Here's the thing: Nobody likes spam.


That's putting it mildly: Most people downright hate it. And the words "persistent" and "email marketing" in one sentence sound like, well, spam.






Here's the good news: You can be persistent while *also* being:

  • charming
  • engaging
  • and fun to read.

It takes some doing, though.


Don't Fudge Your Subscriber Count


This is an obvious point, but it has to be said.


It's tempting to assume that anyone who's ever bought something from you also wants to hear from you.


Or that anyone whose name you took down at a trade show two years ago is still eager to know what's going on with your products. That's just not true -- not for anyone, at least.



1) So, first things first: Whittle down your audience to those who *truly* care.


You can do this by making your subscription form super-clear. The way to get on your mailing list is by subscribing -- that's it.


Yes, you'll get fewer subscribers, but you'll also get people who actually care about what you have to say.


To have a conversation, the other side must be willing to listen first.



2) Tell a Story: Use Drip Campaigns


One problem with emails is that they're "atomic" -- in other words, every message is an individual atom, a little nugget of communication, standing in perfect isolation. Just another intrusion into someone's day.


Drip campaigns change this by using each email to build on the previous one.


Instead of trying to introduce your company or your product in one crammed email, write five short, snappy ones.


Anyone who subscribes to your "New Users" list starts by getting these five emails, one each week, or one every three days. 


The desire for stories is a basic human trait.


Hook onto it: Start your emails by referring to the previous one, and end off with a cliffhanger or a promise for something cool on the next one.


Make your audience want to know what happens next.



3) Let Your Readers Choose Their Own Adventure


What's cool about the Internet is that it's a two-way street: Your readers don't have to stay passive.


Of course you're going to put links in your newsletter, which will lead them to your site. But Mad Mimi supports another type of links, too: List subscription links.


When your reader clicks such a link, they're added onto a new mailing list. If you'd like to learn more about our cat-related products, click here. On the other hand, if you're more into dogs, click this other link. This is a subtle and powerful feature: Your reader is now going to hear more of what you have to say, and be happier about it. How cool is that?



4) RSS to Email


Finally, let's not forget your blog. You have one, right?


You'd be surprised by how far you can increase your reach by utilizing an RSS-to-email feature (yes, Mimi has that, too). Write a post, and an email is sent out to your "blog subscriber" list (or to any other list you specify). 


Do you write a post every day? Good for you (really, that's a great way to gain attention), but that might be a bit too much to send to your readers. Fortunately, Mimi's RSS-to-email feature can be configured so it only sends out once a week, or however often you'd like. 



5) Don't Nag: Communicate


Finally, ensure that every one of your emails offers your readers real value.


You're interrupting them -- they're in the middle of something, always.


So make sure the interruption is worth it: They should glean a new insight from what you have to say, or find out about an offer that's truly worth their time, or get a tip that saves them more time than it takes to read your message. 


This is easier said than done, but it's what make the difference between noise and valuable communication.


Help your subscribers, and they'll love you back. Good luck.



Erez Zukerman is Mad Mimi's Globalizer, bringing Mimi to the world by localizing it into non-English languages. He's also a freelance writer, published on PCWorld and MakeUseOf.





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