I am prone to massive TV binges, as we’ve discussed in this space before. Recently, Netflix released yet another original series on their streaming service. Orange is the New Black is quite possibly their best one yet. They developed so many interesting characters, established their backstories and really just made you want to hunker down for the long haul. Everyone here at Benchmark HQ is talking about it. All that chatter amongst my coworkers inspired this, the Benchmark 5: Email Marketing Tips from Orange is the New Black (I promise to keep this spoiler free).

  1. Our sins can catch up to us. Main character, Piper, is forced to go to jail for a crime she committed one time a decade prior. In your email marketing efforts, you may skirt by with spammy practices … at first. It won’t last. You’ll get ignored, blacklisted or worse. Keep things on the straight and narrow from the get go.
  2. The new normal. Piper quickly realized that she’d be without her creature comforts while in prison. She had to adapt to her new surroundings. Email is constantly evolving. You have to grow with it. Be prepared for users to open your emails on mobile and for more people to be doing email marketing. No sense being stuck in the good ol’ days.
  3. Use whatever resources you have available. Early on in her stay, Piper offended the head of the kitchen. Apologies were ineffective. She had to give Red something she needed. Piper gathered supplies from around the prison to craft her apology gift. You may have someone at your company with design experience or who makes you laugh. Hit them up for design tips or help or some ideas for copy, subject lines, etc.
  4. Chase the chicken. In an early episode, Piper sees a wild chicken on the prison grounds and it sets all the inmates abuzz. Everyone had a different theory, but a favorite was that it had escaped before being slaughtered. It was a symbol of hope. Know what inspires your actions. What your goals are, how you will accomplish them and why you want to do so.
  5. Adversity can bring out the best in us. Not so surprisingly, prison is a difficult place. The season shows how Piper is forced to adapt and overcome her new circumstances. Adversity was everywhere. Not everything in your business will be served up to you on a silver platter. In fact, little probably will. How you deal with that and overcome it will determine the success of your business. You’d be surprised what you can do under pressure.