My friend, colleague and strategist to the stars (okay, strategist to regular businesses) Rich Nadworny of Digalicious sent me this Seth Godin post, which seems very worth reposting. It’s 14 good rules about email marketing.
I particularly like #14: “Just because you have someone’s email address doesn’t mean you have the right to email them.” I wish someone would tell that to Ejner Andersen, who is always writing to me with heartfelt hope that I “assist him with a favour that will sincerely benefit the both of us and all parties involved.”
And just out of curiosity, how many of you out there actually know who Seth Godin is? And if you also know Ejner, please tell him to stop emailing me.
1. Don’t send the same email to large numbers of people.
2. If you have more than a few people to contact, you’ll be tempted to copy and paste or mail merge. Don’t. You’ll get caught. It shows. If it’s important enough for someone to read, it’s important enough for you to rewrite.
3. Careful with the salutation. Don’t write, “Dear Claudia,” if you don’t usually write “Dear” at the beginning of *all* your emails.
4. Don’t mush the salutation together with the rest of the note. If I had a dollar for every email that started, “Joe, When experts come together…” That’s not personal. That’s lazy merging. See rule 1.
5. Don’t send HTML or pictures. Personal email doesn’t, why are you?
6. Don’t talk like a press release. Talk like a person. A person is reading this, so why are you talking like that?
7. Be short. The purpose of an email is not to sell the person on anything other than writing back. If you don’t have a personal, interesting way to start a conversation, don’t write.
8. Don’t send an email only when you really need something. That’s not personal, that’s selfish.
9. Do you have a signature with a phone number in it? *Your* phone number? If you don’t trust me enough to give me your real phone number, I don’t trust you enough to read your mail.
10. Don’t mark your email urgent. Urgent to you is not urgent to me.
11. Don’t lie in your subject line, and don’t be cute. You’re not clever enough to be cute. Just be honest.
12. Following up on an impersonal spam email is twice as dumb as sending the first one. Invest the time to do it right the first time.
13. Anticipated, personal and relevant permission mail will always dramatically outperform greedy short-term spam. I promise.
14. Just because you have someone’s email address doesn’t mean you have the right to email them.