Email Marketing Isn’t Dead

April 9th, 2019

by Josh Janowiak

Email Marketing – The Gift That Keeps on Giving
How do we create emails that people love?

We can all agree that email marketing is one of, if not the most effective digital marketing tactics. The problem is that most marketers and organizations have abused the channel; leading to depressed open, clickthrough, and post-conversion metrics, as well as a love/hate relationship with all emails. To solve this problem, we need to rethink how we connect with people via their inboxes, radically reduce the propensity of sending campaigns simply because our organizations have something to announce, and expand the KPIs that dictate success.

Key Topics

  • Design Best Practices
  • Creating An Experience on Mobile Platforms
  • Creating Relative & Personalized Content
  • Building Trust with Subscibers
  • Metrics That Matter
  • SPF, Authentication & Demark Policies

Michael Barber of Godfrey

Michael Barber
SVP, Chief Creative Officer
@michaeljbarber anywhere online

Recently named one of Marketo’s 50 Fearless Marketers

Podcast Show Notes

Michael Barber presented on this topic in 2018 during a half day workshop to our local AMAWM Chapter. The presentation was an overwhelming success. As such we reach out to Michael and are grateful he offered his time to discuss this topic on our new podcast so we can all benefit from this knowledge any time and as often as we’d like.

  • Intro & mention of Marketo’s 50 fearless marketers
  • What has changed in the email marketing world since your 2018 AMA presentation?
  • Some people think email is dead…is it? Or are we just not using it effectively?
  • Has the shift in the social media landscape, including pay to play, limited organic reach, and all of the privacy issues impacted the way email marketing is used?
    • Email is the medium of choice for personal communication
  • Are marketers sending lower quantities of emails with higher quality content?
  • Google is still the #1 ISP
    • Email sorting
    • Proactive unsubscribe
    • BIMI Standards (yahoo)
  • How do we create an experience through email marketing?
  • Building email for mobile – what are the key elements that make the mobile user experience seamless?
    • Best design practices:
      • We’re in a mobile/scrolling world
      • Skinny/Single-Column Format
      • Upside-down pyramid
  • How important is relative content?
    • Contextual
    • Compassionate – empathy
    • Connected
    • Convenient
    • Consistent
  • What tactics do you recommend for list generation? What methods build the most trust with your audiences?
    • Is an immediate pop-up light box the best way to attract newsletter sign-ups?
      • No. The prompt shouldn’t be given until there have been a few interactions with your website.
  • How do the new laws (GDPR, CCPA) affect email marketing? Is there tension between personalization and privacy?
  • What is the importance of sending emails from an ESP vs. your personal address?
    • Don’t send from your personal address!
    • ESPs provide authentication protocols
  • What are the top B2C & B2B ESP providers?
    • Small Business
      • Mailchimp
      • Campaign Monitor
      • Act On
      • Emma
      • Keep (formerly Infusionsoft)
    • Mid Market
      • Mailchimp
      • Emma / Campaign Monitor
    • Enterprise
      • Marketo
      • Hubspot
      • SalesForce
      • Adobe
      • Response
      • Oracle
  • What metrics really matter?
  • Have trends changed as far as the best time to send, subject lines, emojis, etc?
    • Yes. There is no set time, it all depends on everyone in your audience
    • You need to segment and talk to individuals in your audience
    • Subject Lines
      • Sentiment, emotions, simplicity, diversity (personalization), sophistication
      • Phrasee out of the UK tests subject lines
  • Avoiding Spam
    • SPF, Authentication, Demark Policy
    • 30% image to 70% copy
    • Size of campaign
    • Content on an SSL
    • Monitor bounces
  • Michael always talks about reducing friction for the consumers – how important is this when designing emails? Why is it so hard for brands to do this?
    • “More friction = more wasted time = more unhappy people = less likely to buy”
    • What is your overall goal? Conversions?
    • Refer back to best design practices. Consider where eyes will focus.
    • Use a test program to see if the email can be scanned in 8 seconds
    • What do we do after the behavior?
  • Email marketing isn’t just writing copy and hitting send. What process do you take when designing an email campaign?
    • Everyone has a different approach
    • Progressive Insurance has a 35-step detailed process.
    • Setup templates
    • Consider tone and vocabulary
  • Michael’s Favorite Email Campaigns
  • Additional Email Marketing Resources
  • Microsegmentation and real-time personalization can be driven by predictive analytics, but how can small companies achieve this level of personalization without the tools (AI) to do this?
    • Timely, Targeted, Relevant & Not Creepy
    • Why don’t brands get to know their subscribers and their behaviors?
    • With the tools we have out our disposal we can do this!
    • Who does this well? Amazon

Michael’s Favorite Books

Harry Potter

Expecto Patronum!

Harry Potter-J.K. Rowling

The Business of Expertise

This passionate “expertise manifesto” is intended to elevate the impact of advisors who sell insight as entrepreneurs. Three foundational chapters form the basis of the entire book: experts develop insight by isolating patterns in data; they convert those insights to wealth by crafting a unique positioning for which few available substitutes exist; and their confidence grows as the marketplace embraces their application of expertise.

The next sixteen chapters—building on that foundation—each answer a single question, starting with the role of expertise in a developed society, how important it is for experts to love the hard work required to hone their expertise, and how to see all that in the context of their own purpose in the world.

The Business of Expertise-David C. Baker


Ray Dalio, one of the world’s most successful investors and entrepreneurs, shares the unconventional principles that helped him create unique results in life and business—and which any person or organization can adopt to better achieve their goals. Dalio’s original Principles has been downloaded over three million times, and this expanded and revised edition is the first version available in print.

Principles-Ray Dalio

Upcoming Speaking Events

Follow Michael on social media @MichaelBarber for details on upcoming speaking events

  • Marketing Profs B2B Forum in DC
  • Inside Conference lancaster, PA
  • Dreamforce
  • Adobe Summit