Sunday, 20 November 2016

Email marketing strategy

1. Email marketing strategy: Offers
Many e-commerce businesses rely heavily on making offers in their emails, but regardless of what kind of a business you run, you should know how to make offers in your emails.

The basic idea is to urge people to get something they really want. That can mean giving them a discount coupon for a product they’ve indicated they’re interested in. Or it can mean a general promotion that goes out to everyone on your list.

digitalcot-email marketing

When you promote something, you always run the risk of seeming “sales-y.” However, if you seem sales-y, you’ve done something wrong.

A good offer doesn’t feel sales-y. It doesn’t feel pushy. It doesn’t feel manipulative.

Instead, a good offer feels helpful. So, when you promote something via email, do it as a friend who wants to help the recipient.

That isn’t to say that sales-y promotions wouldn’t ever create results—as Internet marketing “gurus” have proved. The results just aren’t as good as they could be.

People buy when they feel that they have good reasons to do so. So, you need a strong value proposition (=great reasons for buying what you sell) in order to be able to give people good reasons for buying.

But if people don’t believe those reasons, they don’t buy either. As long as you seem like a friend who’s trying to help them, people are likely to believe that you’re sincere and that buying from you is a good decision.

The downside of just making offers is that they’re not useful on their own. People on your list won’t receive any value from you unless they buy what you’re promoting, so they have little reason to stay subscribed. That’s why many e-commerce sites struggle to keep people interested.

However, if you never make any offers, you’ll struggle to make any sales, so don’t forget or shy away from this email marketing strategy. Rather, learn to combine it with the next strategy, so even your promotions have value to your subscribers.

2. Email marketing strategy: Content
SaaS (Software as a Service) businesses and bloggers often use content email marketing strategy more than other strategies.

They create a piece of content (e.g., report, infographic, video, article) and tell people about it with an email. Or the emails might be content-rich on their own.

Some of the content is available publicly (e.g., blog articles), but some content should be behind an “information wall.”

The information wall works just like a “pay wall” except it doesn’t require a monetary payment, but instead it asks for information from the visitor. The simplest information wall is an email opt-in form that requires people to join the business owner’s list in order to get the content.

But if you want to make the most of this email marketing strategy, an opt-in form shouldn’t be the only information wall you use because once people have joined your list, asking them to do it again doesn’t make much sense.

For example, you can ask people to share a link to the content in social media before getting access to it. Or you can ask for more information about them (e.g., specific interests or their company’s size).

The additional information gives you a better chance to tailor your email marketing to match what they’re most interested in. And that gives you a better chance to convert them into customers.

Content email marketing is a great tool that you should learn to use regardless of what kind of a business you run. When you use it well, people will start to see you as a trusted source, which makes them more likely to buy what you sell.

But you shouldn’t stick to just content. You should also make offers—and build relationships with the people in your list.

3. Email marketing strategy: Relationship building
For many businesses, building a relationship with their leads is the primary reason for sending any emails. That said, very few marketers rely solely on this email marketing strategy. But some trust it more than is healthy for their businesses.

You could think that you build relationships automatically if you make offers and provide useful content (the previous email marketing strategies).

To some extent that’s true. But it’s not all there is to this strategy.

For example, you can ask your subscribers to reply to your emails or ask them to fill a survey. And you can tell what’s going on in your life or about your personal beliefs and opinions to create a stronger emotional connection.

Note that whenever you share an opinion or belief, you need to be willing to distance everyone who has an opposing view.

Most people don’t mind if you don’t share their worldviews, but some do. So, talking about things that don’t directly relate to your business (and topics around it) is always a risk.

Unless you want to play with fire, avoid dipping into politics, religion, sexuality, and other topics where many people have fundamentalist views.

If, however, you know that most of your audience shares your opinion on a topic that’s important to them, you can instantly seem more trustworthy by pointing it out because people trust people who are similar to them.

But most importantly, you should always remember relationship building as an email marketing strategy. No matter what kind of an email you send.

If you forget that you should build a relationship with your subscribers, your offers will feel pushy and your content distant.

Remember that you’re not a company. You’re a person. Act and write like one.