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If Downton Abbey characters were email marketers

Obviously you should take marketing advice from fictional 1920s British people

Dust off your tuxedo tails, boys. Season 3 of Downton Abbey premieres Sunday night, January 6th on PBS, and it's time once again to be swept away by the romance, drama and sociocultural intrigue of people with cool accents and funny clothes.

Naturally, I'm looking to the characters of Downton Abbey for -- what else! -- email marketing inspiration. So let's pretend, in between the silver-polishing and Edith-ridiculing, that a few of our favorite characters have offered up some advice for your next email campaign.


Lady Mary Crawley

Send gorgeous emails.
Mary has her fair share of foibles -- self-doubt, aloofness, being caught in bed with dead foreign emissaries -- but she always looks stunning. Apply the same sense of style to your emails with tasteful font choices and bold, compelling images. Use stand-out colors for links and calls to action, and make sure to design the major value and call to action at the top of your email so scanning customers don't have to scroll to click. Also, check out Emma's gallery of free readymade templates to instantly give your campaign the kind of looks that will make your cousin propose to you in the snow.

Thomas Barrow

Track everything.
Thomas survives by knowing everything about everyone around him (and also by the occasional voluntary hand mutilation). Be that savvy about your audience, and make sure you're gathering -- and using -- information about your subscribers to send more relevant emails. Ask for more information on your email signup form, send follow-up notes to people who've clicked or opened, or explore integrations that seamlessly bring in information from your shopping cart platform or CRM. (We just launched a whole set of integrations with Emma, by the way.)

Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham

Create memorable copy.
Violet Crawley, everybody's favorite grande dame, wields considerable influence with her amazing one-liners. ("I'm a woman, Mary. I can be as contrary as I choose.") Don't forget the power of your words in your next email campaign. Find a tone that suits your brand, whether that's friendly, diplomatic, or (in Violet's case) condescingly wry. Craft concise headlines with vivid, action-packed words. And save your best writing for the all-important subject line. You can even test a few to see which works with our new subject line split testing feature. It's something to do while you manipulate young lives and rig the voting of your village's flower show.

Lady Sybil Branson

Question best practices.
Sybil loves to flout convention, be it through the wearing of harem pants or the marrying of plebeian chauffeurs. Try the same thing with your email marketing. (The flouting, not the harem pants.) Know what the best practices are, but don't always assume they'll work. Maybe a really long email will outperform a to-the-point one. Or a weekend send time will engage a whole new group of readers. Wondering if perhaps a stock image might fare better than your in-house photography? You can now purchase stock images from Bigstock right from your Emma account for the plebeian-friendly price of $3. The idea is to bravely experiment, even if that means abandoning your communication plan along with your aristocratic upbringing.

Anna Bates

Stay true to the folks who love you.
Head housemaid Anna has stuck by her man, the mild-mannered valet Bates, through war, job loss and a murdered ex-wife. Your relationships with your customers probably don't involve so much drama and/or cummerbunds, but your commitment to them is still crucial to your business. Connect one-on-one with customers on social media, and make sure you're sharing your email campaigns there. Or tweet at us for an invitation to try Emma's brand-new social marketing tool that lets you post messages, track engagement and even reply on all your social media activity on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, all in one place. Pro tip: use direct messaging functionality for any covert marriage proposals.