Wednesday, April 24, 2013

How to effectively market with email

In my last post, I covered the difference between advertising, marketing, and sales.  Now, it's time to see how they apply to email.  

Email is the new direct mail.  The format has changed, but the rules haven't.  

If you have a sexy product that people need, or will need after they see it, you can probably get away with mailing out a catalog.  A catalog serves as both advertising, to let you know a product exists, and sales, giving you a price and a number asking you to place the order.

Unfortunately, we can't all have sexy viral products like Chia Pets and Pet Rocks.  For us, the most effective way to use email is for Marketing.  

Email is a direct connection to another human being.  To prove how personal it is, write an email to a friend in ALL CAPS AND SEE HOW LONG THEY THINK YOU ARE PISSED AT THEM.

When you send someone an email, it's like knocking on their front door.  If they open it, you can't just tell them who you are and run away (Advertising).  Also, you can't jump straight into a sales pitch.  It's a one in a million shot they need your product, let alone are willing to listen to you.  You have to engage the person (Marketing).  

If you are sending advertising and/or sales emails to your email subscribers, "We have a new product! Buy Now!" you are probably getting the cold shoulder.  If on the other hand you offer them something of value, "Join us at our next event.  Subscribers get in Free!" you can keep them engaged and create an opportunity to show them your new products or ask for the sale.

Pro-Tip: This works for "cold" emails too.

Email is a personal domain.  No body wants to be interrupted to serve someone else's needs.  I'm much more likely to visit your website if there's something in it for me.  Once I've engaged you on your turf, I won't feel like your sales pitch is an invasion.

What's your email campaign look like?