When in Doubt, Ask Ann - Carney
The Daily Carnage

When in Doubt, Ask Ann

Advice that will never let you down.

Put More Value Into Your Email Newsletters

The typical company email newsletter is an “e-blast” that features links to the latest blog posts, info on the latest product updates, and maybe a discount on a product.

Notice a common theme there? Everything is all about “Click this! Click this! Visit our website!”

That’s the exact wrong way to approach your email newsletter.

When someone subscribes to receive emails from you, they’re putting a lot of trust in you. Seriously. They’re hoping that you’re not going to spam them, and that you’re going to drop things into their inboxes that are actually worth reading.

Think of email as a way to strengthen your connection with your subscribers. They already know you. They already want to receive emails from you. Build on that.

So…how do you build on that? Let’s ask Ann Handley. She recently dropped this little nugget of gold:

“The most important part of a newsletter is not the news, but the letter.”

There’s a lot to unpack in those 14 words. Think about a traditional letter. When someone sends an actual letter (one sent by snail mail), all the content their reader needs is right in that envelope.

There’s no “click here to learn more” because there can’t be. Approach your email newsletters the same way.

We’re not saying don’t have any links in your email newsletter, sometimes those are important. We’re just saying, give people want they want right in the email, rather than always driving them to your website.

That approach will build trust with your subscribers. They’ll get comfortable and look forward to opening your newsletters.

Then, when you do have something to sell or a new product announcement, they’ll pay more attention.

That’s how you do email the right way. Put more value right in your subscribers’ inboxes.

What a Real-Life Social Media Style Guide Looks Like

A social media style guide is to your business as Google Maps is to your driving: without step-by-step navigation to where your destination is, you’d be completely lost. A wrong turn (aka a wrong emoji or word usage) can be the demise of your social media presence.

Don’t believe us? Google “social media horror stories.” Talk about #spookyszn.

Sometimes, there can be too many cooks in your social media kitchen. That leads to your overall look and message getting scrambled like your eggs at brunch (the eggs are delicious, the mixed messages are not).

Hook a left and cruise with us as our friends at Buffer explain why it’s uber important to develop an evolving style guide. (See what we did there? Was that too much?)

Buffer outlines a starting social media guide layout, however the sky is the limit with what to include:

1) The Shortcut
Buffer calls this the tl;dr (aka I don’t have time to read this whole guide). This section outlines the gist and the most important guidelines to follow. If someone will be running your social media, what are the most important guidelines they need to follow?

2) The Voice & Tone
We’re not talking about the TV show. Voice is the overall defining sound of your account, while the tone refers to the specific ways your voice is implied.

These two aspects are KEY on social media. They’re the elements to humanizing your brand and guide how you take part in conversations. If there’s room to be humorous, don’t shy away from showing your true colors.

3) The Spelling Punctuation & Grammar
People looooove to point out typos on social media. Especially the wrong use of you’re and your. YIKES, talk about an avoidable #fail. These types of points can be everything from avoiding using “!!!!!” on posts to banning the use of an emoji instead of a word. It’s really the little things.

You’re almost to your social media guide destination. Just keep swimming (or reading)…


Some people think playing the piano is a tough skill. Others find rock climbing to be a difficult skill. We, on the other hand, take the words “tough skill” very, very seriously. And trust us when we say the old man in this ad has skillz (yeah, we used a Z).

Geico is at it again. Cue all the quirks and weirdness. Viewers are brought into a nice family’s living room when Gramps decides to start playing Flight of the Bumblebee with his nose. We repeat with his nostrils. The fam is surprised to say the least.

At the very least, we can always count on Geico to put the strange in TV ads.

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily.”

Zig Ziglar

Ads from the Past

Happy Halloween, crew! This ad from the ’50s might feature a Milky Way, but we all know Snickers is the best Mars candy bar.


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