The Rebel's Guide to Email Marketing: Grow Your List, Break the Rules, and Win


A No-Nonsense, Take-No-Prisoners Plan for Earning Positive Return on Your Email Marketing!

“They” say email is dead. Baloney! 94% of Americans use email. Passionate social networkers use email more, not less. Mobile email is huge. Email offers marketers more opportunities than ever...opportunities to guide customers from consideration and trial to repeat purchase, loyalty, even advocacy! But email has changed. Email users have changed. To get breakthrough results, you must break the rules! Whether you’re B2B or ...

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The Rebel's Guide to Email Marketing: Grow Your List, Break the Rules, and Win

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A No-Nonsense, Take-No-Prisoners Plan for Earning Positive Return on Your Email Marketing!

“They” say email is dead. Baloney! 94% of Americans use email. Passionate social networkers use email more, not less. Mobile email is huge. Email offers marketers more opportunities than ever...opportunities to guide customers from consideration and trial to repeat purchase, loyalty, even advocacy! But email has changed. Email users have changed. To get breakthrough results, you must break the rules! Whether you’re B2B or B2C, Fortune 500 or startup, this is a complete no-nonsense plan for transforming your email marketing. Discover radically better ways to handle every facet of your campaign: lists, From names, Subject lines, calls to action, social network integration...everything!

Learn how to

  • Discover which email marketing “rules” are obsolete--and when to break the rest
  • Optimize every component of your message and campaign
  • Drive list growth that translates directly into the top line
  • Encourage opt-in by systematically simplifying signup
  • Bring real humor and creativity back into your email
  • Write a great main call to action--and great secondary and tertiary calls, too
  • Take full advantage of tools ranging from QR codes to texting to grow your email list
  • Make better technical decisions about prechecked opt-in boxes and other attributes
  • Know when to deliberately introduce “imperfections” into your emails
  • Use email marketing and social media to power each other
  • Prepare for the short- and long-term futures of email marketing
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“After reading this book, the debate over email marketing being dead is without a doubt over. DJ and Jason talk about email coming alive and letting it work for your organization in many ways that you have heard don’t work. Whether you are newbie or a seasoned veteran, this book will get you screaming at the top of your lungs that EMAIL IS THRIVING!”
--Andrew Kordek, cofounder and chief strategist of Trendline Interactive, a strategic email marketing agency

“Social media gets more attention, but email is still the spine of effective digital marketing. In this practical book that you’ll refer to constantly, Waldow and Falls shed much-needed light on how to build, operate, and optimize a knock-out email program. It’s a useful book, perfectly executed.”
--Jay Baer, coauthor of The NOW Revolution: 7 Shifts to Make Your Business Faster, Smarter, and More Social

“I would take 1,000 opt-in email addresses above 1,000 followers or Likes any day of the week. This from one of the biggest social media fans alive. Email is not dead; it’s stronger than ever for the ones who use it right. DJ and Jason are the guys to show you how with this masterpiece.”
--Scott Stratten, best-selling author of UnMarketing

“At a time when all the buzz is about social, DJ and Jason’s fun, insightful, and down-to-earth style will give any marketer a renewed excitement for email.”
--Halley Silver, director of online services, The King Arthur Flour Co.

“Non-practitioner pundits have been declaring email marketing dead for years. They’re still wrong. Email marketing remains the best way to get people to take action, so read this book if you want your business to grow.”
--Brian Clark, CEO of Copyblogger Media

“You might call email the glue that holds so much of business marketing efforts together. You might call it the backbone, or the connective tissue, or the linchpin. But whatever you call it, you need it. And this is the book that shows you not just why you need it, but how to use it to grow your business.

Rebel’s Guide is the book I’ve been waiting for, because this is the book that talks (in real, relevant, updated terms) about how email is that critical thing businesses need to market in a digital age.”
--Ann Handley, chief content officer of MarketingProfs and coauthor of Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business (Wiley, updated 2012)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780789749697
  • Publisher: Que
  • Publication date: 9/4/2012
  • Series: Que Biz-Tech Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 907,931
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

DJ Waldow is an email marketing consultant, writer, blogger, speaker, and (now) author. He is the founder and CEO of Waldow Social, a company that helps clients take email marketing to the next level. DJ has spent nearly 7 years in the email, social, and community-building world, advising clients on how to optimize their email marketing campaigns and--on occasion--break some of the “best practice” rules. DJ can be found on most social networks under the handle “djwaldow” or by searching “DJ Waldow.”

Jason Falls is an author, speaker, and CEO, the latter of Social Media Explorer, a digital marketing agency and information products company. From client strategies to industry research reports to conference-style events, Falls spearheads efforts to bridge the gap between professional communicators and business owners and the strategic use of digital marketing and technology. An award-winning social media strategist and widely read industry pundit, Falls has been noted as a top influencer in the social technology and marketing space by Forbes, Entrepreneur, Advertising Age, and others. He is the coauthor of two books, this one and No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide to Social Media Marketing (Que 2011).

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Email Marketing Is (Not) Dead 1
Email Is Dead? 3
94% 3
2.9 Billion 5
Email versus Email Marketing 7
The ROI of Email Marketing 8
What to Expect from This Book 9
Endnotes 11
Chapter 1: Why List Growth Matters 13

List Churn and List Fatigue 14
30% 15
A Few Words about Effective Tactics 17
Endnotes 19
Chapter 2: How to Grow Your List 21
Making the Opt-In Process Obvious and Easy 23
Asking Website Visitors to Subscribe 26
Using Humor and Creativity to Increase Opt-Ins 29
Using Technology: QR Codes and Smartphone Apps to Grow Your List 31
Use Social Media 34
Providing Incentive (WIIFM--What’s In It For Me?) 37
Growing Your Email List Offline 40
Endnotes 43
Chapter 3: Let’s Get Technical 45
To Pre-check or Not to Pre-check 46
Explain the Email List Sign-Up Process 48
Send a Welcome Email 50
Remember, Make a Good First Impression 54
Endnotes 55
Chapter 4: Examining an Email’s Body Parts 57

The Subject Line and From Address 58
The Preheader 59
The Header 60
Table of Contents 60
Main Call to Action 61
Secondary Calls to Action 62
Sharing Your Email 63
The Footer 64
Chapter 5: The First Impression 67
From Name and Subject Line 68
Preheader 72
Header 75
You Don’t Need a Second Chance Do You? 78
Endnote 79
Chapter 6: The Meat and Potatoes 81
Table of Contents 82
Zappos’s Digest TOC Email 82
MarketingProfs’s Approach to Email Table of Contents 83
Main Calls to Action 86
Secondary and Tertiary Calls to Action 90
Buttons vs. Links vs. Images 91
Endnote 96
Chapter 7: The Finishing Touches 97
Social Sharing and Social Connecting 98
Footer 100
Providing Unsubscribe Options 102
Endnote 106
Chapter 8: Are Best Practices Really “Best”? 107

Best Practices Are Practices That Are Best for You 108
Test and Test Often 109
What to Expect 110
Endnotes 111
Chapter 9: My Word! You Must Read This Now! 113
Email Subject Line Words to Avoid 114
King Arthur Flour: Achieving Higher Sales Using All Caps and FREE 118
Tumbleweed: More Opens and Click-Throughs Using All Caps and Free 121
The Proper Length of a Subject Line 123
Measuring Success 125
Evidence in Favor of Long Subject Lines 126
The Most Incredible Chapter Ever 129
Endnotes 130
Chapter 10: The Perfect-Looking Email 133
It’s Okay to Send Mostly Text Emails 134
Some Subscribers Prefer Simple Text Emails 137
Writing Letters Versus Pamphlets 139
Text Emails Have a Clean Look 140
Text Works for B2C Marketers, Too! 141
One Big Image Can Work 143
King Arthur Flour’s Image-Heavy Emails 146
Making Mostly Image Emails More Readable 147
What If the Unsubscribe Link Is at the Top of the Email? 152
The Most Headache-inducing, Eye-searing Graphic Possible 157
Groupon’s Creative Unsubscribe Solution 158
Test the Rules; Don’t Just Break Them Outright 159
Beauty Is in the Eye of the Subscriber 160
Ugly Emails That Consistently Perform Well 160
A Split Test of Ugly Versus Pretty 164
Making Assumptions and Challenging Them 167
Endnotes 168
Chapter 11: The Best Ways to Grow Your List 171
Spiders, Scorpions, Snakes...and Popups 172
Installing a Lightbox to Increase Opt-Ins 174
Using Lightboxes on Blogs 175
Adding Lightboxes on a B2C Site 177
Park City Mountain Resort Tests a Popup on Its Winter 2010 Website 179
Choosing an Opt-In: Single or Double 180
Making the Case for Double Opt-In 182
Making the Case for Single Opt-In 183
Village Voice Media Moves from Double to Single Opt-In: Sees Significant List Growth 185
Sending Emails Without Permission 186
Sending an “Opt-Out” Email 189
Using an eAppend 191
Buying an Email List 193
Coming Full Circle 198
Endnotes 199
Chapter 12: How Email and Social Media Go Together 203

Batman and Robin 204
Email: The Digital Glue of Social Media 205
Social Connecting vs. Social Sharing vs. Social Promoting 208
Social Connecting 208
Social Sharing 210
Social Promoting 212
Endnotes 213
Chapter 13: The Power of Pairs 215
Social Connecting 216
Using Email Marketing to Grow Your Social Following 216
Using Email Marketing to Grow Facebook Likes and Revenue 218
Social Sharing 222
Show Me the Money: How One Online Retailer Netted $250,000 Using SWYN 227
Social Promoting 229
Using Social Media to Grow Your Email List and Make Money 231
A Truly Integrated Email Marketing and Social Media Campaign 233
Two Is Better Than One 235
Endnotes 235
Chapter 14: What’s Next? 237

The Current State of Email Marketing 238
Email Marketing Predictions 239
Chapter 15: Go Forth and Conquer 247
What You Know 248
What Now? 249
Four Steps to Email Marketing Success 250
1. Grow Your List 250
2. Plan Your Content 250
3. Determine Success Metrics 251
4. Send, Test, Analyze, Adjust, Repeat 251
And Now, It’s Your Turn 252
Endnotes 252
Appendix A: Your Prize 253
Index 255
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