Paul Markham says he doesn’t understand porn marketing online, and he really doesn’t.
I’m going to review an email he sent out to perspective B2B clients:
1) Display name “newsletter”
Now, this isn’t really that hard to get, but sending out ANY email and SELECTING to put “Newsletter” as your display name will not get your mail opened. Why not use “Paul Markham”?
2) Subject Line “50% discount on both stores”
Almost guaranteed to get delivered to spam folders. Don’t put words like ‘discount, 50%, store, saving” etc in your subject line. It looks like spam. Well, in this case, it is spam, but you don’t want to point this out to people
3) Sales text
“50% off orders over $300.
Having a special Summer offer, 50% off all orders over $300 for 30 days.
Even on the special offer packages, get in fast.
And moved more videos and sets to Bargain Basement.
The copy is weird. Looks like someone is writing it on a phone, the sentence structure is clumsy and it is full of grammatical errors. Sounds like someone with English as a second language wrote it. And it is centered, in a small font. Oh and there is NO CALL TO ACTION!
Whatever you do, however bad your copy, always remember to ask someone to do something otherwise there’s really no point.
So something like:
“To combat summer slowdown, I’ve decided to offer my best clients an incredible offer. Half price content. Yes, a whole fifty percent off the world famous content I produce. Spice up a tour, boast a members’ area or create some hot new banners. And save yourself 50%.
Order now, offer must end in 7 days.”
Now, this is the real doozy here. There isn’t any. It’s just a very long email with a dozen images on. Now, note there is no continuity in the images. Some have the text Paul clearly put on himself in MS Paint, and some have nothing. None have a call to action on. Simply putting “click to see the set” would be a start.
Also, but the images in a table (yes, a table, with email you need to design like it was 10 years ago in order to guarantee the design looks the same in all clients), and put 5 thumbs in a row.
And the MOST important thing, is again, there is no call to action at the bottom.
a) A timer with how many days are left.
b) Order now to get 50% saving
c) No catch, no con, this is a real saving, click here
Just three ideas that would increase the clicks more than having NO call to action.
White space is usually something I applaud in design, however, in this case, it isn’t elegant white space intended to make a product have breathing space to shine, it is just bad design.
5) Opt out
Paul’s call to action at the end of the email is actually asking people to opt out:
“Are you getting this Newsletter TWICE ?
Then you’re in the database twice, return one and ask us to fix it.
If you think this is “SPAM” and no longer want to receive updates about our site.
Return this email with “DELETE” in the subject line and we will remove your name from our list.”
Aside from the obvious grammatical mistakes here, this is how he ends the mail. Same font as the sales copy at the start.
Opt outs should be there, but should be SMALL. And not part of the body of the mail. And not the call to action.
If only the mail had been split tested, all of the components that are wrong here could have been spotted and removed.