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Branding

Ketchup Company Serves Up Ads to Savor

Why do you buy ketchup? That’s not a trick question (and if you’re thinking, “I don’t buy ketchup,” please go with this anyhow). I ask the question because I discovered a great ad campaign recently — for Heinz Ketchup — that gets it right. The campaign slogan: “Celebrating 150 Years of Clean Plates.” The ads…

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Marketing Lessons from an Influential Fisherman

(Author’s note: After posting this, I spoke to the fisherman featured below. He asked me to identify him by name in the post. So, in this version of the story, I have changed the fisherman’s name to respect his wishes.) My buddy Mark is a great fisherman. He fills his social media with photos of…

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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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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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Marketing Lessons from a Criminal Moron

A shameful email scammer gets handcuffed by a policeman

Way back when, before email and the internet, I was a newspaper reporter working in Belleville, IL. My fellow reporters and I used to pass time reading the arrest logs to hunt for juicy stories. Here’s one of my favorites: A checkout clerk at a local department store was arrested for theft after a customer…

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Shameful Email Marketing Tactics that You Should Avoid

Shame comes from poor email marketing technique

What’s the worst email marketing advice you’ve ever received? I saw that question on an online forum and spent a few entertaining minutes touring this email marketing hall of shame. Sadly, every exhibit in the hall exposed tactics that many marketers continue to employ — to their detriment. If you want to master email marketing,…

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