Simon Amstel's honest emails

One of the best email newsletters I’m subscribed to is Simon Amstell’s. The mailings are almost always commercial in nature; stand up dates, DVDs, new projects and so on, however they retain a level of honesty that is pretty unique in my eyes. Here’s three reasons why.

Firstly, I’m 99% sure they’re written by Simon himself. As I mentioned in my post about David Miliband’s email this adds so much value for the user. If I’m going to take the time to buy your stuff, the least you can do is take the time to write the email.

Secondly, it’s been sent in plain text. Why is this important? Well because for most people this extends the allusion that they’ve received an email directly from the source. Include a load of images and fancy styling and the allusion is shattered. Now, in reality, Simon probably sends the copy to some stooge who works it into their email platform, but this stage doesn’t matter, for most users the effect is still the same.

Finally, the mailings are pretty infrequent. Ask any bulk mailer and they’ll tell you frequency is important, it reinforces your message. Wrong. It makes you look desperate. If you don’t have anything worth while to say, don’t bother making something up. If you do, your audience will just associate your emails with junk, and then, when you do have something worthwhile to say, it will be ignored. Heard of The Boy Who Cried Wolf? Well the same applies to email marketing. Associate your message with something valuable, then no matter how infrequent they are, people will still open them when they arrive.

Daniel Bower

Product manager turned student. Currently researching algorithms, platforms, interoperability and kill zones at DDH. Read more about me.