Mad Men Take On Email Marketing
The advertising world depicted in Mad Men has generated significant buzz, especially in the media and marketing world, partially triggered by media and digital professionals intrigued by the “good ole days” of Madison Avenue in the early 1960s. Of course, the booze filled office of Sterling Cooper didn’t factor in email and digital marketing into their pitches.
If they did, surely they would be incorporating some targeted online campaigns to deepen the relationships between their clients and their customers as well as attempt to wow their peers with cutting edge tactics.
Imagine the first email campaign for Maidenform, Bacardi or Connie Hilton’s burgeoning hotel empire. What would Don Draper think of CAN-SPAM rules? Would Peggy Olsen see response rates plummet from too much copy? Is Pete Campbell the prototype email marketing boss? Oh, the possibilities are endless to ponder over a stiff Manhattan.
In this blog post, I will try to bottle the Mad Men marketing elixir and use some quotes from the ever witty Roger Sterling (partner at Sterling Cooper and played by John Slattery ) to raise a few probing email marketing questions and trends.
“Come, eat our sweet meats. Drink our wine.”
The golden rule of email marketing should be “deliver value and benefits to your subscribers and prosper.” It’s a two way street and the program bursting of value and engaged subscribers are the ones returning (and often asking) for more.
Don Draper: "What do women want?"
Roger Sterling "WHO CARES??!!!"
This is the mindset of many batch and blasters whether they know it or not. One sized fits all email campaigns rarely deliver, for your internal team and the subscribers. To many marketers sit on the rich subscriber data they have and fail to leverage it to deliver more personalized and valuable emails.
"I guess what I'm saying is at some point, we've all parked in the wrong garage."
Mistakes happen in email so set up the measures to prevent it but if they do, apologize to your subscribers if needed but move on either way. The same goes for social media campaigns, don’t hide your dirty laundry that is there for everyone to see.
"I shall be both dog and pony."
This may also be referred to us “Industry Talking Head Syndrome.” One of the biggest complaints heard by email marketers is the lack of service they get from their technology provider. They complain they get exposure to the “experts” only in the sales cycle and then get a junior coordinator after the deal closes.
I think this blame fails on the marketer side too, if you want expertise and services, go to an agency that is selling you that or demand more from your technology provider. The software providers are selling you a tool and maybe service to support the tool but not your campaigns. So don’t buy into the dog and pony when you know neither will be present after the paperwork is cleared.
"Once they hit thirty, it's like someone turns off a light."
Don’t get complacent in your campaigns no matter the level of success you have. Apathy in email (whether you are 22 years old or 75 or have done your 5th or 500th campaign) is a dangerous thing. Every marketer can do more planning, testing and analyzing.
"One minute you’re drinking in a bar and they come and tell you your kid’s been born, the next thing you know they’re heading off to college."
For you digital chiefs out there don’t be too removed. Nearly every email marketer is secretly seeking executive approval not just of their work but their email marketing program’s value and existence.
Don Draper: “What kind of company are we going to be?”
Roger Sterling: “The kind where everyone has a summer house?”
Whatever your goals are, aim for the fences but measure accordingly. There is no reason email programs can’t be stars and ride their success to sunnier pastures. Don’t let your program be buried in the trenches when better real estate is available for those that dare to seek it.
"You know what my father used to say? 'Being with a client is like being in a marriage. Sometimes you get into it for the wrong reasons, and eventually they hit you in the face.'”
Tough love is necessary in the digital marketing world. Regardless of your program structure, ensure you have the right team and don’t be afraid to demand more from your partners, both internal and external. As long as your interests are aligned and goals are established, you can do your best to avoid getting the left hook from any unseen corner.
Hopefully, Mad Men can raise the level of your marketing prowess (if not blood alcohol level) and be sure to follow their lead and avoid their mistakes as well. Feel free to submit any Mad Men inspired quotes or plot themes for future inclusion.