Have you ever hit send on an email campaign and wondered if all of the time and effort was really worth it? Do you cross your fingers, hoping for certain results? Or maybe you sigh with relief, glad that this mundane task is over so that you can move on to something else. You’re not alone. Email marketing can be both time consuming, and can feel like a shot in the dark. Or, we hit send hoping for results that we never really measure. We complete the task anyways because we feel that it’s something that we should do. But why “should” we, really? These “shoulds” of operating a small business can often distract us from our actual goals. Yes, of course we should utilize email marketing, but with specific goals in mind.
Email marketing, much like social media marketing, should always be effective in 2 specific ways:
- Build relationships with your customers.
- Build our brand.
Additionally, you can set goals specific to a campaign such as an action that you want your clients to take:
- Specific subscriber action, like a click, sign up, or engagement leading to a sale.
Let’s step back and consider these 3 points.
Connecting with customers to build memorable, meaningful relationships
As a small business owner, you offer either a service, or a product. That service or product has a value that you believe is meaningful to your customers. If you didn’t believe it was meaningful, you probably wouldn’t have gone into business! Whether you offer a solution to your clients’ problems, or you fill some sort of a void, it’s important not to lose sight of this. Your e-blasts and social media posts are a way to connect with customers as people, on a human level. To that end, you’ll want to build subscriber lists and gain followers because the more people who sign up, the more people you’ll be able to convert into real clients. The better the connection that you make with your network in a meaningful way, the more likely you are to convert that engagement into a sale.
Building brand recognition
Your brand is not a logo, a website, or a business card. Your brand is everything to do with the heart of your business; what your business stands for and the thoughts, associations, and feelings that are evoked in connection with that business. You are your brand. Every email that you send, every social media update, every blog post, picture, or website update, is contributing to your overall brand. You need to shape your brand so that people think and feel the right things when they recognize your business.
Specific subscriber action
Ultimately, all customer actions are intended to result in some form or another of a sale.
It’s so helpful to step back and remember these real points of running an email marketing campaign. What’s the use of investing time and energy into an email campaign if it’s not succeeding to build those relationships, or to build your brand the way that you want?
So then, the question is, how do you accomplish all of this? The answer is engaging content. If you aren’t including content of real interest to your subscribers, and if your open rate and click-throughs are poor, your effort is wasted. Creating a successful email marketing strategy requires a close connection and understanding of what your customers are really interested in. How can you be helpful to them? What content will draw them in and make your content worth their while?
When considering the content of your email marketing, remember that it’s all about your subscribers. If they aren’t clicking or opening, you’re off target. Revamp your content and your strategy and make sure that you’re continually course correcting to hit the right target. The goal is to connect with your followers and build a meaningful relationship, and the means to do so by engaging your audience with value-added content.