Avoiding Email Marketing Pitfalls

Although email marketing can look deceptively easy, email marketing is a powerful tool. When done correctly, it will generate leads, improve customer loyalty and contribute to a powerful personal brand.

But what makes a good, really good, email marketing campaign? Here are some of my tips and tricks to be successful with email marketing, enjoy!


There is nothing wrong with some good ‘ole fashion, marketing tricks. And, it starts with your subject line. The BEST email subject line we have ever used (in the nine years of both The Dicks + Nanton Celebrity Branding® Agency AND CelebritySites™) was “Hey, dude.”

No joke.

What does that tell you?

That “tricking” the reader into thinking that the email is a personal message from you, and not another “marketing ploy,” gets their attention. Better yet, making your email marketing seem personal in EVERY way that you can is KEY to not only getting your emails open and read, but getting your prospects and clients interacting with you as well.

Accurate Message to Market

If you have a giant list of people interested in your business, narrow down your list a bit. Segmenting a large list can help you categorize individuals that might be interested in a specific product or service you are offering at that time.

For example, in our own business for every TV Show that airs, BigPrint feature that runs, or Book that gets published we go in and add tags to each of our buyers to segment our own list by male/female as well as occupation/industry. This means if we have a specific book that speaks to female financial planners, you bet I can tell you every female financial planner that has ever bought from us and they’re a pretty good place to start for that campaign. The one-fits-all email philosophy hardly ever flies. So, use segmentation and personalize your emails to fit the recipient better.

Longer Doesn’t Mean Better…

Dan Kennedy has an old quote that says, “A sales letter can never be too long, just too boring.”  This goes for your emails as well. Say enough to get your point across but don’t try to create epic emails. There’s no need to send someone 1,000 words if you can get it done in ½  (or less). Using bullet points, lists, and creating emails that are going to be easily scanned and responded to can also increase your response rate.

Video Emails, Video Emails!

How many emails do you get a day? How many emails do you get a day that are all text? How many emails do you get a day that have a video in them? Exactly…

Video is all the rage- and is increasing in importance not just in social media and your website, but email marketing as well. BUT, not everyone has jumped on the video bandwagon… and in fact, there’s still a pretty small number who have.

Sending video emails is a great way to mix up your marketing and break up the message that clients and prospects are used to seeing from you.

Looking for a source? Check out BombBomb.com they are SUPER easy to use, you can have them create custom email templates to match your brand AND they allow you to upload any list (no double opt-in required).


Frequency of emails is a gentle balance between too much and too little. The real key to the question “how often should I send out email” depends on your customer base as well as the prospects that have signed up to hear from you.

Having a plan that is promoted during the sign-up process is a great way to get prospects used to the frequency in which you email.  For example, instead of saying “Sign-up for my mailing list” you could say “Sign-up for my weekly financial alert and discover new trends that could affect your family’s future.” Using a measurement of frequency during the sign-up process can not only help conversions because the prospect knows just what to expect from you, but it can also help to increase email open rates.


Before you send any email out you want to make sure you test the email. Unfortunately, the outcome of creating the email and sending the email can be two entirely different things. When using HTML in emails (even if only clickable links) there are many things that can go wrong. So the final step in ANY email campaign should be to test the email and check to make sure your images and links are behaving correctly and that everything looks just right. That goes for mobile too as an increasing amount of your email is being read on mobile devices.

If you’re using a CRM system to send emails (which I HIGHLY recommend) than you will be able to send test copies of the email to double-check your work. However, unfortunately, not all email clients are the same, thus using an email resource like InboxInsepector.com can be a very valuable resource so you can quickly see how your email will appear across various email clients.

Whether you’re looking to stay in contact with your customers and prospects or announcing new services and product choices, email marketing can be a powerful tool in any business. Remember- just because you’ve “always done it that way” doesn’t make it right! Everything online is constantly changing- that goes for email too! Testing new platforms and coming up with new (and better) ways to send your message to your clients is an important part to staying on top!

Celebrity Branding Online: Infographics!

By Lindsay Dicks

Have you ever used infographics in your business? For those of you who don’t know this term, infographics are visual tools to get written messages across. Instead of writing a paragraph or a list of content, designers can take the information and make it into a memorable graphic.

Infographics are a great way to present a lot of information quickly without being overbearing; they act as visual shorthand.

August_15_Newsletter_6_pdfWhy should you be using infographics when a video would suffice? Videos are great tools, but a lot of the time viewers don’t have the attention span for a video. I know that I am guilty of skipping an article on Buzzfeed because I don’t want to watch the video. So, how can you get the attention of those people?  Infographics combine the visual context of a video with text, the best of both worlds.

With the increasing amount of technology at our fingertips, studies show a drastic decrease in the human attention span. A study done by the National Center for Biotechnology Information showed that the average attention span in 2015 is 8.25 seconds, when in 2000, the average attention span was as long as 12 seconds.

We live in a world where we want instant results and can’t be bothered to wait too long for information before moving on the next thing. Infographics fit the bill of this cultural change: they are easy to skim, intriguing to the eye, and don’t hold the space to have a lot of clutter.

Infographics are easy to create, whether you have design skills or not; a simple Google search will pull up multiple generators and teach you how to make one, even with basic Microsoft software. Right off the bat, some sites to explore include:

  • Venngage (https://venngage.com)
  • Piktochart (http://piktochart.com/v3/)
  • Canva (https://www.canva.com/create/infographics/)

Using infographics is a great way to grow your following on the more pictorial social media sites like, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. The visual context should be enough to grab attention and the content is easy to share. On a site like Pinterest, you can take it one step further by creating a link and giving the reader the opportunity to pursue more information.

Not sure what to say in your infographic? Here are eight steps to take boring data and turn it into a compelling infographic:

1. Gather data. What do you want to say? Once you pick your topic for an infographic, gather as much information as you can. Even if you’re not sure if you want to use it, keep it handy because you can always pull content.

2. Read everything. Read your data thoroughly; sometimes skimming can cause us to miss important details. Often, we have that one sentence that pops out and that’s the real information you want to convey.

3. Pick out key points. What is the most important information that you’re trying to highlight? Make those points big and bold, to be more eye-catching. In the above example: the word “credibility” pops right out at you, clearly indicating that you need to pay attention. The support text is smaller, but supports the idea of credibility.

4. Create a hierarchy. In story telling, the audience needs something to root for. Use this technique when presenting your data! Find the “hero” of the information you want o present: the main point of the information you want to communicate. Start with your basic support evidence and add points that lead up to the conclusion of your message.

5. Choose a format. This is the fun part! There are so many ways to get creative with your infographic.  Numerical data may be best presented in a chart, while you can use imagery for words. Try creating a shape with the words that will visually represent the direction you want your reader to think.

6. Determine a visual approach. There are generally two schools of thought on visual representation:

  • Use charts and graphs for numerical data.
  • Use graphic designs and flowing fonts for more qualitative data.

Knowing your audience will help you determine how to present the information. However, you don’t necessarily have to stick with either option: you can combine both to reach a variety of audiences.

7. Refinement and Testing. Give your infographic to a variety of people to see, even just around the office. Take back feedback and adjust as necessary; keep in mind that just because you think it looks great, doesn’t mean that everyone is getting the message you’re trying to communicate. Testing can determine if your message in the infographic is clear and is easily understood.

8. Release! Now that you’ve got your message and it’s visually appealing, get it out there to the masses! We discussed social media as a place to start with presentation, but infographics are also well represented in various print media too.

Infographics popularity is growing rapidly. According to a Google study conducted by OneSpot, people are actually searching for infographics on the Internet as the best way to perceive information. In fact, the study showed that people are 30% more likely to view an infographics than a block of text. I think that’s reason enough to check them out for yourself!