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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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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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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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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An typewriter writing out copywriting – an imperative feature of email marketing campaigns.

Would you rather have an plain-looking website with great copy or a beautiful website with lousy copy? I’ll take the plain website every time. Why? Because I know of countless plain websites that drive action and convert sales at spectacular rates. But if the copy is weak, your website and other marketing content will fail…

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The word "why" is revealed on a sheet of paper.

This is a tale of two emails — one good and one bad. I’ll start with the bad one from a company I’ll call “Acme” (no need to reveal the culprit). I received an email with the subject line “Acme + Google Analytics/AdWords.” My first question: Why would I want to open this email? I…

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The three legged stool, or the perfect metaphor for a marketing plan

Every few weeks, my wife grabs the remote, points it at the television, presses various buttons and then, after failing to achieve the desired outcome, declares, “This thing doesn’t work.” Of course the thing does work, but she was pressing the wrong buttons. Small business marketers are often like my wife — blaming this thing…

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If you want to improve email opens, click rates and overall campaign performance, I have one word for you: personalize. According to a 2015 study by Experian Marketing Services, personalized emails – in which the sender merges the recipient’s first name in the subject line – boosted open rates by up to 40 percent. Transaction…

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