The world of marketing is a funny old game. On the one hand, it’s portrayed as a glamorous industry full of creative and smart individuals who work as hard as they play. I mean seriously, who wouldn’t want to be a marketer? On the other hand, it’s perceived as a series of cynical ploys to persuade consumers to part with their cash for products and services they neither need nor want. Here we enter the realm of the snakeskin oil salesman.

The Truth

The reality is somewhat different. The best marketers work hard to create campaigns based on educated hypotheses of what their clients and potential clients want. They carefully analyse and target their audiences, helping them to deliver the right message to the right people at the right time – because anything else is a waste, and waste marketing doesn’t deliver a return on investment.

Yes, the marketing department might have occasional “glamorous” moments, but these are often revealed through the filters of social media. There’s no getting away from it: Marketing can be a difficult job.

Throwing Mud

Sadly, most people don’t see the hard work the very best marketers put into their campaigns. This is for two reasons. First and foremost, they are outside of the target audience a specific marketer wants to engage. Second, they are blinded by the efforts of less-than-talented “marketers” whose approach to targeting is like throwing mud at a random wall and hoping some of it sticks.

One of the biggest threats to a good marketer’s awesome output is the efforts of a less-than-skilled marketer.

Thankfully, any email marketer can up their game and by adopting a simple approach to their campaign delivery.

Raise a Smile

Before you deliver your next campaign, ask yourself: Is it likely to be greeted with a smile?

Good email campaigns are always welcome. Even the most “everyday” campaigns (for example, reminding people to renew a subscription or soliciting a product/service review) should be engaging and informative. Above all, they should be useful and demonstrate how well a marketer knows their audience. This is, after all, a relationship you are building, and no relationship has ever been successfully been built by shouting, “BUY THIS!

As a general rule of thumb, before I hit send on any campaign, I always like to ask myself: Would I like to receive this email myself? If the answer is negative, then it’s back to the drawing board.

How do you raise a smile from your subscribers? Share your comments below:

This post first appeared on the iContact Email Marketing Blog.

Image: Sheena976.