You know that you should reach out to your customers, existing or potential ones. However, where to start and how to keep going and make it seamless is an entirely different story.
Email marketing, when done right, is highly profitable. Contrary to social media, where the time of your post and reaching influencers matters the most (which is a magic sauce in itself). You can increase your email open-rate with a good email marketing strategy within a short time.
While many posts show you what to do, there are not many on how to start with email marketing properly. I hope this guide will do it justice.
If you are the person who wants to dive into details, please check out our in-depth guides on Email and Marketing Automation and the supplemental "Deeper guide to Email Marketing Automation". We also recommend our post on understanding a Marketing Funnel and how it can grow your business to get a primer on turning prospective customers into loyal ones.
Understand your market and customers.
Before blasting our emails and wondering why your sales don't increase, you should understand the market you are in. We don't mean why you are in this particular segment, but what your customers are looking for.
Understanding your customers will help sell your services products in a concise message. It might sound like a platitude, but from our experience talking with business owners, we see that this is one of the impediments to conveying the message of your business.
Talk the language of your customers.
In line with understanding your market, it's always best to speak in the language and terms that your customers use.
For instance, in our case, of being in the email management segment, our customers talk about "Mailbox" or "Inbox". If we went about conjuring up a new term like "Imbox" (Hello hey) or "Zenbox", we would have a hard time explaining to customers what that term means or what it does. Sure it can be done, and if you have the money and time to do so, please go ahead, but generally, you should stick with what your customers know.
For most of us, writing in a way that every customer understands is not an easy task. While we all love the Keep-It-Simple mentality, it's also one of the hardest things to come about. After all, you have a lot to say about your services and products, right? How can you reduce all of it in one or two paragraphs and still make it attractive enough that your customers click on your links?
That's why understanding your marketing, and the language of your target base is so important. Once you know your customers' pain points and your services or products are the solutions, you already got 50% of your message solved.
Highlight emotions and not features.
Did you ever wonder how a brand gets a strong following? How people evangelize about a product or even a company? Two prime examples of companies with an overly emphasized following are Apple and BMW.
Look at how they sell their products and services. It's all about emotions. Yes, product features are also there, but they are secondary. The first and foremost message is how owning the product will make you feel.
Case in point, on Apple's website (July 2021), you will find "Airtags - lose your knack for losing things."
Another example if the first thing you read about the Apple Watch - The future of health is on your wrist. I mean, who doesn't want to be healthy or even miss out on the future? (see what Apple did there?)
I don't think anyone doesn't know about the "Ultimate Driving Machine" when it comes to cars. It doesn't matter which model you own. One thing you know is that you got the best machine in the business by owning a BMW.
Each message for a BMW is crafted towards the intended buyer level (persona). For example, if you go for a Series 5 model, you will see a message like:
The marketing team at BMW doesn't even bother with technicalities. It's that by driving a Series 5 model, you are the authority in style and innovation.
So, how can you apply this to your business? Come up with how your service or product makes your customers feel. Put yourself into the shoes of your customers and convey that feeling. Talk to your customers and gather the feedback to craft a message with emotions.
For instance, if you're offering services around security, you want to appeal to the safety features. Instead of highlighting how safe your customers will be, you can also say, "Our ... will put you in control".
It's all about emphasizing the benefits for your customers. Features come later once the customer showed his interest.
Less is more.
We business owners want to let our customers know everything we have to offer. Though, over the years, we had to learn that less is more. We know that it hurts to remove parts of your copy. However, it helps to hone in on your core message.
Conveying your core message applies to many aspects nowadays. Even more in these times (July 2021), the world still struggles with a worldwide pandemic, and people struggle with uncertainty.
We see this now in many aspects, be it in the emails we receive or on websites we visit. Many businesses started to trim the content of their website copies (finally). Hence, big letters with a core message are now mostly the norm.
The same applies to emails (actually always has). You don't want to deal with a long windy email telling you this and that. The same applies to your customers. Hence, keep the design and message to a minimum. Remove all those "... I wanted to reach..." or "... can we connect tomorrow...". Cut to the case. No one has time to read, and most people read the first paragraph only (sad but true).
Find an email marketing tool.
So far, we have not talked about any tools because we feel it's more important to get the core setup adequately done. After all, software tools should be supplemental.
Many of these tools carry a low starting price. Of course, depending on your budget and audience, these tools quickly become much more expensive. Some of our customers tell us that they spend over $800 a month on sending one email.
Furthermore, most of them do only one thing: sending out your marketing message to your subscribers. They don't offer much more beyond statistics. In other words, you have a silo of data that lives apart from your emails and customer management.
Honestly, we did the same. We used some of the above tools for our customer communication and spent a lot of money each month. However, we also wasted many hidden costs updating our subscriber list and syncing it back to our backend systems. Analytics were skewed because we had stats in one place and then the stats from the email marketing tool. As you can guess, we could not get a holistic picture of which subscriber became a customer and why.
That's precisely the reason why two years ago, we decided to integrate a complete Email Marketing Toolkit into Helpmonks. The benefit of an email management platform with a combined email marketing tool is obvious. You don't need to deal with yet another tool, and foremost you have all your customer records in one place.
Having all your customer history in one place seems like such a trivial thing. However, as we have seen and heard from our customers, it's one of the core aspects of a business.
Imagine having all your customer interactions in one place. One platform to view all emails, live chat messages, and statistics of your customers. By using Helpmonks, our customers get a holistic picture of their customers with a click. No need for different platforms. Different logins. Systems that don't talk to each other and more. It's all in one place.