5 Email Marketing Myths: Busted?

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This post was inspired by a recent post on Problogger written by Georgina Laidlaw, Darren’s content manager.

She decided to do a split test of two emails, and what she found busted some common email marketing myths.

Do you follow these common rules (that aren’t necessarily true)?

Five email marketing myths

Here are the myths:

1) use call to action links
2) sell the customer before they’ll click
3) offer a discount
4) drive readers to action
5) use bold, bullets, and subheads to make your message easy to scan

Myth #1: Use call to action links

This means using words such as “order now”, “click here” – as a link vs. a link with the name of the product or other information. I would use both. See which kind gets more clicks, and then repeat that in the next email. And make sure it’s clearly a link – make it a different color or underline it, or put it on its own line (if you’re doing text emails).

Myth #2: Sell the customer before they’ll click

Where should the first link to the product be? In the fifth paragraph? Or near the beginning? Put both in. Some readers are convinced to learn more after reading a few lines. Others need more information.

Myth #3: The subject line must offer a discount

A discount isn’t the first thing people want – unless they’re sitting with credit card in hand, ready to buy that exact item. If I sent an email selling pink snow boots at 25% off it wouldn’t do much good – unless I absolutely knew that my audience was ready to buy pink snow boots. If they’re men, or hate pink, or live someplace without much snow, it won’t matter how big a discount I offer – it will be irrelevant.

Myth #4 -Drive readers to action

Yelling at people definitely doesn’t work. Instead, build a picture in their minds of what they’ll get from using/buying your product. Explain the problem, and how your service is a solution.

Myth #5 – Bold fonts, bullets, and subheads equal easy to read

What’s important is to break up the text. Long paragraphs are hard to read online. I agree about the bullets – do use them – and put the important words at the beginning. Use action words (such as achieve, master, learn).

What do you think? Are these really myths? Has she busted them? Do you think they would be effective with your emails?