If you’re following my blog – and I hope you are – you’re seeing a pretty obvious pattern. I’m an expert in marketing and I’ve been writing a lot about email marketing and social networking. You already know the reason why. Marketing for any-sized business has changed drastically over the last decade, and if you don’t have an online presence, you aren’t competitive. What might surprise you, however, is having a Facebook page still isn’t as effective as a successful email marketing campaign, despite all the fuss over Zuckerberg and his multi-billion dollar empire. So, how do you harness the magic of this marketing dynamo ? Don’t worry, I’m about to tell you!
Perform Your Demographic Research
Many businesses make the mistake of simply sending generic emails out to everyone on their address list. It doesn’t matter who the people are or what their interest in the business might be; this is a major boo-boo that you must avoid. Email is not a marketing “easy way out.” You can’t avoid performing your demographic research just because you’re emailing people and not using some other marketing strategy. You need to determine who your customer is – even when emailing – and then email them. If you simply bombard 1,000 generic inboxes, you’ll probably get tagged as a spammer and, worse, you’ll probably email a ton of people who could care less about your business. They aren’t even going to read your subject line. They’re going to hit the “Spam” button or “Unsubscribe” link immediately. Do your demographic research and determine who is best suited and who wants to hear from you.
Understand Your Email Audience
Once you’ve done your homework and you know you are emailing to people best suited to receive your solicitation, take a moment to “get to know” them personally. Who are you emailing to and how did you get their email address in the first place? These are important questions that you want to ask before you even think about writing your email. Customers who have opted in to receiving your emails as they checked out of your online store are going to be interested in sales solicitations. Customers who signed up on the paper list you have at your brick-and-mortar checkout counter also want to know what you have on sale. Customers who signed up to receive emails from your trade show booth, or who subscribe to your blog or social media pages, want to know about your business. Make the distinction before crafting your solicitation. Oh, and one more thing, don’t send a sassy email filled with instant messaging slang to an email list of 55-plussers… SO NOT going to make a good impression! Understand who your audience is and be playful where appropriate and professional where appropriate .
Write the Email Toward the Audience
Let’s talk about that last point a little bit further. Sometimes it’s okay to be fun, playful, a bit unprofessional – a LITTLE BIT – other times it’s definitely not. You should never be completely unprofessional – ever – but as you’ve seen in some my blog posts, it’s okay to have a little fun. But, overall, you do need to remain professional while still writing your email toward the audience you just familiarized yourself with. Aside from just knowing what they want to hear about, think about the best way to present it. Speak your audience’s language when writing the email. If you are a skateboard retailer, there is a specific slang you must know; if you are a fine china distributor, you’re going to be very formal. Make certain the tone and verbiage of your email speaks directly to your intended audience .
Don’t Forget the Email Marketing Basics
I’ve written about this stuff in the past, so check out my previous blogs for more detail, but keep in mind the following after you’ve come to a complete understanding of who you are marketing to. Remember to:
- Write a subject line that will get your recipient’s attention.
- Keep your email concise and to the point – don’t waste people’s time with a long-winded correspondence.
- Make sure everything is spelled correctly and grammatically correct – don’t give a bad impression.
- Use graphics and photos to enhance your email’s impact.
- Include links and buttons that call your recipients to take action, especially links to any sales pages, your website, and social networking pages.
- Include coupons or other incentives to spur customer action, as well.
- Make your customer feel as if you are speaking directly to him or her and as if they are a king or queen.
This is not as hard as it may seem, so don’t avoid using this extremely important and effective marketing tool. And, hey, if after all of this you still feel like a duck out of water, do the one thing that will be sure to get you results: Ask your customers what they want. Ask them what they want you to email them about and how often they want to receive emails from you. If you do that, you’re sure to create email marketing campaigns that return profits instead of “Unsubscribe” hits.
By: Max Zaron