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Shaun Kanary points to Impact Branding as an example of a good email newsletter. Photo: Shaun Kanary

Kanary points to Impact Branding as an example of a clean, simple email newsletter. Photo: Shaun Kanary

My Green Industry colleagues regularly inquire about the frequency of my company’s email newsletter. They often are surprised the answer is zero.

Yes, you read right: Zero.

As a “millennial” myself, how can I justify not sending a monthly update of company news, advertisements and other information? It’s because of one simple truth that is consumers just don’t care about you or interesting things about your company. Consumers only care about themselves, the problems they have and how you can fix them. That’s why sending a basic “company newsletter” each month is a waste of your and your consumer’s time. It’s just another email they didn’t ask for about something they don’t really care about.

Now, I’m not saying you should abandon your email marketing campaigns. I am, however, a proponent of creating emails people want and sending them only to the people who want them. Because when done correctly, email can be a powerful marketing tool that can nurture relationships with consumers, turning them into valuable customers.

My advice: Make emails people love, not spam.

Simple enough of a concept, right? While most people think every great news item or sales offer should be shared with every one of your customers, these messages often are only important to you. So break out of your “email newsletter/sales offer” rut, and use some of these tips for your next email campaign:

Segment customers; differentiate topics

Just like snowflakes, no two consumers are the same. So why would you send the same emails to everyone? In our industry consumers have different needs and interests. It’s important you develop campaigns around these different consumer interests, allowing them to receive information around the topics they want to learn more about. Instead of sending one newsletter to all your customers, try creating topics around what products they’ve purchased and how to enjoy them better. A few examples are small pond maintenance and accessories for your waterfall/pond customers or patio decorating and accessory guides for your paver/pergola customers.

Create an editorial calendar

As you plan your email marketing, create an editorial calendar and schedule each of your campaign’s emails. Emails should be relevant based on time and sales objectives. Using one of the examples mentioned above, your patio decorating and accessory emails should be planned according to season—e.g., spring cleaning, 4th of July party ideas, fall topics—with specific sales objectives—e.g., spring cleaning discounts, 4th of July party accessories like rock speakers, fall accessories such as fire pits.

Get permission

Just because you have someone’s email address doesn’t mean you should use it. Too often a company sends email newsletters to everyone it has come in contact with, causing many consumers to “opt-out” of receiving those communications. Try sending existing email contacts an “opt-in” with different options of the topics they can learn more about. With this particular “opt-in” email, establish how many emails they can expect to get throughout the season. If you’ve developed a range of topics your consumers care about, it’s highly probable you will get them to subscribe to one or more options.

Images don’t do the talking

We’ve all seen some beautiful emails in our inbox that are full-blown HTML masterpieces. However, some of the most effective email campaigns are a result of simple, aesthetically appealing template designs with clean, text-driven emails. One example is Impact Branding’s emails (picture attached). These have a clean look with minimal text and a cool, trendy image. Remember, it’s what you say in your email that’s important, not how many images you have in it.

Understand ‘ain’t nobody got time for that

One of my favorite sayings for writing emails comes from a great viral video on YouTube. Just remember people are busy, and “ain’t nobody got time for that” long, text-heavy email you just sent. Try using bullet points, and get to the point quickly.


People are smart when it comes to skimming their inbox. A recent study found the average email user receives 80 emails per day and most tend to ignore emails that come from generic email addresses, such as or However, sending an email from an actual person at your company and adding personalization in the subject line will increase the open rate of your email dramatically.

Track your success with landing pages

When speaking to someone regarding how they can improve their email to customer conversion numbers, I ask for their current results. Most times, companies do not know what these numbers even are, let alone how track them. ROI should be tracked for every marketing effort your company undertakes, and email results can be measured simply by adding links to custom landing pages for your email campaigns. By establishing landing pages on your website that visitors only can reach through your email campaigns, you can effectively monitor the success or failure of each email, allowing you to make changes accordingly.

Using these tips, your email marketing campaigns can go from drab to fab by providing emails that people love. This strategy will help you close more sales and stop those annoying “opt-outs.”

This article is tagged with and posted in Blog

About the Author:

Kanary is Director of Demand Generation for Kuno Creative, a digital marketing agency. A member of the green industry for the past 20 years, he has consulted with green industry companies throughout the U.S. and gives marketing lectures at several industry conferences every year. Kanary is also an adjunct professor of marketing at Baldwin Wallace University and a Certified Google Adwords and Analytics Individual.

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