The Rebel’s Guide to Email Marketing: Grow Your List, Break the Rules, and Win is a practical guide to email marketing from D.J. Waldow and Jason Falls. Waldow is the guy behind Waldow Social and Jason Falls is the co-author of No Bull**** Social Media.
The rebellious part of the guide is the idea of breaking rules like, “Never use the word ‘free’ in your subject line” and “People hate popups.” Instead of going along with the commonly accepted best practices, the authors say, you need to test what you do with your email marketing and base your decisions on data.
Waldow and Falls aren’t advocating the rejection of the fundamentals of good email marketing: they repeatedly argue for high value content and “good list hygiene.” But they are ready to suggest that you take another look at a lot of things we usually would avoid, including buying lists, all caps subject lines, and pop-ups. The message — base your marketing decisions on data, not on old wives’ tales or your personal preferences — is one that’s dear to my heart.
If nothing else, things change so quickly in this field that it doesn’t make sense to hang onto a tip (beyond the fundamentals) and assume it won’t change. For example, just as search engines have become too sophisticated for keyword density to be important, spam filters have become too sophisticated for the word “free” to doom your email to the spam box.
Beyond this central message, The Rebel’s Guide has a lot of wise advice on constructing your emails and growing your email list. The book goes into detail on why and how to use images (and why you shouldn’t use one big image for your email), how to create headers and footers, how to measure success, how many calls to action to include, how to support your email marketing with social media and vice versa, and more.
In every case, there are specific case studies as well as specific suggestions for how to test variations in your own marketing emails. The book is readable, pithy, and well-designed, so you’ll find it worth your time to read if you’re planning on doing some email marketing — or you’d like to make your current email marketing more successful.
Of course, if you need help with the writing, design, or tech end of things, you can call on us to help. Call 479.966.9761 and discuss your needs with Julianne, or email me at Rebecca@HadenInteractive.com.