We often talk with companies who aspire to reach many of the same goals we’ve achieved with email – regular communications, and enhanced relationships. Amazingly, many of these companies are considerably larger than us – but yet object on the grounds that they ‘aren’t ready.’ Baloney! Email marketing is incredibly easy to get started – and in our opinion, it is most effective when it is done with a philosophy of simplicity
Frequent Contact is Key:
Email marketing does not work as well for a one-time quick hit marketing strategy. Email allows you to build a regular, ongoing dialogue with your best clients and prospects. And that becomes self-selecting – those who most wish to do business with you will appreciate the regular communications. Those who do not can opt-out. It truly is a win-win.
One of the real keys to success is how frequently (or not) you communicate. We occasionally provide special alerts, but generally, for us, once a month is plenty often to communicate. I firmly believe – and our results have confirmed – that regular but respectful communication is optimal.
Content is King:
Ultimately, for professional service firms like ours, it is ideas that build relationships – and ideas are driven and supported by content. We strongly recommend the creation of a regular communications’ vehicle – whether an e-Newsletter or other vehicle. It has worked for us, and it works for a number of our clients.
We also have found that it is critical to keep the content out of the newsletter. While this may seem to be a contradiction to the previous point, it is not. You should let people know about your ideas, but not force them down their throats. Use the newsletter to point to your content (on your site or elsewhere) but don’t try to cram it all in. It shouldn’t take someone 10 minutes to decide if your newsletter is worth a read. An overly long, dense, hard-to-read newsletter simply wastes people’s time. In addition, by keeping the content external, you can use click-through analytics to see who is really interested in what content – and tailor your follow-up appropriately.
Keep it entertaining.
We’re shocked by the number of dry, boring newsletters that clog our inboxes. We subscribe to many newsletters to keep up with our competitors, but we usually only read those that keep us entertained. Try adding a bit of humor if possible.
The flip side of the coin is when we see companies who feel as though they need to close business in every sentence. Email marketing is about relationship building, and it is something you’re doing for the long- term – not a quick revenue hit. Even for consumer-oriented retailers, this fact still holds true- customer relationships are profitable when they are long-term, so your marketing efforts need to be oriented that way.