The science of e-marketing
For marketing activity to bring return on investment, your efforts must be unified across a number of different channels. People talk about how many ‘touch points’ it takes for people to be promoted from window shopper to a buyer, supporter, or ambassador of your brand. It used to be thought of as seven points of contact that were required to take place prior to a sale, but as we all now get more promotional messages each day (thanks to the arrival of online connectivity), it is thought to take many more ‘touch points’ to close a deal. So, the more DIFFERENT channels you use to communicate your message to your audience, the more touch points and the more likely the desired transaction will take place.
E-marketing, as part of a coherent communications plan, is one of the simpler and more cost effective ways to communicate with your audience.
Top e-marketing tips:
It’s all about who you know…
Your own list of email addresses is your e-marketing treasure – look after it! It is essential to keep contact lists clean:
– At the very least this means having efficient systems in place to remove contacts who wish to unsubscribe – an automatic unsubscribe process is best (mismanagement of unsubscribe requests can leave businesses in hot water with data protection laws). Are you offering the option to unsubscribe? You need to be.
– At best, you will want to be able to automatically segment contacts according to their preferences, buying history, or demographic information. Give people the option to tell you their interests on the sign up page, or by contacting them and asking them to update their preferences.
– It is almost impossible to maintain contact lists efficiently without using an email marketing platform, such as Mail Chimp, or an off the shelf product for your business – which will ensure unsubscribed email addresses are not re-contacted or re-uploaded to your list, and manage the different segments.
The body of work…
The subject line – is it attention grabbing, or does it look like spam? Have you included an exclusive offer for subscribers, or are you revealing a new dish/technology/team member etc.? Make sure the message is something worth sending!
Use inspirational or emotive images and videos, and link through to relevant content online that will be of interest to your audience. Don’t tirelessly promote your wares – be interesting too, with industry news or local events. Brand every email with your corporate colours/fonts/logo in order to build on the impression the reader may have gleaned, or may be about to glean, from your other marketing materials.
Don’t overdo it…
Nobody likes spam. Try to avoid appearing like spam. Spam’s bad.
Whether you have enough info to send a weekly email (as some fashion brands may do, for example), or whether you’re better off sending one monthly roundup of news/offers, or even a quarterly newsletter – plan how often you are going to be emailing people and let them know. Plan your messages in advance, inform your subscribers that you’ll be emailing them and the frequency so they can start to look forward to the email from you and look out for it in their inbox.
You’ve got to analyse to galvanise…
If you do use an email platform, like Mail Chimp, you should be utilising the free reporting tools. Check out the open rate, the click through rate, take a look at which links are most popular, and potentially track revenue which is a direct result of your email campaign. Based on this information you can assess what content is the most popular, which subject lines lead to highest open rates, what content has led to more unsubscribes than normal. Perform for your audience – give them what they love!
The final word…
Use your other touch points to encourage e-marketing sign-ups: share the link on your social media accounts; have a pop up subscription prompt on the home page of your website; when you come in to contact with your audience in person, provide a special offer or prize-draw for signing up to your e-marketing offering. Furthermore, use your e-marketing to push people towards your social media accounts, or to visit you in person by offering a promotion/special event.