Blogging

Young Guns or Wise Guys: Who are today’s Top Email Bloggers?

Top Email Marketing Bloggers

One year is ending and another beginning, which usually brings with it a sense of promise and potential, as we look ahead to everything that could happen in 2017. What better time for me as a marketer to take stock of the up-and-coming bloggers in the email marketing field to whom we should be paying attention in the months, right?

As I came up with this topic, it sounded like an easy enough task, and one that would ensure I was up-to-date with my industry. It wasn’t an easy task. And it turns out I wasn’t ever out of step.

How do you find young email marketing experts anyway?

To start my search, I asked friends in the email marketing industry to suggest young email marketers we should be paying attention to during this coming year. Here’s what happened:

  • I got names of people known for great marketing advice, but not for being email marketers. (And a few weren’t exactly young and new to the scene either.)
  • I got names of people who tweet but don’t blog. Sure, they’re in email, and yes, they are young, and apparently they have a lot to say. But they say it in 140 characters, not 1,400 words—not so useful, that.
  • I got names of people who already have a reputation in the industry for being thought leaders and experts. (I didn’t need those names. I had them.)
  • And one blog post that was recommended to me was supposed to list 20 email marketing experts, yet one-fourth of those on the list were copywriters, and only two of the others were email experts—and they were already known to me. Not that I have anything against copywriters! I simply don’t understand why they would make up a list of top email marketers when email is so much more than content alone. Nor am I clear why a list of 20 top email marketers only included two email marketers…

As all of this played out, I realized this wasn’t going to be easy. And Google? Google wasn’t much help. You can find all kinds of lists of marketing blogs you “should” be reading, but email marketing experts specifically? Exact search results = zero.

In the end, I got a little frustrated, I admit. But I persevered.

There ain’t a lot of blogging going on

Here’s what I did: I checked out everyone recommended to me, to see whether or not they’re producing useful content that will help people like you and me do a better job at email marketing in 2017. And here’s what I learned:

  • There’s more tweeting than blogging going on among the younger email marketers.
  • It’s really really hard to find people who are recognized for being experts in email marketing—not digital marketing, not online marketing, not content marketing—email marketing only.

What does this say about our industry that we seem to have a dearth of young marketers writing in-depth, useful, practical content for others to learn from?

I have nothing against Twitter. I love Twitter. Heck, I’m on Twitter (@indiescott). But there is only so much wisdom to be gained from a tweet, and I wonder what this says about how our industry will share (or won’t share) advice and best practices in the future…

The young ones aren’t necessarily blogging, but they have lots to say

So the young email marketers, they are on Twitter. I didn’t include anyone in this post that was only on Twitter, because I don’t find that to be useful information. Unless the marketer was tweeting as well as producing some kind of other content, they didn’t make my cut. (You can argue with me about the fairness of that decision in the comments below, but hey, it’s my list.)

Here are the four young email marketers who did make the cut:

More than one person suggested Jaina Mistry as a young email marketer to watch. I like Jaina. As with the other young ones, Jaina isn’t a prolific blogger, with only occasional posts on the Litmus blog, but she is active on Twitter @jainamistry

Phrasee.co led me to Jacques Corby-Tuech, on Twitter @iamacyborg. Again, no blog although plenty of cool tweets, but what drew me to this young email marketer is a side project: “The No BS Guide to Email Marketing.” With this project, he and others are helping email marketers to help themselves to do email better. (And maybe that is what will replace blogging as the information source for email marketers seeking out best practices?)

There is one young email marketer who is blogging, however, and that’s Justin Khoo. His posts are highly technical and deep dives into email development. They aren’t for everyone, obviously, but he is one to watch as he is creating the kind of rich content we seem to be lacking.

Another young one, Kristin Bond is also blogging (on occasion only) at Email Snarketing, and she’s busy on Twitter @emailsnarketing, calling out silliness in the industry. Her writing style is fun and she makes good points, but you’ll likely find more from her on Twitter than in the blogosphere.

Then I turned to the tried-and-true

That’s admittedly a short list—too short. Four? Just four young, up-and-coming email marketing bloggers to watch, only one of which is really actively blogging? Yep.

Ironically all of this effort led me back to the tried-and-true email experts who are blogging and creating the content that’s truly useful. I’d be remiss to ignore them in pursuit of the new when they offer what I was hoping to find elsewhere: knowledge and wisdom that’s current with the ever-changing field of email marketing.

I offer you my five favorites here:

Chad White remains a voice of reason in the industry blogging at Email Marketing Rules, a guide to email marketing best practices. On Twitter @chadswhite.

One of the “founding fathers,” if you will, Loren McDonald is another seasoned, experienced and wise email marketing expert who continues to offer in-depth and practical content via his blog. On Twitter @lorenmcdonald.

Email consultant Jeanne Jennings will pick apart an email message to make points in her blog, and all of her advice is stuff any marketer can learn from. On Twitter @jeajen.

Ryan Phelan blogs on practical matters, sometimes calling us out when it needs to happen, as in his post on nothing will change in 2017 until we change how we think about email. On Twitter @ryanpphelan.

Jordie van Rijn is known the world over as a prolific email content producer, he’s my partner in Alfred Knows and the author of the annual Future of Email Marketing compilation that he pulls together each year by surveying other industry experts for their predictions. On Twitter @jvanrijn.

So, young email marketers, should you have made the cut but didn’t? That’s probably because I haven’t seen your stuff. Send it my way. I could use a little reassurance that creating rich content still has its place in our busy email world…and I’d love to champion your cause as one of the up-and-coming young marketers I was seeking out when I started this journey!

Email Autoresponders: The Lazy Marketer’s Best Friend

We found this great post on Copyblogger.com, which was written by Sonia Simone. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

No one loves blogs more than I do. They’re a great way to build your authority, attract an engaged audience, develop trust and rapport, attract links, and stake your claim in search engines.

I love blogs. But like babies and kittens, two other things I love, they’re also a lot of responsibility.

Blogs take time. You’ve got to write terrific content that stands out from the general noise, promote it intelligently, and cultivate reader relationships. And that’s in addition to everything else you do in your business, from producing your product to getting your taxes filed.

That’s why there’s another content marketing tool that I always recommend having in place — ideally before you write your first blog post.

It’s the email autoresponder.

What is an email autoresponder and why do I want one?

An autoresponder is just a sequence of email marketing messages that gets sent to subscribers in the order and frequency that you decide.

Let’s say you have a seven-part autoresponder that delivers a great tutorial for your potential customers — something that they’ll find beneficial and valuable, and that lays the groundwork for you to make a sale.

That autoresponder creates a great experience for your first subscriber. And it creates the same great experience for your 100,000th subscriber.

It never gets tired. It never needs the weekend off for Father’s Day or Mother’s Day (or Email Autoresponder’s Day).

It never gets bored with your marketing message. It never gets snarky. It never gets sick of newbies.

It delivers your best content, in the best possible order and frequency, to every new reader who finds you. Forever.

That’s why I say it’s the lazy marketer’s friend. Whether you want a day off to head to the beach or a month off for a life-changing adventure, your autoresponder is back home taking care of business.

What goes into a really good autoresponder?

Most autoresponder sequences aren’t all that good, because most of them are about the marketer.

Your autoresponder needs to be about the reader.

The autoresponder’s most important function is to take people who are curious about what you do and turn them into raving fans.

That means an autoresponder needs your best content — the kind of content that makes readers glad every time they click through.

It doesn’t have to be funny, witty, charming, or poetically written.

It has to be damned useful.

It has to solve problems your readers need to solve. It has to give them small, quick wins toward what they want to achieve. And if it can show you’re a nice, relatable, trustworthy person — not just an expert but a likable expert — that’s even better.

Autoresponders make your case for you

You can use autoresponders for anything you need to educate prospects about before they buy.

Explore the pain and problems they’re facing today. Paint the picture of what their life will look like with that problem solved. Address and overcome objections, build trust, outline features and benefits, and create intense desire for what you have to offer.

And if your prospect isn’t ready to buy right now, great email content will keep her “parked” until she is ready … whether that takes her six months, a year, or ten years. As long as you keep adding to the sequence, you can keep prospects engaged and interested until the time is right for them.

Build it first

There’s no such thing as free traffic.

You either pay for web traffic with money — with advertising or affiliate commissions — or you pay with time and creativity.

Blogging is particularly demanding of that time and creativity. So you want to make sure you capture each and every true fan you attract, from the very first days of your blog.

That’s why if you’re starting from zero in a new topic, I recommend you build your autoresponder first, before you start blogging or doing any other social media marketing.

And if you already have a blog going, the second best time to build your autoresponder is today.

How about it?

  • Do you have an autoresponder in place right now?
  • If so, does it have the kind of content that’s going to turn your readers into raving fans?
  • Are you happy with the number of messages in your sequence, or do you think you could extend it a little and deliver even more value?

If the answer to any of these is No, let us know in the comments when you’re going to fix that. You have my permission to be as lazy as you like after you get it done. :)

About the Author: Sonia Simone is co-founder and CMO of Copyblogger Media. Get more from Sonia on twitter. See the original post here.

Why I love Email Marketing: The People

When I first launched Indiemark I reached out to Mark Brownlow, the publisher of Email Marketing Reports, about available advertising opportunities on his blog and newsletter. Not surprisingly Mark was booked, for the foreseeable future. You see, Mark has been the voice of permission-based email marketing long before its true power was recognized by most marketers.

Many moons later, newsletter ad space became available but instead of charging me for this remnant inventory all Mark asked for in return was Jelly Beans, seriously. Apparently they’re hard to come by in Austria where Mark and his family call home.

The beans were sent. The ad was run. The clicks and calls followed. I felt indebted to Mark. Yet today I received this handwritten note from Mark along with Austrian chocolates, which my wife and daughter will certainly devour.

These acts alone don’t make this industry great but it does confirm that Mark’s one heckuva guy and supports what I already knew; the email marketing industry is like no other. Phrases like sharing, win-win, long-term value, and relationships aren’t just words they permeate the culture. I’m grateful to be a part of it and the other people listed here.

Blogging Meets Marketing Event

There is often a disconnect between bloggers and marketers. Blogger are often sent stock emails asking them to write blog posts, mail their subscribers, or promote an offer without any form of compensation. These bloggers are sometimes at a loss at how to contact marketers for which they would make a very good sponsor. Some marketers aren’t aware of the wealth of blogging as an marketing vehicle.

The Blogging Meets Marketing event, sponsored by doterati will bring bloggers and marketers together to begin conversations, increase the learning curve and bridge the gap. I suggest that those of you who are in the Orlando area, especially those of you there for IzeaFest attend.

When:
Thursday, October 1st, 2009

Panel Discussion:
1pm-4pm

Cocktails and Networking:
4pm – 5:30pm

Where:
Renaissance Orlando Hotel at Sea World
6677 Sea Harbor Drive
Orlando, FL 32821

Who Should Attend:
* Bloggers (Beginner to Advanced)
* Marketers, Communications, and Agency Professionals

Cost:
* $29 for Doterati Members, IZEAFest Ticket Holders, Orlando Ad Fed Members & AMA Members
* $39 for Non-Members

Tickets:
*Purchase from Eventbright

I hope to see you there!

Scott