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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon January 16, 2013
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Subhead: Not the book I thought it would be, but it still has merit for the right audience.

As someone who has been involved in various aspects of email marketing for both corporate and small-business clients for over a decade, there's nothing here that I don't already have experience with (and some of my own strong opinions about from ongoing and evolving work). Like others, the title had me thinking that this would be a book with some really innovative and rule-breaking ideas about e-mail marketing in 2013. Alas, this is not the case.

It would, however, serve as a good primer for those who know next to nothing about email marketing and need to get a quick overview and jumpstart.

This isn't the definitive book/guide on email marketing, but it does touch heavily on something that I believe is the cornerstone of successful marketing: The List. Some general intro books on the subject focus more heavily on design and content. But as anyone who has ever been charged with using email effectively as part of a marketing campaign knows, you live or die first and foremost by The List (AKA, your target audience). You can have fabulous, relevant content and a well-designed and inviting format and still fail miserably if your emails are not going to folks who have been "qualified" and tested.

It was good to see that the authors gave a context for some of their opinions and also gave the pros/cons (advantages/disadvantages) of elements such as single- and double opt-ins. More importantly, in the discussion of Best Practices, although they seem to be saying many no longer apply, what they're really saying is that the practices are relative to your business, industry and audience.

On the plus side, it presents the material in a way that gets you to think and question your decisions on how you want to create and grow your list. And it explores key elements and how they affect your ability to successfully use email as a 21st-century marketing.

The book is well-organized and easy to read and includes Endnotes that are useful for those who want to follow up on various topics.

To their credit, the authors' focus is primarily on how to appeal to the subscriber and how various choices may impact them. Given how some companies seem to be almost exclusively focused on telling their "stories" or selling, this is an important perspective.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2012
I'm not big on full-throated endorsements but if your business has anything to do with email marketing (if it doesn't that's another issue altogether) there's something in The Rebel's Guide to Email Marketing for you. Whether you're a marketing VP or coordinator, a copywriter or designer, you'll find nuggets of intel that will leave your copy of the book broken-spined and dog-eared.

I also have to give Waldow and Falls props for how they close the book as well. First, they poll four venerable email experts on the future of the channel. Next, taking Nike's advice to "Just Do It" a step further, Rebel's Guide leaves you with an actionable four-step list (with due dates!) for you to kickstart your email program.

Like a true manual, The Rebel's Guide will serve as a continuing resource not simply by telling you what you should and shouldn't do with your email marketing campaigns. Rather it provides the frameworks you can make your own and reminds you that only by testing with your audience will you know for certain. Take to heart the book's golden rule -- best practices are practices tht work best for your subscribers. This is valuable advice for email marketing and beyond.

How are you using email in your marketing mix? If you need to shake things up, look no further than The Rebel's Guide to Email Marketing.

You can read my full review here: [...]
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 3, 2012
I was lucky enough to receive a complimentary copy of The Rebel's Guide from the publisher. And I personally know both DJ and Jason ... so for transparency, let's get that out of the way.

After reading the book, I have to agree with some of the other reviews here. There is ample use of examples throughout the book and a constant reinforcing of key themes and ideas that really make this a tutorial vs the common 30,000 foot overview type business book.

Written in a friendly, approachable and fun style, Jason and DJ do a great job of giving you the basic template to begin or enhance you're own email marketing program. And then just for fun, they blow up some of their own ideas to show you that there really is not ONE way to do anything. But rather than just hang their hat on the "be different angle" DJ and Jason give you a framework for not just breaking the rules but strategically and purposefully designing rule breaking tests to learn and enhance your email marketing.

Give it a read folks... some really good learning and examples included in the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon January 9, 2013
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Email marketing continues to be one of the highest-converting forms of marketing, but let's face it -- any email you send will have a lot of competition. How can you make sure that your message is the one that gets read?

This book reinforces the fundamentals of ethical email marketing and shares the authors' extensive experience, while also encouraging readers to test and tweak so they'll know what really resonates with their particular audience.

That's the rebel's part. Can you use all caps, put "free" in the subject line, or choose ugly colors to make a point? You can if your particular situation requires it -- and your data supports it.

The guide part is a straightforward, practical action guide to using email marketing effectively for your business.

The book takes readers from list building to creating the email, to testing and improving email campaigns, to supporting email with social media. Each section gives clear, nontechnical instructions with case studies to clarify the point.

It's an upbeat, informative, expert look at the subject, and an enjoyable read. There's even a gift at the back of the book!

Business owners and marketers alike should find this book useful.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 30, 2012
The Rebel's Guide delivered original, actionable ideas that I had heard about but hadn't fully understood. The style and organization was very example-heavy, which makes it easier to relate to the lessons (and also to see where you might be able to implement the same strategy yourself). DJ and Jason also made sure to continually circle back to earlier topics (and on a Kindle, that's helpful, because it isn't easy to flip back a few chapters). The reinforcement made the ideas stick, and some case studies became "characters" within the book, so once they re-introduced someone, you already had a background on previous success and were excited to see what happened next. That was probably my favorite part of this book, and unique to other marketing books I've read.

Another great aspect of The Rebel's Guide is that it's easy enough for a novice to understand, yet still has plenty of advice for seasoned pro's who are looking to do things a little differently...for me, as I was reading The Rebel's Guide my head was spinning with new ideas for 3 of my own clients in various stages of list growth, segmentation and design.

Well done, DJ and Jason, thank you for being such valuable members to the email marketing community!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon January 2, 2013
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The best way to describe this book is to call it a "Primer for digital communication."

It gets a little technical, but not too much...

It explains the connection between email and social really well...

And it covers communication, specifically in the digital realm, VERY well. From sending a simple email, to building a follower base with ALL the digital tools available, this book covers it.

Why not 5 stars? This book could have been one of those 400 page books on the topic, because it "crept out" into broader themes than just email marketing.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon February 17, 2013
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
A few reviewers commented on the title being misleading, but I disagree. It's not as rebellious as the anarchy symbol on the cover would imply, but the entire point of the book was that you don't have the follow the "rules" in order to be successful. They cover a lot of email marketing rules and give examples of companies that successfully broke them. Everything was well cited, it wasn't just "people say you shouldn't", it was "these 5 marketing gurus said you shouldn't...". I also really appreciated the examples of exactly how companies approached email marketing and what their success looked like.

As someone who has a huge distaste for Facebook, I also found the book empowering. Social media does take the control away from the business, and the authors take an honest, balanced perspective on that.

I also was thoroughly impressed by how down to earth it was. This was not a pie in the sky theoretical book about how to grow your business - it gave very, very solid and immediately applicable examples and suggestions on how to grow your email list, how to deliver solid content, and how to successfully email market. I walked away with a lot of new ideas, many of which I implemented right after reading each chapter.

The book was also very well written. It was engaging and a pleasure to read.

Some reviewers said it was nothing new, and I do have to say I haven't read any email marketing books besides this one. But I have read a lot of really lame business books and from that perspective, this book was exceptional.

Honestly, my only real distaste for it was the cover design. I'm not sure they're reaching their target market with it... or at least I almost didn't order it. Something about the bullet holes didn't really do it for me. But the content is awesome and unless you already are successful with this (in which case I wonder why you'd read it anyway), there's plenty to learn from this book.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
"The Rebel's Guide to Email Marketing" by DJ Waldow and Jason Falls is a good title for anyone wanting to become more effective in their email marketing efforts. As a salesperson, an important part of my job is to send emails that pique peoples' interest in our products and services. The authors challenge the assertion that email marketing is dead and has been replaced by social marketing (Facebook, Pinterest, etc.). Hence, my interest in the title.

The book is around 250 pages and contains 15 chapters covering topics such as:

1. Challenging the assumption that email marketing is dead.
2. Breaking down the parts of text and visual emails.
3. How to generate interest in your emails (getting more people to actually open and read your email. Hint: have an interesting subject line).
4. Connecting email marketing with social marketing.
5. The future of email marketing.

Since I have tried only a couple of suggestions (for example, relying on gimmicky tricks in the subject line to encourage more people to open your emails can have mixed results - instead, I recently listed a person's name in the subject line of an email I sent out), the results are so far inconclusive. However, I will continue to try these suggestions more and see what will happen.

Based on the readability, layout, and content of the book, I will give it 4 stars. Too early to tell whether to downgrade or upgrade based on results of the suggestions applied to a real situation. Still, a good read that will make you think more about your email marketing efforts.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 23, 2012
Allow me to start off by disclosing that I know the authors of this book. Jason Falls is a friend of mine and I recently had the privilege of meeting DJ Waldow after seeing him speak at an event (where I got the book). The fact that I know the authors as well as having an okay handle on email marketing, I didn't expect to learn a lot of new strategies from this book. I was mistaken big time!

The book is full of visual examples and the strategies are explained in a way where you know exactly how to put them into action in your business. You'll find this very helpful if you enjoy case studies and seeing how something is really applied in the real world.

If you're looking for tips on growing your email list, you'll get some solid ones here BUT that's not what this book is about. The gold here is what to do with your email list. From subject lines to proper formatting, they cover it all. I immediately made 3 changes to my email marketing approach after reading this book. All 3 are small adjustments that I feel will lead to big results.

If email marketing is part of your business (and it should be) then I highly recommend you give this book a shot.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2012
If you are brand new to email marketing, hold onto your hat this book is going to not only give you a lot information, but plenty of examples to help drive the points home. Plus, you'll be 'in the know' with the terminology for different techy things related to the idea. Also, for those who have problems transitioning from thinking into doing, there is a solid and easy to follow action plan at the end.

If you are an advanced email marketer (like myself), there may not be a whole lot of new ideas, but the examples and ideas presented will definitely get the wheels turning! If anything, you'll have a lot of things to test and see how they work for you.

There aren't a lot of tools mentioned and the information is quite platform agnostic. If you are looking for specific tool recommendations, this isn't really the place to find it. This is a more holistic approach to the art.

Also, there is a pretty generous prize at the end of the book, but you have to get it to find out what it is :)
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