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How to handle a boss who doesn’t ‘get’ email marketing

July 4, 2013

Trying to run professional email campaigns but can’t get the boss or colleagues to understand how things should be?

You’re not alone.

Email marketing has matured and come of age – but some people who aren’t email experts are still expecting to see campaigns that look like they did back in 2001. And when you’ve got a pretty good idea what works and what doesn’t, it’s frustrating to find yourself overruled by others who haven’t got a clue.

Issues include:

• Subject lines that are too long (and too boring).
• Out of date designs – those of us closely involved in email marketing know how quickly designs date, but those who aren’t won’t always realise why you need to move with the times. 
• Not understanding the importance of designing for mobile – the explosion of mobile device use has been so fast that there are plenty of people who don’t yet appreciate how many of their emails are likely to be read (or not read) on mobile.
• Too much selling and not enough communicating. Many people stuck in the 90s haven’t registered that just because people are interested in what you offer doesn’t mean they want to be sold to in clichéd sales speak.
• Not recognising the potential of segmentation and the way email makes it so easy to send targeted content to different groups.
• Still sticking to email ‘blasts’ rather than looking at a coherent email strategy.

If this all sounds familiar, what can you do?

• Arrange a meeting with appropriate colleagues to review samples of emails from other companies with a view to identifying good ideas for your own campaigns. If possible, mix supporters and doubters, so you are not isolated. Be careful not to tell people what to think – they’re much more likely to be convinced when they work things out for themselves. 
• Plan your campaign well in advance and set out what you intend to do in writing, giving reasons and citing sources to back up opinions. Get the plans signed off before you start work.
• If all else fails, suggest a split test, and prove your point with results!


Posted by Paul Latham

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