How Gardening Made Me a Better Email Marketer:  Part Two

Part Two:  Facing Challenges

Tending plants has been a lifelong learning experience, and the lessons apply to everything from tomatoes to email marketing.  Last time we talked about planning and preparation.  This week, we’ll take a peek at what to do when the going gets rough.

Pull Weeds When You See Them:  In the garden, weeds compete with other plants for nutrients, sunlight and water.  On your subscriber list, inactive subscribers and “bad” email addresses endanger your ability to send to engaged readers.  The sooner you pull the weeds, the better.

Cut Your Losses and Try Again:  When something goes wrong in the garden the best way to prevent discouragement (or the spread of disease) is to clear the space immediately.  Sometimes that means doing a little rehab work on the soil.  If you try a marketing tactic that doesn’t work, changing course and going in a new direction is your best bet.  Sometimes bad things happen to good marketers.  If you send to a bum list, even if you gained the addresses in a totally legitimate way, dump the nonresponsive addresses and start over.

Learn As Much As You Can About Your Mistakes:  The only way to prevent similar mishaps in the future is to treat each mistake you make as a learning opportunity.  If you don’t know that tomatoes and potatoes get the same diseases, you might plant potatoes where you had tomatoes last year and end up with with potato blight.  An inquisitive gardener would learn not only what to avoid planting in the same soil, but also how to rotate crops to replenish the soil’s nutritive quality. 

Having a curious nature will also serve you in marketing.  Let’s say you sent out an email that got filed as spam.  In researching why this happened you might realize that you had a spammy-sounding subject line.  This might lead you to do a little research on what comes off as spam to email providers.  From there, you might just hit on a golden template for creating a compelling subject line.