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Email Marketing
Are we trying to stand out by making sure we fit in?

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GREGG
BLANCHARD
       

I’m torn.

On the one hand, I love a beautifully designed email template with glossy photos, maybe a clever GIF, clean layout, and well-written copy.

On the other hand, there’s Sticker Mule.

The Challenge
Sometimes as marketers, we fight against the expectations of certain media. For example, all you may need to say is:

“Buy your season pass now and get two free midweek lift tickets to Mount Blanchard valid anytime in December.”

Which works great as a tweet, but what about a blog post? Or an email? Emails and blog posts are supposed to be more than one sentence, right? So what do you add as filler? What should you use as a hero image? Call to action? Title?

It’s easy for simple messages to get complex because of self-imposed “rules” we marketers apply to them.

Well, not all marketers.

I notice virtually every one of these messages. And every sticker purchase I’ve made in recent years has been through an email like this one. Even a 30-second analysis makes it easy to see why they stand out:

  • They look very different (plain text FTW).
  • They are refreshingly succinct (never longer than ~100 words).
  • They are very consistent (every Tuesday at 9am).

In other words, all they wanted to say was they had a deal on stickers.

So…well…then did.

The Only Real Difference
This email could have very easily filled a long template full of lots of other products, a big glossy photo at the top, paragraphs of text about the quality of the sticker.

And it also would have taken many hours or days or multiple people to send instead of 10-15 minutes by a single person.

Which begs the question:

Why do we spend so much time on certain messages?

Well, there are a few reasons, but the one I want to drive home today is simply this: somethings, we think that we have to.

What if…
This blog post could have been two paragraphs of text and a screenshot. And it probably would have worked pretty well. After all, some of Al’s most engaging posts are nothing more than a photo and a couple sentences.

It’s ironic, no? We are desperate for our messages to stand out. Yet we also spend incredible amounts of time and money and effort to make sure they match the countless expectations and rules that all the other messages on that channel do.

Look, I’m not saying you should do only two-sentence blog posts or plain text emails. What I am suggesting is that you ask yourself why you aren’t.

And then be honest with yourself if you don’t have a good answer. It may not be a new strategy, but it’s definitely something to test.


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