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One of the things that many marketers most value about their positions is creative freedom. Marketing allows individuals to develop interesting, unique campaigns that catch the audiences attention and persuade them to follow a particular course of action.

However, in certain aspects of marketing, especially email marketing, too much creativity can ultimately do more harm than good. In many cases, straightforward tactics can prove more effective.

Here are three ways in which email advertising campaigns may benefit by being straightforward, rather than unique.

1. Subject lines
Industry experts often discuss the importance of captivating subject lines when it comes to email marketing. Consumers receive so many emails from so many organizations that they simply cannot open all of them. It therefore stands to reason that only subject lines that are interesting and unique will be able to stand out from the crowd and convince recipients to click on them.

However, there is no clear answer regarding what qualifies as “captivating.” Often, email marketers interpret this to mean mysterious, unusual or provocative – all strategies that will almost certainly catch the audience’s attention.

But gaining recipients’ attention and convincing them to open the message are two very different things. As a recent MailChimp study of 40 emails demonstrated, the most opened messages featured featured direct, to-the-point subject lines, while the least opened were vague or gimmicky. The straightforward subject lines, while less creative, were more interesting and enticing to recipients.

2. Thought leadership
Establishing itself as a thought leader in its industry is among the most powerful ways a firm can ensure that its audience remains loyal and interested in the emails it sends. To achieve this, firms need to demonstrate their authority on the subject matter. While creativity can potentially play a role in this regard, excessive creativity can undercut this message. To be a thought leader, readers must have respect for the insights offered by the organization. That message may be muddled by gimmicks or other unusual tactics.

3. Opting out
To achieve CAN-SPAM compliance, marketing firms must make a means opting out of subscriptions visible and operable. However, the actual legislation is relatively vague concerning what qualifies under these conditions. As a result, some firms attempt to creatively stretch these conditions, making it more difficult for users to unsubscribe.

While this may artificially increase the firm’s number of subscribers, it will not be productive, as these individuals will clearly not be interested in the organization’s messages. Additionally, such tactics may harm the firm’s reputation.