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If Benjamin Franklin did email marketing this is what he would send ...

By Andrew Lutts

Benjamin Franklin is a totally unique figure from American history. There was no one like him. In fact, he earned a title of “The First American” for his work to promote colonial unity.

One thing Franklin did was think for himself. As a scientist, he was extremely inventive. As a diplomat, he deployed innovative tactics and strategy. And as a writer and publisher of many publications, the most well known being Poor Richards Almanac, he wrote with a plain, pragmatic, homespun style.

One of seventeen children, he showed much determination and ambition in life. The scope and range of his accomplishments is truly astounding. He was a kind of American renaissance man.

Benjamin Franklin's Print Shop in Philadelphia, circa 1735

Franklin’s role as a publisher is one of his most important contributions to the history of the American colonies and later the United States of America. He wrote numerous essays, articles, pamphlets, opinion pieces, newspapers, and books. He published scores of influential writings, and wrote about very controversial topics, often criticizing British involvement in America. And he sometimes wrote using clever satirical pen-names, including Richard Saunders, Silence Dogood, Alice Addertongue, Anthony Afterwit, and Caelia Shortface.

Franklin believed strongly in independence and fair government representation. He was driven in his mission to advocate for his beliefs, and those of his fellow Founding Fathers of America.

Today we call this kind of person a thought leader. Benjamin Franklin was one of the first.

If Benjamin Franklin did email marketing, I surmise this is what he would do:

  1. Formulate an email subject line that was absolutely impossible to ignore
  2. Make a strong statement with content that was probably controversial, possibly inflammatory, and most importantly passionate about what he strongly believed in
  3. Make a strong compelling case for what he was saying in his email, the position he was taking, and why
  4. Keep it short
  5. Have a strong, clear call to action
  6. Inject humor, where appropriate. Or possibly add in a hidden Easter Egg message.

Of course, these are all good strategies and methods for clear, impactful communications today.

The world and means of communication have changed much since Ben Franklin walked the streets of Boston, Philadelphia, London and Paris nearly 300 years ago while helping to develop the framework of the Declaration of Independence. But his timeless wisdom and advocacy for a free and open society lives on, in whatever way we choose to communicate now and in the future.


Benjamin Franklin on Wikipedia:


Franklin’s Famous Quotes:

Email Marketing Articles:

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