Have you met your great uncle from South Africa? You know the one I’m talking about. He is a millionaire and needs your bank account number because he wants to transfer you part of his fortune. How does he get ahold of you? Email. How about that trusty old free iPad offer? You know the one where all you have to do is sign up for some other service and then agree to subscribe to a magazine and only then do you get a free iPad? How did this golden ticket of an offer end up in your hands? Email. Finally my personal favorite, the “Dear CEO” messages sent to every associate…. the one where no matter how special and important it made me feel, (until I realized my name is not on the door, but only on the stapler), I came to realize how irrelevant it was. How did this amazing bit of literature get to us? EMAIL!!!
What am I getting at? This rant has purpose and it’s to show just how far a well-executed email campaign can set you apart, and how far a poor email blast can set you back. Let me take you on a little vision quest here. You just got into work, traffic on the 405 was terrible due to someone not turning off their blinker for seven miles and hitting the car in front of them. Your coffee is too hot to touch meaning your tongue has been reduced to rubber. You reluctantly open your email box. What then do you see? Nothing but failed marketing attempts left and right. Emails with more action verbs in their subject lines than Taken 3 (you would think that family would stop leaving the house). Why is it these companies failed? Bad copywriting? Didn’t spend enough on the email leads list? Or could it be that I can’t read the Chinese font they selected? No, it’s because the majority of email campaigns suffer from LAZINESS.
Good email marketing comes down to one thing that encompasses many other things, but for the sake of simplicity one (largely blanketed) thing. It is research.
Doing your due diligence is what can make or break a campaign. Too many times we see a company spend the aforementioned fortune my South African uncle offered me on a lead list and sends out a heaping pile of garbage to prospects not in the market for their product with a message that is ultimately unclear.
An email marketing campaign should have these three characteristics:
- Segmented: Anyone can go out and buy a leads list, but the odds are that your entire product line or newest innovation is not going to appeal to everyone on that 700 person recipient list. Figure out what products or services appeal to what customers and target that segment of the market with an appropriate message
- Calculated: An email marketing campaign is not just a blind date. It must be a cool, patient, well calculated courting process. There needs to be an appropriately-timed attempt at initial contact, a strategic follow-up message, and finally a message to close the sale or secure a meeting. The biggest mistake is that companies try to draft these on the fly. This all should be done before the initial message is sent out. That way the message will be consistent and feel much more personal.
- Relevant: This is the last and final place you need to hit a home run. Would you send a vegetarian ad to a community that thrives on meat processing? NO! It’s like attempting to drown your goldfish in a bathtub. It’s pointless. Make sure you customize or curtail your message based on the segment you’re sending it too. Higher income demographic? Highlight high end products. If you know this group of customers is interested in a specific thing, make your message more niche based. By making your message more relevant, you can ensure your responses will be too.
You must know by now that you can’t venture into battle without a plan. Email marketing is no different. You have to know who you’re sending your material to, and what you are attempting to accomplish and what purpose does that goal serve. Then, when your marketing plan is successful and generates the leads desired you must be ready and prepared to execute. Your landing pages must be in order, you must have time open to take the meetings, and you better be sure you have the capacity to fulfill the influx of orders. It’s no secret – with all the obstacles, it takes a super strategy and super execution to make waves in this space. If you do everything right, you will have power over a wide client base. But, as all super marketers know: “With great power comes great responsibility” and your responsibility here is to fight laziness, AT ALL COSTS!