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One-Off Emails or Dedicated Series: Which is Better for Your Campaign?

By this point, you know all the big stats and figures that show how powerful emails can be at marketing your brand to the masses. Plenty of other blogs can parrot out these facts until they’re blue in the face, but does that really help you if you’re not sure what you’re supposed to be doing once you buy in to the email marketing craze? Naturally, talking about templates and subject lines can give your messages a healthy bump in attractiveness, but one of the biggest subjects that doesn’t get much attention centers on the frequency and approach of your email. With this in mind, let’s take a look at how stand alone emails and dedicated series work and if there’s any difference between these two options when it comes to getting your brand noticed in your customer’s inbox.

A Look at Stand Alone Emails

Stand alone emails offer up a one-time deal that focuses on pressing issues – think changes in products and services, as well as limited time deals. As with most offers that expire, these quick, timely messages can be powerful tools to help up-sell or cross-sell deals and inventory to an audience that responds well to “in the now” marketing tactics. Once the offer’s over, it’s time to can this message, pull anything you might be able to use for the next round of emails out of it, and move on. While this might a little cut and dry, having a run of one-offs can keep customers excited and anticipating the next time your latest message makes its way into their inbox.

Understand the Long-term Series Approach

On the flip side of this spectrum is the email technique that’s in it for the long haul. Dedicated series, like newsletters, reoccurring product offers, and informational/club emails, all try and keep the audience interested in your offerings by mixing in some long-term value to go with any coupons or discounts. Whether it’s keeping people up to date with the latest industry trends or offering up periodic columns or articles, dedicated email series that run indefinitely or over long periods of time generally offer great content to make up for the lack of spontaneity associated with stand alone messages. Interestingly enough, you can still mix in some deals that come with limited time runs to your weekly or monthly emails to help maximize the return on investment (ROI) for your marketing campaign. However, if you’re on a set schedule or automating these messages, you might find yourself in a bit of a pickle with awkward timing and sudden changes in planning or sales.

Is There Really a Difference?

Now that we’ve got you up to speed on both options, you can definitely see that there’s a little overlap between the stand alone route and long-term series. In fact, you can even make an argument that these two styles are closer to being two sides of the same coin than they are to being complete opposites. While the timing and the framing of your message might be a little different, having consistency in your emails is a major part of a successful campaign. In that regard, there’s really not too much difference between the two. If your messages are all over the place, it doesn’t matter if it’s your first try or your 100th email in a yearlong series, chances are your audience isn’t going to be interested.

Which One’s Right for You?

This is all leads to a final answer to the “which one’s right for you?” dilemma. Basically, there is no right and wrong when it comes to stand alone emails squaring off against dedicated series. Depending on what you’re trying to accomplish with your email marketing campaign, they both have benefits that you can take advantage of to boost awareness for your products and your brand. Looking to pump conversions on a limited time offer or a seasonal product? Then it’s the right time for a quick, powerful, stand alone message. If you’re looking to drum up steady traffic to your blog or tease out information for an upcoming change to your brand, then a dedicated series that keeps your viewers eagerly awaiting your next installment is the way to go.

In fact, there’s no secret rule in the world of email marketing that says you can only choose one method. Just like in other parts of your business operations, a little flexibility can go a long way when you’re catching up with customers via emails. Having access to templates for both, as well as the ability to customize and fit your message to the occasion, will give you all the tools you need to really make a mark with your customers. For any brand that’s thinking about where it wants to be tomorrow, as well as 10 years from now, mixing in a little of both stand alone emails and dedicated series is never a bad idea.

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