…in a good way.

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