Ben Franklin on Email Marketing

Ben Franklin on Email Marketing

Ben Franklin was a true “Renaissance Man”. He knew quite a bit about many different things and he is one of the prominent figures in American history.

Today, many look back on the writings of Ben Franklin seeking inspiration. The man certainly left wisdom for generations to learn and even in the email marketing world we can learn from him.

Here are a couple of Ben Franklin’s most famous quotes. The lessons are applied to email marketing and how you can use them to inspire change and growth.

“Well done is better than well said.”

Companies are full of people with good ideas. The companies that have people that are doers are the companies that find success.

Become a company that does things with an email program. It’s easy to go through the motions, but if you try new things and do things you’ll find long-term success.

This quote could also mean that the only thing that really matters is the success of a campaign. Now, you might find that some test campaigns fail in the short-term, but the knowledge you gain will benefit sales and profit in the long-term.

Focus on the profit your email program makes. Opens and clicks are great, but always tie them to profit; after all it is the only email metric that matters.

“If everyone is thinking alike, then no one is thinking.”

This is a great quote for businesses to use in all areas. So often we take inspiration from others and use it to create our own strategies, but the key thing to remember is we need to make improvements on other ideas.

It’s easy to get caught up following the leader. It’s harder to try to do something different, something better. In email marketing it’s necessary to stay ahead of the others fighting for space in the inbox.

We follow trends here on the blog. It’s good to take note of what others are doing. Take the good and make it even better with your own email marketing efforts.

“When you are finished changing, you’re finished.”

This quote is about complacency. Say you have worked hard to find an email template that works really well. It gets people to click and gets them to purchase. It would be easy to just coast on this success, but what got you to this point will not get you to where you want to go.

Maintain the mindset that you need to always look for the next best thing. Not everything you do will improve on what you have, but you have to keep looking for something that might.

That’s the key to changing and getting better. If you don’t find the next best thing someone else will.

“A Penny Saved Is a Penny Earned”

For the purpose of email we’ll consider this quote to be:

“A subscriber saved is a subscriber earned.”

List management is a huge part of email marketing. The money is in the list and the better you can maintain the quality of your list the better you’ll be able to profit from email practices.

If your company is generally conservative by nature there is probably room to grow more aggressive with adding names to your list. Try pop-ups on your site and other calls to action.

Actively manage your unsubscribe rates while doing this because you will likely see the rates increase, but the offset will be to your benefit as you gain many more new subscribers and potential customers.

Think of those that unsubscribe not as burdens, but as those that are helping you. These people are telling you that you don’t have to send them emails because they won’t open them anyway. You may only save a fraction of a penny for each irrelevant subscriber, but Ben Franklin said it best when he talked about saving pennies.

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”

This quote is something to consider for your entire marketing team. The email manager in your company (it could be you) knows everything there is to know about your email program.

When someone asks how to do something it is easy to just do it for him or her. You might save a few minutes in the present, but in the long run you’ll lose time and potentially lose progress.

When you train others in your business to success in email marketing you free up time to explore new opportunities with the program. Teach others. Involves them and move the program forward.

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”

Email is about first impressions. When someone sees your subject line they make a split second decision about opening the email. Your brand name plays a role, but the subject line is important.

Spend enough time figuring out the kind of subject line that not only gets people to open, but gets them to make a purchase. Write something that is worth reading. Be urgent. Write something that sparks curiosity. Help people with the content in your email. Make it worth their while to open the message.


These are a couple of the best quotes from Ben Franklin. He had no idea what email marketing was back when his time, but he certainly understood people and his wisdom still holds truth today.

Use these insights to guide you as you look to improve your company email program.

Maybe one day you’ll be seen as the “Renaissance Man” or “Renaissance Woman” of your generation.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Scott Hardigree is the founder of Indiemark. You can connect with him everywhere, here.

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