Who knew that email marketing could be so interesting? Everyone who attended our panel on May 21 now knows. Our panel of email marketing experts included Elizabeth McCumber from Wpr (@wpromote); Lan Tran Sellitti, a digital marketer focusing on lifestyle brands (@thelantran); and Nate Wright, founder of Small Biz Triage (@smallbiztriage), who shared their tips and tricks on email marketing. Read on for some of the highlights.

Email Marketing at General Assembly Santa Monica on May 21 2018

List Size and Growing Your List: A good size list is at least 10k. How can you grow your list? “Pop ups are annoying but they work,” advised Elizabeth, who recommended customizing pop ups to make them less annoying. Nate also recommended pop ups, plus offers, a good landing page, and running a Facebook ad campaign. Very important – when someone joins your list, always send a Welcome email.

Unsubscribers: A healthy opt out rate varies by industry, content, and frequency, but is about .01%. Opting out is not always a bad thing! Lan pointed out that unsubscribe questions and options can be used as an opportunity to learn more about the customer, and perhaps even keep them. For example, ask if they’d prefer to receive less emails, or if they prefer to talk to a human.

Frui Bliss and Trina Turk Tote Bags

Content, Design, and Subject Lines (oh my)! Each panelist shared their secret sauce for creating content that works. Lan leverages influencer content for fashion brands. Elizabeth keeps her emails short, fresh and relevant. Nate likes to break the tempo –for example, if the previous email included a lot of links, then the next email will have no links at all. A general rule of thumb for subject lines is that it should match what you’re going to see in the email. Nate shared one exception – an email subject line was “I’m pregnant!” which performed really well, despite having nothing to do with the body of the email. (It worked for the brand. You really had to be there for the whole story). Lan recommended anything that created anxiety and urgency (she meant “One day sale!” as opposed to “I’m pregnant!”), humor, and puns. Elizabeth said that “win back” subject lines do well, such as “Are you still there?” and also “Ooops,” indicating an error in the original email. Everyone agreed that you should type like you speak, and how your audience speaks. Sometimes “OMG best sale eva” works, and sometimes a boring “April Monthly Newsletter” works. Learn your audience.

Segmentation and Personalization: Segmentation is any bit of data you have above and beyond the email address itself – name, gender, birth date, etc. It allows you to create groups from your list, and market to them accordingly. Use behavioral data and triggers to customize your emails to make them more personal. For example, send an email to someone who put an item in their cart but didn’t purchase it. Or send an email about new available dresses to someone who frequently browses the dresses on your website. Segmentation and personalization are the future of email marketing, so learn to love them.

Pet Peeves: We all have email marketing pet peeves, and our panelists shared their own. Elizabeth hates a bad unsubscribe experience (“Why are you asking for my email? You clearly have it!”), Lan hates too many emojis, and Nate hates unnecessary CAPITALIZATION, and misspelling of his last name (which, ironically, is Wright).

Final thoughts: From Elizabeth –These people are asking you to email them. Don’t be afraid to! Be smart and send it.

Core Hydration, Fruit Bliss and a cup of Dulce Vida Tequila

Thank you to our panelists and our sponsors @COREdrinks, @Fruit_Bliss and @DULCE_VIDA (tequila!).

Join us on Social Media Day, Saturday, June 30th, when we take over DTLA! Stay tuned for more info.

Viva Dulce Vida Tequila