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Email Marketing

by Ben Shelley 3 months ago in how to
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A simple means by which to build rapport or distrust with your customers?

Email Marketing
Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash

Email marketing much like Google Adwords is not the easy route to success that it once was.

In the past, it was as easy as purchasing lots of adverts or sending as many emails as possible. You would make sales, reaching thousands quickly and easily, with profits on the increase and everyone was happy. No one cared about the attrition rates.

Today that story looks a little different. People still care about profit but because the marketplace is so crowded and people are used to spotting ‘marketing’ emails, conversions are lower. Click-through rates are in the small percentages, yet some still convert. They click through and purchase, yet that is not how to create success.

You build an engaged audience and deliver them great content which keeps coming back week after week. In other words, you treat them as humans with a need to fill rather than a commodity stick.

Treat Your Customers Like Humans

It may be old-fashioned to say, but you should treat people as equals.

  • You should treat them as you would treat a family member
  • You should put yourself in their shoes and offer them value, as we are all looking for something that adds to our lives, rather than detracts from them.

No matter how many commands I receive in life to leverage humans, I refuse. I want to be honest, to be trusted. To treat others as I would like to be treated, rather than using others for personal gain. This is something that I refuse to embrace as we all have feelings and goals, which should be nurtured rather than controlled.

I work in marketing and utilise email as my primary medium, yet consider my audience my friends. I treat them as my extended family and my first thought in the day is, how would my friends respond if I sent them this information? Would they embrace my message or run screaming as I am attempting to force them into action.

The goal of marketing for me is to find an audience for your product. A group of humans that is interested in what you are selling. An audience that is receptive to your message and not one in which you force sales down their throat. You should build relationships that last and follow these up over time.

Words are Powerful

The thoughts which we place down on the page are called words. These can be formed into:

  • Books
  • Websites
  • Speeches
  • Poems
  • and many other mediums.

They are my favourite means of communication as words can create pictures which tell a story. Email is one of the simplest and most effective means by which to share a message.

Emails provide us with the opportunity to reach a wide audience quickly and whilst stats do continually reduce every year, there is still no substitute for an engaged audience.

To have a group of humans that is connected to you and want to hear what you are talking about. A group that has ticked the box and provided permission for you to communicate and offer value to their existence. This is what email can provide, yet there is distrust of marketing emails and this is why best practice is to humanise your message.

What I mean by humanising the message is to ensure that your message looks as standard as possible. To avoid images and highlighted links, to provide content that looks as though it was sent by your mother rather than created by a robot.

This approach is in conflict with the multiple options for sending that email providers offer us. Drag and drop tools that make image-driven emails easy to create, yet when your audience wants the opposite you have to ask yourself what is more important, what your audience wants or what they need?

HTML vs Plain Text

Surveys suggest that customers want HTML-led emails, yet the best open and click-through rates are consistently driven through plain text emails. The reason for this is that people want aesthetically pleasing content, yet as soon as they receive it, their first thought is ‘Not more marketing emails’.

People do not know what they really want and this is a statement that can be cascaded down through our lives. We can sit down to consider what we want, yet what we really need is the complete opposite and the only way to describe this reasoning is to say that we are all human. We are all flawed and created with that need to define our lives, yet without a roadmap, it is tough.

Personally, I love creating HTML emails as you can be creative, yet choose to remember that plain text emails resonate the most. It is a thought that I have to keep in mind when delivering content as it is a trap that we can fall into as content creators.

My thoughts are that because I like HTML emails, my audience will also, yet how do I know? We should never be driven by our ideas in the workplace. We should be empowered to bring them to the table, to test and grow, yet if the evidence shows that they are unsuccessful/would not resonate, then we should listen.

A Final Thought

Email marketing has been a consistent thread across my career and it is one that I enjoy. As much as I initially considered it to be spam, I know now that was incorrect. When done correctly, email can promote great content that helps you to create a lasting audience connection. One that will buy from you and share the good word of your brand.

It is a communication channel that no matter how many new social mediums we create is the one that will always resonate. It is never ending and always evolving as most of us use emails in our day-to-day lives. Whether at work or with friends and family. It is much like WhatsApp in the sense that it has penetrated across the world and is so entrenched that it will be impossible to let it go.

Emails can appear simple yet there are many applications for them and many channels. We can choose to apply simplicity or we can offer complexity, the final choice for which should be down to the marketer in question and how they see their audience.

how to

About the author

Ben Shelley

Someone who has no idea about where their place is in this world, yet for the love of content, must continue writing.

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