Email Marketing is Like Dating

Email Marketing

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Email Marketing is Like Dating by Mark Mikelat

Email marketing is a powerful tool. Every business should use it.  But, I think so often business leaders really misunderstand how to use it effectively. There is a courting process.  Your client or customer needs to get to know you and your business.  Courtship takes time. Sometimes you are a match, and sometimes you aren’t.  Email marketing is like dating.

Email Marketing Tutorial – First Dates Are Awkward – You Don’t Know What to Say

Remember your first date?  I do.  I took Betsy to see the movie Rocky.  Romantic, huh?  Well, yes, for a 12-year old I think it was ok.  First dates are awkward.  You do not know what to say.  You feel insecure and there are anxious questions bouncing around in your head.  You need to brag about yourself without really bragging about yourself.  You need to impress without really trying to impress.

Email Marketing Tutorial – You Don’t Get Married on the First Date

See, what I mean?  Email marketing is like dating.  Time and time again, my clients, new to email marketing have totally unreasonable expectations for their first email marketing campaigns.  When you start, you are just starting.  Just like you do not get married on your first date, you will not make or break your business on your first email marketing campaign.

Email Marketing Tutorial – Courtship Builds Rapport

Just like you court somebody on the first date, you are doing so with your first email.  You are getting to know each other.  You are building rapport.  You are learning if you are a match.  The goal of the first date is not to get married.  The goal is to get another date.

Email Marketing Tutorial – Good Communication Happens Naturally

After you are dating for a bit you learn if you a match for one another.  If you are laughing on your dates, having fun, and having conversations that flow easily, then you are likely a good match.  The same principle applies to your email marketing.  If the subscriber is reading your email and clicking on the links often, then the communication is working well.  You are making a connection.  I understand that you want them to buy.  Sure, of course, but email marketing, like dating cannot be rushed.

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Email Marketing Tutorial – You Should Date Regularly

When you are dating, you date consistently and at times that work for both of you.  You do the same thing with email marketing.  You will send out messages on a regular basis; like a Friday night date.  After a while it becomes a habit, and if the Friday night date is missed, the relationship suffers.  Such is the issue with email marketing.  It needs to be somewhat predictable so that people can anticipate it and look forward to it.

Email Marketing Tutorial – Spice it Up, Just a Bit

But, your email marketing cannot be totally predictable and without any surprise or intrigue.  For example, a dinner date might be Chinese one night and Italian another night.  So, although there is regularity, there still is something that changes it up a bit.  You can add a bit of spice, but just not too much. A bit of change, in the right dose, can be fun.

Email Marketing Tutorial – Too Much Change Too Quickly is Bad

And, this principle works in so many different ways.  What if the person you are dating changes their hair every 6 months?  That might be fun.  But, what if they changed it every week?  That might be a bit odd, or even disorienting.  This is what some people do with their email marketing.  They are red one week and then blue the next week and then orange the next week.  Do not do this.  When you are dating you are still getting to know one another.  Too much change too quickly ruins the courtship.

Email Marketing Tutorial – You Get to Know Each Other

Need I mention spam?  Now, that one should be really obvious. When you have a date, you likely know whom you are meeting and what they look like.  Would you knock on a stranger’s door, and expect them to just immediately go on a date with you?  No, of course you would not.  They do not know you and you do not know them.  This could be a scary and perhaps even dangerous proposition, as would applying to an email credit card solicitation received from

So, if you are new to email marketing and you are unsure of the best strategy, consider it dating.  You should be polite.  You should be on time.  You should look nice.  The date should be fun and encourage the person to go on another date.  Email marketing is like dating.

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