Tink Taylor

Email marketing has been a part of the ecommerce game for several years – but that doesn’t mean that email marketing is an old trick; just the opposite, actually. I have spoken with Tink Taylor, the founder and president of dotmailer, an email marketing automation platform – meaning that he is the right person to consult to become a smarter and more effective email marketer.

Email marketing hasn’t changed dramatically over the years, according to Tink. We are still talking about using good data and segmentation, to hit the right people at the right time with a well-crafted message. Nowadays using automation to deliver email marketing that has relevance and timing. It has always been dotmailer’s core message. The good principles stay the same.

Here are the major takeaways from the Tink Taylor interview

  • Stop worrying about unsubscribers. It is common practice to try to avoid people unsubscribing. Change your mindset and worry about what emails you send out instead.
  • The tone of voice in your email should be a part of your brand. However, you can change the tone of voice on special occasions to get attention. Do be careful and make sure you are not upsetting your customers.
  • People will use search terms when looking for content that they have previously seen in your subject line. Make sure you ask your SEO team what terms they are using to optimize your site and include them in your subject lines.

This post is packed with nice little details to improve your emails as well as major valid points, which could potentially change the way you do email marketing for good. Let’s get started!

Want More List Building Strategies?

Growing your email list is TOUGH. To help, we’ve put together a list building toolkit, including 100+ list building strategies (ranked), an email marketing ROI calculator to measure your campaigns’ effectiveness, plus a few other goodies (updated once a month).

Free Downloadable Bonus
Get access to our free list building toolkit and turbocharge your email list today (include resources not included in the blog post).

Why you should do email marketing

The answer here is simple: Make money! Email is and will always be number one when talking return on investment. Email marketing is not dead at all.

Collect email addresses like there is no tomorrow

Email is the channel that binds together all offline as well as online channels. Email addresses are incredibly valuable and paramount for any retailer to have. The obvious ways to collect them are through pop-ups, sign-ups, accounts, and everywhere possible on your site.

Remember to do this offline too. It annoys Tink, whenever people don’t ask him for his email address whenever he is checking in at the hotel, buying a flight ticket, and so forth, because it is so crucial and a missed opportunity.

How to handle unsubscribers

People start unsubscribing. You panic. What do you do? There is, of course, the technical part of deleting them from your list and including unsubscribe links in your emails, but there are other aspects to note as well. In the clip below, Tink explains the things you should do to avoid any more damage and what he thinks needs to happen:

So, in actuality, the question is wrong. Let’s not handle people who unsubscribe; don’t worry about that. Instead, worry about the aggregate number of emails you send out. If you notice people unsubscribing, throttle back on the frequency. Just focus on adding more people to the list and sending more emails.

Segmentation and relevance – what to do

When thinking about your email segmentation and content strategy, you must be sure not to create too many segments, as doing so could be costly – for instance, you’ll need to create relevant and different content for each contact group.

It is doable, as you can add several automated features such as previously purchased and recommended product feeds. So take advantage of the tools and features that enable you to do your email marketing as easily and in as much of a tailored way as possible.

The emails should be automated at certain events such as welcome messages, birthday emails, or whenever someone abandons his or her cart. The email should contain relevant products or information based on the data you have on the customer, be it previous buys, birthdays, or abandoned carts.

Create a good first impression – your subject line

Everyone has an opinion on the subject line. As Tink pointed out, the trends and patterns change in flow over time. But what makes a good email? Put yourself in the recipient’s shoes. The recipient opens and reads the emails he or she finds relevant, interesting or timely – and the subject line is the first thing they see. It should describe the content of the email. You can include details, like offers, shipping costs, or you can personalize the subject line with your name – all of the above should be tested.

Just keep in mind that you can overcomplicate things. Listen to Tink explaining exactly what a good subject line is and what to avoid:

Get the tone of voice right

The tone of voice is a part of the brand. If your recipients are 18-year-old college students, the language should be appropriate to that audience. Whether you are formal or informal should be determined by how you would normally communicate with your recipients.

If you have got a younger user base, you should also explain the benefits, such as VIP, first in line, or special offers that are most likely to appeal to them.

While the tone of voice should be true to your brand, you can, on occasions, use a slightly different tone of voice to get attention and draw awareness to something.

Tink’s favorite email marketing trick

His number one thing is: Send more emails in aggregate. That is the coolest thing you can do – and it makes more money. Don’t just blast everyone every day; just send out more emails in total. That will also get you to think about the relevancy of content, the tools you use, and how to do it smarter, which will result in more intelligent emails.

An increased frequency will force you to do automation and segmentation, which always results in good things.

Here’s Tink’s other fantastic email marketing trick:

If you are operating within the omnichannel world, you can find the people who are frequently buying or who are frequently spending‌ a lot of money. Why not send them an expensive catalogue to make them happy and loyal? The people who aren’t buying a lot, send them something basic but nice to get them re-engaged. In other words, try to combine the data you get from offline stores in your email marketing. It is all about being smart and connecting the dots.

Major email no-goes

One of the classic mistakes is buying data. That time is long past us – please don’t do it. It will annoy people if you send them emails that  they don’t remember they have signed up for.

The biggest mistake, according to Tink, is really surprising and is probably going to help a lot of you retailers out there! Listen to his great point here:

Want More List Building Strategies?

Growing your email list is TOUGH. To help, we’ve put together a list building toolkit, including 100+ list building strategies (ranked), an email marketing ROI calculator to measure your campaigns’ effectiveness, plus a few other goodies (updated once a month).

Free Downloadable Bonus
Get access to our free list building toolkit and turbocharge your email list today (include resources not included in the blog post).

Wrap up

First of all – email marketing is never going to die! We are looking at our smartphone all the time, and the number one app is our inbox. Emails are, therefore, here to stay – and the trends are the likes of Google, who are innovating their inbox experience. Tink pointed out that we are going to see more inbox environments and more appealing features and functionality in emails – basically, emailing is going to get sexier!

What are your biggest email marketing learnings? Tell us and everyone else by commenting below. Tink is also ready to answer your questions, so just get going!

Emil Kristensen
Emil is the CMO and co-founder of Sleeknote. When he’s not busy with writing awesome content and building the Sleeknote brand, he spends his time reading and watching vlogs on YouTube (big fan Gary V). Fun fact: between the co-founders he is the fencing champ.

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  1. Nice post. A great newsletter is useless until it has a unique and different headline.
    Can’t wait to test a few out.

    Btw, I love the audio clips – it is nice to hear the words from the expert himself.

  2. Shaun, one of the IT guys from my workplace, recommended the Ecommerce Influencers series to me a few days ago and I have to say that I am very impressed!

    My best email marketing learning is that you should use your actual name as your “from” address. We did A/B split tests, and using my own name has given way better results than using our company name.

  3. Wow! Great points and details. We’ve had great success with email marketing.
    We are selling mobile cases and covers and email marketing is our best marketing channel!

    It has a very high ROI, and gives us the possibility to boost our brand and get a closer relationship with our customers. We are doing a lot of automation based on what kind of covers our customers are looking at and it just works PERFECT.

  4. I have been lurking around on the Sleeknote blog for a long time now without commenting but now I am doing it.. The Ecommerce Influencers posts are aweeeeesome!


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