Top Resources for 'Best Practice' in Email Creative
"The body of knowledge on best practices for email creative has grown exponentially in the time since I started working in online in the late 1980's at Compuserve. Today there are dozens of resources for traditional and cutting edge best practices in email creative. Here are some of my favorites:"
I always feel a little helpless when someone asks me, in broad terms, about best practices in email creative. The answer to that question isn't a 60-second verbal response: It's an encyclopedia of knowledge which includes the contexts, the hypotheses, the details of the tests, the results and the perceived reasons why whatever performed better beat the other options.
When you're forced to boil it down to a quick list of what's 'best practice' you have to oversimplify what you do say and there's a lot of valuable information you end up omitting.
The body of knowledge on best practices for email creative has grown exponentially in the time since I started working in online in the late 1980's at Compuserve. Today there are dozens of resources for traditional and cutting edge best practices in email creative. Here are some of my favorites:
Alchemy Worx 'Email Worx' Blog
The quarterly "Favorite Email" posts highlight great email creative that you can steal best practices and tips from – also check out posts from the copywriting and design categories.
I'm a longtime fan of the 'experts' columns (I write one but I follow others). The entire article archive is free – and most of what was written about creative best practices in the last 5 years (and much of that from the last 10 years) still holds true.
Epsilon Email Gallery LookBook
Published twice a year in spring and fall, Epsilon does a great job of spotting trends and showcasing the best of the best. A great place to steal ideas.
Founded by Anne Holland, MarketingSherpa does some of the best case studies in the business. Sign-up for their free email newsletters; it's not always about email creative, but often it is.
And now a challenge. Read all you can about best practices in email marketing creative – then start testing. Test things that go against the conventional wisdom. Test things that take the conventional wisdom a step further. Test things that you've just thought of which haven't been tested before. And then share it, via an article, presentation, white paper or other medium – and become part of the always expanding knowledge base on email marketing creative best practices.
Until next time,
Thank you for writing this down so eloquently!
As the founder of Email Broadcast I've been asked this question before and after a long pause would often answer with my own question "how much time do you have?" Trying to boil down 14 years of trial and error into a soundbite is impossible. I also love your conclusion that after you learn what best practices are, don't be afraid to break convention. We just tested a Monday delivery (vs. our standard Tuesday) for a large retailer and found a significant increase in performance that I didn't predict and goes against conventional best practices. So we tested it again, and saw the same results. Keep testing is a great mantra.