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Zombies Don’t Always Eat Brains But When They Do…

…They Prefer Original, Unique Brains.

I’ve been thinking a lot about Zombies lately… What are their preferences?  Do they care about anything other than brains? Do they drink Zombie cocktails? Where do they get their shredded clothes?  Do they recycle? Do they remember their email address? Many, many thoughts I have, but the biggest one…

Why do companies seem to think their customers/patrons/users are Zombies?

Sure, we could chat here about Zombie CRM, but really, that’s not the point, just a limb – I mean a piece. The point is simple and is about regurgitation. Not that kind! The “let’s keep spewing the same old content and look to our customers because it works = regurgitation. <insert sigh here>

It’s easy to do – you get some good results and you keep pumping out the same jargon, imagery, offers, etc. But what if you’re successful and then tested something else? Magic sometimes is built upon success… okay, often magic is found that way. And magic isn’t a one-time-only event, it can happen more than once if you keep innovating and pushing the envelope. Sure, it’s a little frightening to push boundaries – not Zombie brain-eating frightening – but spooky for sure. Make it easier on yourself and run clean tests.  A little planning and suddenly it’s not so scary to look under the bed… just a few tools will arm you for proper Zombie hunting:

1) Arm Yourself

  • Start simple – A/B testing is just that: 2 segments with a single variable
  • Don’t try and do too much at once – clean testing will provide the best results (and you can only hold so many weapons at once)

2) Plan, but don’t over-plan

  • If you’re new-ish to proper testing and planning, plan a month or two in advance in detail, but use your results to build on each month forward

3) Don’t do stupid tests – do relevant and useful tests

  • Sure, subject line testing and button colors make a difference, but if you need some serious movement upward in your stats, throw the axe at the neck!
  • Approach testing knowing that not all tests are going to kill a Zombie, but that each one is meaningful to your goals and your email program.

Okay, so now what? Pick a starting point and attack! I tend to choose the thing that nags or annoys me the most. What nags at me most are missed opportunities – if you’ve ever said “Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda” after a deployment, that’s the one you pick. Sometimes that’s a lot of choices, so make a list and prioritize by annoyance, or whatever method you choose. You have to admit, Zombies are annoying… all that moaning and stalking and slurping…

If you want to go full-on Zombie War Zone and eradicate Zombie thinking, start looking at your list, their behaviors and how you can best segment them based on your brand. Go completely crazy and review your mobile audience and assess what you need to do to get ready for the Mobile Takeover of Email…. It’s very near and lurking on your doorstep, some would say it’s arrived – are you ready? Don’t forget to make your websites mobile too so you can take them with you when fleeing the frontlines… I mean, so subscribers can actually convert and you can slaughter your CTR and CTO rates. Now that’s what I’m talking about!

Remember these wise words and rock on with your Zombie killin’ Email Superstar self:

About the Author: Samantha Iodice is an Email Strategist & Best Practice Maven for a global marketing services agency. Samantha tripped into the online marketing world via direct mail and has never looked back. She works like mad to convert outdated thinking and strategy for her clients no matter how hard they attempt to resist her super-powers. Samantha is proud to be a bit nuts, a sci-fi fan and an all-around geek. Follow her on Twitter @e_Maven or drop a line at

Scott Hardigree
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