Email Advice…From Lady Gaga?

Sometimes inspiration comes from the strangest places. On my way to work today, Lada Gaga radio on Pandora was straight killing it. As I seat-danced my way into the office, I started thinking about what an awesome businesswoman Gaga is. In the interesting way that my brain sometimes works early in the morning, I exclaimed at a red light, “Lady Gaga is the perfect email marketing advisor!” to no one in particular. I know what you’re thinking. She’s totally brilliant, but what could Lady Gaga possibly have to do with email marketing? Stick with me for a few, I promise the similarities are there. Sure, she’s a world famous pop star and all, but Lady Gaga’s work ethic and business techniques apply to so many industries besides music. Quirky and one of a kind, the girl can do no wrong. Follow this advice and you can have a #1 hit too: your email campaign!

Lady Gaga

Sometimes inspiration comes from the strangest places. On my way to work today, Lada Gaga radio on Pandora was straight killing it. As I seat-danced my way into the office, I started thinking about what an awesome businesswoman Gaga is.


In the interesting way that my brain sometimes works early in the morning, I exclaimed at a red light, “Lady Gaga is the perfect email marketing advisor!” to no one in particular.

I know what you’re thinking. She’s totally brilliant, but what could Lady Gaga possibly have to do with email marketing? Stick with me for a few, I promise the similarities are there.

Sure, she’s a world famous pop star and all, but Lady Gaga’s work ethic and business techniques apply to so many industries besides music. Quirky and one of a kind, the girl can do no wrong. Follow this advice and you can have a #1 hit too: your email campaign!

+ Take Risks: Don’t be Afraid to Change


Early in her career, Gaga (known then as Stefani) was just your average brunette. There was nothing earth-shatteringly eccentric about the New York City native. She wore clothes from Abercrombie and generally fit in with the crowd until realizing that being average wasn’t enough to get noticed.

Just because you’ve had the same web form on your sign up page for 2 years and your plain text email has a consistent open rate doesn’t mean that you should always stick to what you know.

What if changing to HTML causes a significant boost in loyal readers? What if asking for less information on your web form causes more people to sign up to your newsletter? Give it a try – switch things up! Then split test and find out what truly works for you. Don’t know what to test? Here are a few split test ideas to get you started.

+ Set Yourself Apart From the Crowd


In a musical sense, Lady Gaga set herself apart from the crowd from the get-go. Amidst a sea of cookie cutter pop princesses, Gaga made a name for herself by being daring, unique and multi-talented. Did you know that she writes all of her own music and is a classically trained pianist?

In order to make an impact with email marketing, you have to be different. If you set out to be like everyone else in your industry that sends email, you won’t have the greatest results.

What are your talents? What is it that your business is especially good at that other companies cannot come close to? Focus on your strengths – they are the core of a successful campaign, and they’re different for everyone.

+ Embrace Your Fans


Lady Gaga is quite humble when it comes to the influence her fans have on her success. She credits them, her self-dubbed “little monsters,” with much of her mainstream popularity. She even went so far as to tattoo “Little Monsters” on her arm!

While you don’t have to be as zealous as Gaga (explaining a tattoo of your list name to your grandkids could prove to be a tad difficult), remember that your list would be nowhere if it weren’t for your subscribers.

If you’ve been sending email for a while, or even if you’re just starting out, you have a group of people rooting for you – your very own “little email monsters!” Show them your appreciation for your by offering a giveaway or hosting a contest only open to people on your email list.

+ Learn From Other Stars


Like many creative performers, Lady Gaga turns to the bands she has always loved when she’s looking for inspiration. (Powerhouse artists like David Bowie, Queen, Madonna, Michael Jackson and Elton John are her biggest influences.) Looking to the past and observing what other heavy-hitters are up to is a good idea no matter what industry you’re in.

In order to easily monitor what other email marketers are sending and how often they’re sending it, create a free email account with a service like Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail. Sign up for newsletters from similar companies and brands that you admire, then make note of the things that you’re particularly impressed with. Next time you’re sending an email, you can include them too!

+ How Does Your Campaign Fare?


Is your relationship with your email campaign more a Love Game or a Bad Romance? (Couldn’t help it…just had to make the reference eventually!)

Let us know how you shake things up and set yourself apart from the crowd in the spirit of all things Gaga. We’d love to hear from you!

13 Comments

  1. Luke

    2/10/2011 10:33 am

    This is great Rebecca!

    I recently changed an opt-in form on my website from 5 fields to 2 and have seen an almost 300% increase in sign-ups!

    From time to time we definitely have to mix it up a bit and just dance!

  2. Email Advice

    2/10/2011 11:38 am

    […] Email Advice…From Lady Gaga?2/10/11 […]

  3. Dustin

    2/10/2011 4:16 pm

    Great post! You set a perfect example. You grabbed my attention from the get go, just by being creative enough to include Lady Gaga in business advice. Thanks!

  4. Ryan

    2/11/2011 7:15 am

    Very nice advice.

    I already do quite a few of these things with my own list and have seen great results.

    I am able to achieve a 45% sign-up rate currently, although I’m still running more split tests to try to improve that even more.

    I’ve always used 2 form fields, but I have actually thought about reducing it to one field. I do like having their name, but I could likely collect that from a decent majority of my members after the initial sign-up.

    I switched my mails over to HTML when I first joined AWeber, which resulted in some great feedback from a number of my subscribers. They really liked the HTML mails. For text-only mails, I don’t offer a text-only version in the mail itself. I offer a link to a page that I have created, which is a duplicate of the HTML mail that I send out.

    It’s really quite easy to create these and is also building a nice archive that I will be able to send people to in the future with little effort. Just view the source code of the HTML mail when you are done creating it. Copy that code, paste it into a blank HTML file and upload it to your site.

    I make a few minor changes to the file. If you use personalization in your mails, you can still pass that info to your website version of the mail, but it usually becomes a bit more complicated because you need to make a PHP file to accept variables in the URL that are then placed in the page for personalization values. I do my own custom programming for my site to make things more personalized for the readers and it seems to go a long way with building loyalty because it sets me apart from the crowd.

    Another reason this post got my attention and made me write a nice comment is because the post itself is actually like something that I am in the middle of doing on my list. When people who run newsletters see it being related with Lady Gaga, it gets their attention. I’m halfway through a series on my list where I talk about the 7 Deadly Sins and how they affect business success. Compared to the normal material that similar lists send to people, this certainly grabs their attention. The 7 part series also helps to keep them looking for your next mail, since you are able to build on something in each new part. Since I do this as a broadcast, my usage of the HTML mail as a website page allows me to give new subscribers a way to catch up on the conversation so they aren’t lost (which could cause an unsubscribe).

    I hope I’ve been able to provide a couple of helpful tips of some of you. Thanks again to Rebecca and AWeber for the great post.

  5. Lubert

    2/11/2011 3:19 pm

    Nice advice

    Yes this post really gives the idea of getting your own creativity flowing ,and getting your thoughts to just knock out a great thought and idea for other marketers to give their thoughts and so on and so on.God bless you all.Thanks for the great post.

  6. MW

    2/11/2011 4:30 pm

    Set yourself apart resonates with me.

    Great post and some things to think about.

  7. Brad

    2/14/2011 9:31 pm

    I have been trying to get some results with my list building. I have been in it for a month. I am trying to learn and read more. I know that this takes time to get things going. Plus I am trying it as an experiment and hobby to see if I can get it to work for me. I am determined though to keep going and will not give up.

  8. Rebecca Swayze

    2/15/2011 11:30 am

    Thanks everyone for the great feedback!

    Luke – A 300% increase is amazing! It just goes to show that testing is important.

    Ryan – It sounds like you are doing an awesome job with your campaign. It’s true that sometimes you just have to see what is going on around you to come up with attention-grabbing material!

  9. Robin

    2/15/2011 1:34 pm

    Great post and great advice. I’m all for bucking the system and changing it up.

    Thanks for the eye openers.

    Robin

  10. Darren Scott Monroe

    2/16/2011 6:01 am

    Rebecca WOW are we in the same mind meld or what? LOL Hey I just did last weekend a guest post (waiting for it to publish) about her.

    I remember when she was Stef as we called her at universal (LOL). She really didn’t blend in back then before Lady GaGa. Like that old saying about Madonna. Someone said they remembered Madonna BEFORE she was Madonna and her reply was “I was ALWAYS Madonna” LOL

    Same goes for Ga Ga she was always a weird bad girl.

    The takeaway is be yourself. Email, market, and do what you do BEST which helps you leverage your talents.

  11. Jerry W. Williamson

    2/19/2011 1:41 pm

    Rebecca,

    I have to agree with Dustin, you grabbed my attention from the very beginning!

    I have just signed on with aWeber and just starting my email campaign on how to build your face-to-face AND online network through the use of video marketing.

    You bring so much value and forethought on how to think about our fans and how to stand out from the norm and beat our competition.

    I just reposted this on my Facebook Wall and on Twitter.

    I look forward to more of your insights!

  12. rob

    2/19/2011 6:01 pm

    Sweet post Rebecca. Now, note to self, must incorporate Justin Bieber somehow:) Ryan, your tips are definitely helpful to me. Thanks.

  13. Yee Shun Jian

    2/24/2011 5:30 am

    I remember I was at a Lady Gaga Concert in Singapore in 2009 and she said to everyone in the crowd… “Be yourself and do what you love and if anyone tells you you can’t… tell them Lady Gaga said F**k You!”

    That was so cool… =)