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Posts by Tom Ruwitch

Don’t Waste Time Overdesigning Emails

Photo of graphic designer fussing with color choices

Someone who subscribes to my twice-weekly emails wrote to me recently with a suggestion: Make the emails prettier. My emails are text-only. No logo. No pictures. No colored text. No multi-column layouts. Just copy. “Why pretty ’em up?” I asked. “To make them more appealing,” she said. “If I don’t make them pretty, will you…

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How NOT to Handle a Crisis

LouFest, an annual outdoor music festival in St. Louis’ Forest Park, was canceled this morning — three days before the event. Ticket-holders, vendors, sponsors and lots of other random folks are ticked off. We didn’t plan to pile on. Plenty of people are spreading lots of pixels and ink to describe LouFest management’s incompetence. We…

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How Do You Know When the Price is Right?

Knowing what price is best for your email marketing campaign can change things – here's a photo of a hand with a scale representing value and price.

While visiting an online forum for marketers, I came across the following: “I am working on a marketing concept where I will be able to reach directly 20,000 people (mainly young adults and students) in a period of a month … How much is a company willing to pay for marketing with these figures?” One…

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Doublespeak Makes Prospects Sick

A silhouette of a man with two speech bubbles represents doublespeak, which can be confusing for everyone involved in a marketing deal.

I received a spam message last month from a guy who was selling exposure on his website. He told me he wanted to publish a “feature story” about my company. He added, “There is a symbolic fee for this.” A symbolic fee?! “What’s a ‘symbolic fee’?” I wrote. His reply: “It’s $85. Looking forward to…

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Five-Star List Building by a Burger Restaurant

A listbuiliding technique was implemented at a delicious burger restaurant in Clayton, Mo. Here's a pictures of a burger with juicy meat and lots of sauce.

Regular email newsletters are a great way for restaurants and other hang-out destinations to drive repeat business. That’s why we encourage our restaurant clients to devise creative ways to build their email lists. The more people you add to your list, the more repeat business you can drive. Five Star Burgers introduced a great list-building tactic at…

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Do Your Ads Belong in a Toilet?

An image of a urinal in a e marketing office in St. Louis

I stumbled across this question on an online marketing forum recently: “Anyone tried public toilet advertising? What was the output?” Eleven people responded. Half offered good “output” jokes. Example: “(The output was) piss poor.” Others offered serious, earnest responses… “We did public toilet advertising … and it was amazingly successful.” “Personally I think it is…

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Video Quick-Tip: Ditch the Tricks When Sending Email

A businessman pulls a playing card from his sleeve

Here’s a video quick-tip from MarketVolt President Tom Ruwitch… So here’s a key tip for email marketing. Ditch the tricks. I got an email recently from somebody. The subject line was “re: regarding our conversation.” I wasn’t sure if I knew the guy, I didn’t recognize the name, but I saw that subject line and…

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What You Can Learn From Nigerian Scam Artists

An email marketing graphic showing leads, prospects, and customers.

I got an email a while back from a “friend” who wrote: “Hope you are doing well? It takes me great pain to write this email to you and I feel so devastated. My family and I had a trip visiting Manila,(Philippines) unannounced some days back for a short vacation, unfortunately we were robbed at…

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