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How to Over-mail and Have Your Subscribers Thank You For It

Most of us subscribe to dozens of emails on a regular basis. However, only a few of those emails are eagerly anticipated day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year.

Recently, we discussed the opportunity most businesses have to email more frequently. The catch with this strategy is making subscribers happy with the increase.

You want your email recipients to be like a love-struck teenage girl, eager to receive a call from that special someone. You want them to click on your emails – and click with you as a brand.

So how do you make your emails among those that are the first clicked – and last deleted?

Be emotional

Emotional appeals are those that tug at the heartstrings. In this example from FabOverFifty, a four-word subject line and compelling graphic make the reader want to find out more:

Emotional Email Example

Be entertaining

Not all emails require the recipient to click through. A daily comic, for example, provides instant gratification upon opening the email.

Entertaining Email Example

Depending on your brand’s tone, you could incorporate a comic or a little humor into your emails.

Be educational/informational

Just because people subscribe to your emails, that doesn’t mean they read every email in its entirety. They might look forward to a particular aspect of your emails. The weekly Blainesworld email newsletter isn’t fancy (and neither is its subject line), but it includes hyperlinks at the top so you can skip right to the areas that interest you. It is a method for people to quickly get to the part of your quality content. It also has hyperlinks to take you back to the top quickly. Want the weekly computer tip? One click, and you’re there:

Educational Email Example

If you’re an information provider, give your subscribers content that will leave them saying “I didn’t know that!” Take this tidbit from Springwise, which teases the reader by offering a short into with the call to action to “READ MORE…”:

Informational Emails

Provide tips, shortcuts or advice to make people’s lives easier and you’ll have them coming back for more. Case in point, from Netted by the Webbys:

Another informational email example

Be inspirational

An inspirational approach is often used when you want the recipient to take action. These types of appeals are particularly effective when used by nonprofit organizations, such as the NAACP:

Inspirational Email

Be clever

The Land of Nod emails manage to be cute/clever without overdoing it.

Clever Email Example

Be off the wall

Some brands, like Moosejaw, can get away with being unexpected and even irreverent. Take this welcome email, for example:

Off the wall email samples

Woot delivers daily emails, filled with great prices and crack-me-up copy:

Funny Email Marketing

Be valuable

Free shipping, free gift wrap and online discounts make for good pick-up lines when it comes to your prospects and customers, as this email from Coldwater Creek illustrates:

Valuable Email

Be exclusive

One sure-fire way to make people want to open your emails is to offer exclusive content, such as offers or access to information. The Courier-Post entices people to subscribe by offering subscriber exclusives:

Exclusive Email Promotion

The key takeaway

Whatever you do, as in any relationship, be yourself.Stay true to your company’s brand – and your recipients’ expectations. Do this, and you’ll be rewarded with a lasting, long-term commitment on the part of your prospects and customers.

About the Author: Scott Hardigree is the Founder of Indiemark and Editor of Email Critic. Connect with him, everywhere, here.


Scott Hardigree
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  • by Jordie van Rijn - email marketing consultant
    Posted February 26, 2013 2:35 pm 0Likes

    I love the examples Scott. And by the way, if they love you for it, it isn’t overmailing anymore :)

  • by Blaine Greenfield
    Posted February 28, 2013 5:08 am 0Likes

    What a pleasant surprise to see my newsletter, BLAINESWORLD, mentioned in your informative blog entry. Thanks! And fyi: I’ll now mention you in an upcoming newsletter.


    PS. I enjoy your comments, by the way.

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