Archive

Posts Tagged ‘target audience’

Email Marketing: What are the top three steps for effective email marketing?

March 5th, 2013
Share

At MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2013, I was asked about the top three things marketers should do to make more effective emails by Jim Ducharme, community director, GetResponse Email Marketing

 

 

I’m interested to hear how you would answer the above question as well. Feel free to use the comments section of this MarketingSherpa blog post to share your thoughts.

The question reminds me of a story from John C. Maxwell, author of The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. He tells of a young man coming up to him, and asking for the one thing the young man can do to become a better leader. Maxwell responds that there is not just one thing, there are 21 things he must do to become a better leader.

Clearly, Maxwell is good at branding. But, he also brings up a good point. We’re all busy, and we’re looking for the top takeaways or shortcuts to do our jobs better. However, true success is not so simple.

While many marketing blogs are fond of giving you the few shortcuts or secrets to success, I’m sorry to say that email marketing is hard work involving so much more than the three steps listed below.

But, at a high level, if I had to narrow email marketing down to three steps based on all we’ve learned from marketers through MarketingSherpa, it would be these …

 

Step #1: Start with your customers

Almost all email marketing developed by a competent marketer, really all content and marketing in general, is effective … for the right audience. The question is – are you delivering the right email to the right audience?

So, for example, a free shipping promo. That works great for the people who really love your product and are already keenly interested in buying. That might be the little incentive that drives them to make another purchase.

However, for the people that don’t know the value of the specific product you are promoting quite yet, free shipping for something they don’t value is almost meaningless and likely to get deleted.

So, that’s the real question you have to answer. If you have an unsegmented list of 100,000, and only 100 of them like your product enough to buy based on the free shipping promo, but another several thousand might unsubscribe (or worse, mark your email as spam), then that email promo, while effective for a small segment, is not right for that overall audience.

Here is where deeper complexities, like segmentation, come into play. But at a high level, my main point is you cannot evaluate your email promotions and content in a vacuum. There is rarely right or wrong email marketing. However, there is effective or ineffective email marketing for a particular audience.

This is part of what makes email marketing so challenging. Marketers have to hit their goals, so they keep sending more email – and the email seems to be working. After all, even with diminishing returns, since your email will be right for some small segment of your audience, you get some conversions and it appears to work.

But what is the long-term cost of your actions? What customers would be interested if you gave them what they wanted? How many customers are you forcing out of your funnel?

These can be maddeningly difficult questions to answer. Here are a few resources to get you started:

What is B2B?: Discovering what the customer wants by understanding your Buyer’s Funnel – This video isn’t about email marketing specifically, but Kristin Zhivago does a great job of explaining how to understand what your customers want. Email marketing is one way you should apply that knowledge.

Value Proposition: How to use social media to help discover why customers buy from you – Again, not focused on email in particular, but this blog post should give you some ideas for using social media to help understand the value you can deliver (pun intended) with your email promotions and newsletters.

Personal vs. Robotic: How to turn automated email into personal experiences that drive new and repeat sales – Jermaine Griggs was able to understand what his customers wanted by tracking their behavior, and then delivering relevant email marketing with automation and segmentation. Some very impressive, and advanced, tactics in this case study. Plus, Jermaine is an excellent speaker, so I think you’ll really enjoy this video.

Read more…

Content Marketing: A process for evaluating content channels

January 4th, 2013
Share

“Should we have a blog? What about YouTube videos? Pinterest? Instagram?”

When engaging in content marketing, the question of “where?” always comes up. If you’re just getting started, you want to know on which channels you should focus your content.

If you’re already deeply engaged in content marketing, you likely want to reevaluate the channels you’ve been using at regular intervals as shiny new channels emerge and old channels diminish. (Social networks, like old soldiers, never die; they just fade away.)

To that end, here is a process for evaluating content channels. I’d love to hear your input, as well.

  Read more…

Email Research: The 5 best email variables to test

November 29th, 2011
Share

You test subject lines. I know you do. Nearly every email marketer I ask tests subject lines. You can’t imagine the number of times I’ve heard: “Yes, we test our emails. We test the subject lines every week.”

The fact is the subject line is only a tiny fraction of what you can test. It reaps only a tiny fraction of what you can achieve. There is so much more. Let’s look at the five most effective variables you can test in email campaigns, pulled from a chart in our brand-spankin’-new 2012 Email Marketing Benchmark Report.

 

Click to enlarge

Read more…