This is a little off topic from my usual rants, but worth telling.
One of our local clients is a 6-person HR and Recruiting company. Like me, they get a lots of emails each day. But unlike me, this email is spread across multiple staff email boxes. To date, in order to keep everyone informed of what’s happening with various projects and clients, they have to cc many client-related emails to their colleagues as well as re-save correspondence to various server folders. This is a common in most small businesses and after a while it gets very messy.
Having worked and monitored multiple email campaigns over the years, I’ve come to some conclusions. Firstly, as a way to get quick sales, email, although simple, cheap and convenient, isn’t good.
Marketing today should start with building up a database of your existing, best customers – Don’t waste too much time seeking out new ones, which always takes longer and is 5x more costly. And every promotion designed for existing customers must accomplish two critical objectives…
There are dozens of ways to boost response rates. i.e. Better offer, being more creative, good copywriting, personalisation, purls, targeting an audience etc. However often we can boost response rates by doing something remarkably simple too. David Frey’s video showed us that simple often works far better than expected. Where to start? Just add in something that helps grab the readers attention.
Like many New Zealanders I have a Onecard. One of the benefits to owning one is you can optin to get specials by email. Technically, they seem to have done a reasonable job. Better than most. The specials notices are nicely personalised with my name in the graphic, not just text and it implies that even the offers presented are based upon my own buying habits. Hmmm. Not sure of the last one, but at least they’re starting to do what good targeted communications should be doing. i.e. Making the offers more RELEVANT, based directly upon what customers are currently buying, not a general demographic which is the norm.
Selling they say, is a numbers game and if you listen to email marketing experts they’ll tell you that email is the best value. Tell people about your product or services with carefully crafted emails, and sales will surely follow. But I believe the reality is somewhat different, and I’ve figures to prove it.
In many of today’s corporations, marketing channels such as e-mail, direct mail and other traditional media often exist in separate silos with each channel operating independently, sometimes even in conflict with the others. Some organizations do manage to maintain a consistent message across channels, but the individual channels often do little to support common goals.
Remember Debbie Mayo-Smith? She was super popular here a few years back (and still is), telling businesses the power of email marketing. It was all simple and cheap. Anyone could do it. And she was right…
Email marketing is one of the most talked about marketing topics on the web, second perhaps only to SEO (search engine optimization). But it takes a lot more work tha most realise. Often cheaper than printed direct mail promotions, getting bottom-line results isn’t any easier.
I did an interview yesterday with a magazine that specializes in marketing. They’ve got hundreds of thousands of readers, mostly in the direct-mail business. “How do you build an e-mail marketing list” the reporter asked…