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Mixing Right and Left Brain Thinking in Email Marketing

There has been a definite transformation in marketing and in email marketing in particular. Advertising agencies were often filled with “creative big-wigs” who created engaging copy and images that were big, bold and didn’t always work. The transformation has now led to companies still hiring the most creative people, but leaving them with a need for analytic types who can measure the results, provide feedback and get the creative types to tailor their marketing campaigns to what seems to measure up. This can be seen as mixing both left and right brained types.

What is the difference between right and left brain thinking?

Theorists say that the left brain controls your reading, writing, calculation and logical thinking, while your right brain controls your creativity and artistic sense. It is also believed that people are dominant on only one side; they are either creative or they are logical.

When it comes to email marketing, a convergence of the two sides of the brain is necessary, says Geoff Linton in an article in Direct Marketing Magazine. Aligning your team of creative thinkers along with your analysts will yield an improved click-to-open rate percentage, he says. This can be known as “design collaboration”.

Integrating both sides of the brain in marketing

Many marketers shun balance and alignment on the team and instead look for speed, but Linton believes this is the wrong approach. Integrating different perspectives, he believes, is the right approach.

He calls this “a blend of art and science”, leading to multi-faceted marketing strategies. While marketing was previously reliant only on creativity and those “big ideas”, today the creative aspects have formed together with analysis to create the right balance. Through testing and analysis (left brain thinking), we can determine what actually works in our marketing schemes. The big ideas can be created by the right brain thinkers and the left brain thinkers can determine if these ideas actually hold water.

Getting results through synergy

Marketing departments know that they need to create attention-grabbing, easily scanned and relevant copy and graphics for their emails. While their emails may look perfect, click rates can’t be determined until the emails are tested. Using biometric eye-tracking is one way of finding out what does and does not work in a marketing email after the creative types have created it and this is where the left-brains come in. Biometric eye-tracking is not the only way to test marketing’s effectiveness. There are also programs like Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics, that will let you dive into your traffic and conversion numbers to help determine if your on the right track.

Selecting the right team where both creatives and analysts will come together can be tricky. The best bet for an organization, says Linton, is to hire diverse mix of people with experience in a variety of sectors. You want people who will challenge each other and think outside of the box.

“Innovation and excellence come from asking the deeper questions,” Linton says.

Challenge for small business

For small businesses who want to perfect their email marketing strategies, but are intrinsically right or left brained, hiring a team or a professional organization to help them seems like their best bet. Many artistic-type business owners (think yoga studios, creative retailers) often have the ability to come up with creative marketing content, but they don’t have the tools to measure if their strategies are working and to what extent.

On the other hand, many companies have leaders who are very business-oriented and are all about the numbers and analysis. They have the ability to track data, but aren’t able to create moving and compelling copy and graphics.

The right solution for these organizations is to either hire someone proficient in the other side of the brain tasks, or to outsource to an organization that has this balance already in place.

While balance sounds like the perfect strategy for any organization’s email marketing team, it can be a challenge to get there. Disagreements can ensue and teams need to commit to working towards the greater good, says Linton.

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