Personally, I spent way too much time on the Flash site back in high school and can still quote many of the cartoons from memory. (Fittingly enough, I actually attended the same high school as the site’s creators.)
If you know anything about Homestar Runner, you’re familiar with Strong Bad and his infamous emails. As ridiculous as it may sound, we might actually be able to learn a thing or two about professional email marketing from Strong Bad’s email checking.
Strong Bad took the time to answer emails from his fans on a nearly weekly-basis for over 10 years—that’s a lot of email. But it also shows a dedication to responsiveness and consistency.
As you send out email campaigns to your audience, be sure that they can expect the same level of regularity from you. It helps to build appropriate expectations with your audience. Let them know they can count on you.
Proofread Your Content
With that amount of emails, Strong Bad encountered quite a few typos and grammatical errors in his fan email. He also never hesitated to mock and ridicule the sender for their mistakes.
You’ve likely sent emails out with errors, too. Unfortunately, your recipients may not be as forgiving as Strong Bad. Simple typos can undermine your message and turn people off.
Be sure to take the time to proofread your content before sending. Have a few other people on your staff that you can send a test email to for a second set of eyes. If you want your audience to read your email carefully, you should do so, too.
Despite his delusions of grandeur, Strong Bad still took the time to respond to his adoring fans individually. He made sure to personalize the message to them directly—even if that message was sometimes a little insulting.
Even if you’re sending out an email campaign to more than one person, you can still personalize the content. Make sure that the email is relevant to everyone on the email list—if not, don’t bother sending it to those people.
Most email services, such as MailChimp, also allow you to include merge tags within your email. These tags will be replaced with personalized information—like the person’s first name—once it’s sent to them.
Stay True To Your Brand
Over the years, Strong Bad sent out over 200 emails. During that time, he developed his own unique voice and brand. Sure that brand included typing with boxing gloves on, but Strong Bad embraced that identity in his emails.
Be self aware enough to recognize and embrace your own brand. Find your unique voice. Allow that to play out in the content and context of your email marketing. Know who you are, what you’re trying to accomplish and don’t try to imitate others.
Don’t Be Afraid to Be Funny
Strong Bad didn’t have to try to be funny when answering emails. He wears a wrestling mask and and talks in a funny voice—he’s already funny.
Humor isn’t something you can force into your brand. But it’s also not something you should be afraid of. Too many emails are boring or overly-salesy. If you can manage to be organically funny, you just might be able to stand out from the crowd and get people to laugh and listen.