Basic dos and don’ts for email marketing
I would estimate 95% of the lists I subscribe to (perhaps more), send me absolutely nothing that is of any value to me, whatsoever. My email address is simply seen as a potential source of cash. I am, quite literally, a number.
You’ve probably noticed it yourself, this week especially, given the sheer volume of Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions happening. Save 50%! Free shipping! 30% off everything in the store! It has been an absolute cash grab out there. And honestly, I get it. Strike while the iron’s hot! Making money isn’t the problem. We all have to earn a living. But, these companies I only hear from once a year or when they want to sell me something? They’re missing the point of email marketing.
Out of the dozens of emails I’ve received over the past week, I may have clicked on three. Three messages from my favorite brands. The brands I love. The brands that bring value to my life by sending good content. Content with value and benefit, more often than they send promotions and gimmicks.
For instance, what if … instead of sending the flashy “50% off TODAY ONLY,” or “last call before it’s gone” email, the photo printing company sent an actual newsletter that would help me take better photos during the holiday season? What if they sent those on their list tips on which filters to use, how to get children to stay still, and/or how to capture great candid shots?
Do you see how much more valuable that is to me, as a consumer?
You can apply this logic to any sort of company…
- Hair salon. Instead of just broadcasting a sales flyer, send me useful tips each week or month, about how to make the most of my hair.
- Hardware store. Don’t send a flashy sales promo unless I hear from you throughout the year with tips about maintaining or decorating my home.
- Auto Garage. If you’re offering a big sale, I’ll block you out, unless you’ve helped me throughout the year by reminding me when to change my oil, and think about new tires.
The same logic can be applied to content sent out by professional speakers, coaches, video experts, social media companies, you name it. Same logic, different strategies.
When I get hit over the head by sales sales sales … I unsubscribe. But, in any of the above cases, I might end up being a loyal, paying customer, especially if there was a promotion. Hey, I’m not against snagging a good deal, but good grief! At least buy me dinner before you try to kiss me!At least buy your subscribers dinner before trying to kiss them!Click To Tweet
When I started writing this article, I planned to make it a dos and don’ts list, but there really are only two things you need to know about keeping your subscribers happy:
- Do treat your subscribers like human beings and not just bank accounts. Do this by checking in frequently, sending birthday greetings, sharing useful content, and being a friendly face in their email inbox.
- Don’t only message your list when you want something from them. Business is a two-way street.
It really isn’t terribly complicated, is it? If you want to stand out in this world of “buy, buy, buy” all you really need to do is provide value and benefit.
To give you an idea as to what I consider value and benefit, here are three lists I’m on that always provide more great content than they do sales content. They remain on my list. I don’t delete them as soon as I see them. I read the email and will click through if it’s something I am interested in.
Jane Atkinson, Speaker Launcher: I love seeing Jane’s podcasts hit my inbox. She always provides great content on both her podcast and blog.
Sandra Martini, The Martini Way: Sandy ALWAYS provides value and benefit. Yes she includes offers in her email, but she provides a ton of value and benefit. Her area of expertise is extreme client care … and she demonstrates it in everything she does!
Marc Mawhinney, Natural Born Coaches: Marc also provides value and benefit in everything he does. What is unique about Marc, is that he sends out a daily email – every day. Sounds like it might turn you off, but it doesn’t! They are typically short and sweet, and he provides value and benefit in every one. He also has a kick-butt Facebook group for coaches that is also full of value and benefit. It’s called The Coaching Jungle. Check it out … it’s one of my favorite groups!
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Leave a comment so we can discuss!
Also published on Medium.