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Best Practices: your mileage may vary

YMMV. One of those abbreviations us old folks used ages ago before email had pictures and the closest we had to social networking was USENET and social gaming was in the form of MUDs. I rarely see it used any more. In a lot of ways that’s a sad thing. It was a very useful abbreviation. Using it at the end of a post full of advice was a sign that the author was providing information but knew that different situations may require different solutions. It acknowledged that what might be the best practice in one form may not be the best for another.
It’s not just the usage that seems to have declined, there seem to be a lot more people who just want to share The Answer! and not acknowledge their experience may not be universal. This seems particularly rampant in email marketing, at least to me (YMMV).
I’ve talked before about how I don’t believe there are any universal best practices for email.
Let’s be honest, the experience of a well known national retailer buying, or appending email addresses is not going to be the same as a local business doing the same thing. The national retailer acquiring email addresses and sending well targeted mail to their purchasers probably won’t cause too many delivery problems, and will generate revenue. The local pizza place probably won’t be so lucky.
A number of marketers have complained that they all too often hear “it depends” when they ask a question about email. But how well a particular email campaign perform does depend. Success depends on the audience and the offer. But more than just the specific offer, success also depends on how well known the brand is and what their real world reputation with customers is.
Customers are a lot more likely to give brands the benefit of the doubt if they like the product. That means poor practices don’t always result in poor results. It also means other companies may not have the same success with poor practices.
Your Mileage May Vary.

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