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Rabbit holes and creative email marketing

In email marketing, there are a number of rabbit holes you can adventure down. A good rabbit hole leads to creative inspiration and the confidence to try something new. On the other side, a bad rabbit hole can take you down a path of uncertainty, analysis paralysis and get you lost in the process.  At the same time, playing it safe and not exploring rabbit holes at all while staying with what you know ends up with little change and repetition.  However, creativity is what drives success and breaks through the boring, the “meh” and the “average”.  So how do you become the adventurer on your marketing team to lead the exploration and pursuit of creativity?

Being curious and creative 

If you’re finding that one email marketing campaign is beginning to look too similar to another, it might be time to just let go and give in to your curiosity. 

However, we get it. Being curious and stepping outside your comfort zone can be scary.   This is especially true for B2B marketing.

We’ve all heard about how curiosity killed the cat. Many colleagues in a very established organization may respond with an “this is the way we do things here” or “we have a process that needs to be followed” and creating change for the sake of creativity may not be on the list of priorities.  It’s a clear and obvious warning about the dangers of experimentation. So, surely, it’s safer to do what you’ve always done, right? Not quite.

There might not be much evidence around the relationship between curiosity and creativity, but they’re certainly tied pretty closely together. You know what curiosity has the potential to do to our feline friend, but curiosity also drives the world’s most creative thinking. Not convinced? Try viewing it this way: if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get the same result.  

The pursuit of new knowledge and experiences, and the desire to know or learn about something, can lead to some pretty creative problem-solving. Often the right solution requires a new and original approach.  This applies to any situation in business, and email marketing is no exception.

Of course, appealing to your target audience’s curiosity is also a tried and tested marketing strategy. You use it when you drip-feed information or tease upcoming events or product news. Playing on people’s curiosity is a great way to capture their interest. 

The thing is, when it comes to email marketing, there are just so many variables to consider from subject lines and pre-headers, to colours and visuals. With a little curiosity, this presents the perfect creative opportunity to try, test, and adapt your content. Being curious allows you to be open to new ideas and possibilities. But getting stuck in expensive processes trying to change tried-and-true templates and experimenting outside of “the way we do things” is often enough to scare anyone off a pursuit of creativity.

Asking why 

To break through in email marketing, a marketer needs to start with an idea.  They always need to question whether they are doing the right thing and pushing the boundaries.  They need to be curious enough to ask “why”?  Or to put it another way: why not? 

The consequences of being brave with your next campaign are either success or failure.  Both have benefits. How so? Success means you’ve brought an obvious benefit to your top line. Failing fast means you have tried to make a change and shows you what doesn’t work, so your future self can avoid it. 

Refining and continuous improvement means you can make changes that will help you win next time, or the time after that, no matter what a ‘win’ looks like or how it’s measured by your company. Switching up what you send out there, means you’re only going to get better.     

The fact of the matter is that globalisation is bringing brands and their marketing efforts closer and closer together so that they’re barely different from one another. Making your campaigns stand out has never been so important. 

Creative thinkers will set themselves and the brands they work on apart by showing a willingness to be at least a little radical, rather than simply just a follower. 

Taking inspiration

Creativity is what drives change. It’s what leads to inventions. It’s what challenges the status quo. Creativity can change a business or spark an idea for a new one. Step outside your routine and try looking at your work through fresh eyes and with creative intent. 

Email marketing is a fast-paced and ever-changing environment, and there’s only so many hours in the day. Being curious means you’re taking an interest in what other people know, and what they’re doing. It’s a challenge to carve out time to feed your curiosity, and spark your creativity. We know. 

That’s why we’ve set up the Knak Inspiration Centre. It’s one of the good rabbit holes to fall down. You can take inspiration from looking at hundreds of real-world emails and landing pages, adjust them to fit your brand in Knak, and save them to use for your next campaigns.  
Being curious is one of Knak’s core values.  It’s one that led to our creation of the Inspiration Centre, which you can learn more about  here.  Enjoy your exploration!

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