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What we’re reading now: on emails that break the rules

As an email marketing strategist, I rarely recommend throwing out the rulebook. After all, best practices have developed for a reason: they help your emails reach the inbox and generally increase conversions. However, you don't want to fall into the trap of being too much of a stickler – or, worse, completley unoriginal. Breaking the rules and trying something unusual might earn you solid, unexpected results.

Read on for three ideas that flip best practices on their head.

  • Add a postscript. A P.S. at the end of an email is a fun twist that's usually reserved for letters and quick, personal emails. Marketing Profs shows that this signoff trick helps focus readers' attention in commercial emails, too. (You'll need a subscription to the 'Profs to read the full article. We recommend it, if you don't have one already.) Learn more >>
  • Break your images to make a point. The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) intentionally designed a "hidden" image to point out that not everything comes into focus with the click of a mouse. Learn more >>
  • Omit something that's usually considered a must-have. Leaving off a subject line may sound like an email marketing nightmare, but DJ Waldow suspects that the Obama campaign did it on purpose in this example. He points out that most "no subject" emails come from friends and family, which may cause folks to take a second look. And, even if it was accidental, it may have had that effect. Learn more >>

What email rules have you broken with (or without) success? Let us know in the comments.

See more email marketing tips in our resource center.