The Secrets of Mastering Email Marketing
In digital marketing, email is king. It is the most direct way to engage your audience 1-to-1, and it's also the most reliable. It's safe to say that most American adults check their email daily, and it's a platform to send personalized content without being intrusive (like cold-calling) or taking too much time out of their day. So how do you start to take advantage of this immense marketing resource? Here's how:
Step 1 – Collect Email Addresses
willing to share their email address if they have a good reason to do so. The most common reason why people share their
email address is to receive a perk of some kind. This can be a sweepstakes contest, a free
dessert, a discount or a chance to win something. Strategically offer these reasons for someone
to give you an email address and they will.
Be sure to track what incentive was used to encourage the person to sign up so that you can remember that
when you are messaging them later and better position your offering.
Step 2 – Aggregate Email Addresses
At this point, you will have offered a number of incentives in your store, at community fairs, on social media and will have collected email addresses from a number of other sources such as OpenTable or a similar service. Now you must aggregate them in one place. Many people use an Email Service Provider (e.g. Mailchimp or Constant Contact, among many others) to do this. Either option is fine, but if you're not careful, aggregating your email addresses incorrectly can make the next step really hard.
Step 3 – Bucket By Context
Context makes or breaks your ability to use email marketing to your full advantage. Many people do not differentiate their contacts by context. Some ways you could bucket them include:
Store Location they prefer
How much they spend in store
Their favorite dish/item
Married (with/without kids) vs Single
Time of day/week they typically visit
Your ability to identify what contextual information to collect and actually solicit that information when you get the email
address will dictate how well you can bucket your contacts intelligently and craft messaging that keeps subscribers from churning and brings them back to your brand. Before starting your email collection campaign, think about what buckets will be important to you and pursue them, but don't forget that your customers are a learning resource for you, and adapt buckets as you learn more about the common threads that exist between groups of customers.
Step 4 – Personalize Messaging
One of the biggest missed opportunities in email marketing is the notion that you should only send 1 email blast to your entire list every month. For some people on your list, that’s too much, for some it’s not enough! It is your responsibility to message people with information they want instead of information you think they should have. For example, very few people will be interested in the fact that you are part of a neighborhood fair next week. Mothers, on the other hand, might be VERY excited to hear about changes to your kids menu or family specials. People who love your lunch would be thrilled to know about a lunch combo that you are offering, while the dinner crowd will be more interested in knowing that you're launching some new dessert options. Knowing how people think about your business helps you give them the information they want.
The more you can personalize messaging based on the customer buckets you identify, the more likely your customers will be to engage with your brand and frequent your business. Tailor your offering to these different buckets and they will reward you.
…and the list goes on and on.