My most recent Email Insider column outlines the specialized knowledge email marketers need to have to run their programs successfully. It goes well beyond the basics you learned back in Marketing 101:
1. Email strategy
3. Email design
6. Database marketing
7. Legal issues
8. Email trends and best practices
You can find more detail about each topic in the full column: "Email Success Requires Well-Educated Marketers."
If you're ready to start learning or take your program to the next level, following is my quick list of email resources to bookmark, download, read, buy or attend. This is not intended to be an all-encompassing list but rather a "get started list"—which I will expand and update in Silverpop's Resources center in the coming months.
1. Books: These step-by-step manuals explain the principles of effective email marketing. My shortlist:
2. White Papers/Research: Dozens get published every month, most often by email service providers or consultants. The most useful ones go beyond promotion to deliver solid information on best practices, the state of the industry and more.
3. Blogs: These are some blogs you should bookmark and visit often or get updates on via email or RSS reader:
- Silverpop blogs--Besides this Engagement Marketing blog, also check out Bill Nussey's "Email Marketing Strategy Blog" and "Demand Generation" for B2B marketers.
- "No Man is an Iland"--Written by independent consultant Mark Brownlow, one of email's sharpest writers and my personal favorite blog for the last several years.
- "Be Relevant"--Tamara Gielen tracks and circulates the best blog posts so you don't have to.
- Deliverability.com--Breaking news, thoughts and advice from people on the deliverability front lines.
- RetailEmail Blog--From Chad White, now with the email creative agency Smith-Harmon.
4. Email Newsletters on Email Marketing: Almost all these are examples of best practices in action, not just for content but also formatting, delivery, etc.:
5. Webinars: Most are free, and in any given month there are probably 20 to 30 presented in the industry. Silverpop and other vendors present these email marketing Webinars either on their own or via publisher sponsorships.
6. Conferences: Rub elbows with other marketers and get tips, answers and advice from experts. Here are just a few examples:
7. Online Communities: Post your questions and help out fellow marketers:
8. Twitter: Great forum for news, advice and commentary. Start by following these folks (don't forget @LorenMcDonald and @Silverpop):
This list is just a start. If you have a favorite information source you'd like to share, I urge you to post it in the comments section below.