Most of us learned e-mail marketing on the fly, with no formal training.
Plus, from what I see when conducting training sessions at corporations, most people have significant gaps in their e-mail marketing knowledge, especially since the field is so rapidly evolving.
That’s why a new book and CD, “The Email Marketing Kit,” by my colleague Jeanne Jennings, is a valuable tool for e-mail marketers. The CD includes valuable worksheets, such fill-in-the-blank documents, spreadsheets, and sample e-mail messages.
Having collaborated with Jeanne on a complex campaign for a major client, I’ve seen her in action — crunching numbers, comparing metrics, and doing all sorts of amazing analyses. Her recommended techniques are field-tested and on the money.
Of all the content in the book, the most informative section examined how to conduct a competitive analysis.
Jeanne’s key points on analyzing your competition:
- Week 1: catalog
- Week 2: e-newsletter
- Week 3: postcard
- Week 4: ad
Jeanne also recommends compiling industry e-mail benchmarks and case studies so you can get an idea of how your e-mail performance compares to the competition’s.
If I had one bone to pick with Jeanne’s book, it would be her budget guidelines for copywriting.
While the fee range she quotes — $350 to $700 per one-page message — is generally an accepted standard, you aren’t really going to get top-notch copywriters at those rates unless you offer a multiple e-mail campaign or an integrated campaign including other components, such as brochures, letters, and landing pages. It’s just not worth it for most seasoned copywriters to spend time getting up to speed on your product, company, and marketing strategy for a one-off e-mail. (Of course, there are exceptions — particularly when a copywriter is in between projects or experiencing a low cash flow.)
Beyond that one niggling point, this is an exceptional book by one of the few real masters in the e-mail marketing space. Make room for it on your cubicle book shelf, and keep the CD handy when you need to come up with an e-marketing related RFP, budget, or cost analysis.
You may have read the “CliffsNotes” from Jeanne’s book in her recent columns, but do yourself a favor and get the whole kit, now while free worldwide shipping is available. The kit comes with a CD of great worksheets, fill-in-the-blank documents, spreadsheets, and sample e-mail messages. Believe me, I’ll be referring to — and using — many of these documents in my own business.
What’s your favorite source of e-marketing intelligence (besides ClickZ, of course)? Send your book, Webinar, and podcast recommendations to Karen for future columns.
Join us for ClickZ Specifics: E-Mail Marketing on October 2, in New York City.
Want more e-mail marketing information? ClickZ E-Mail Reference is an archive of all our e-mail columns, organized by topic.
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