Despite the wide array of new and exciting ways that you can reach potential customers through all sorts of online channels, email (perhaps somewhat surprisingly) remains one of the best tools to reach out to your audience. That said, there’s a lot of disappointment to go around when an email campaign fails to achieve the goals you set for it, and even more so when it fails so spectacularly that you start to wonder why you’re even bothering at all.
Diagnosing problems with your email campaigns can seem like a dark art, but often it’s a simple matter of being honest with yourself about the quality of the content. Think about what it would take for an incoming email to prompt you to act. We all get at least a few, and sometimes dozens or even hundreds of emails per day – don’t the majority of them end up in the trash? What is the difference between the ones you’re trashing, and the few (very few) that catch your attention, and even get you to take action?
Those are the kinds of emails you need to be sending, the kind that are good enough that you yourself wouldn’t be able to ignore them if they were coming from someone else.
This means that you’re going to have to ditch all the emails you’re sending out that are simply asking people for a few moments of their time, or to chat with them about some unspecified ways in which you might be able to help them solve a problem you haven’t even defined. No one cares that you want to chat with them; they want to understand what you can do for them.
Inertia is the great equalizer, and people want to remain in their patterns and continue doing what they’re already doing as much as possible. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? In order to convince people to do something new, your initial message has to have enough value that it’s worth it for them to come out of their comfort zone. This is the sort of value that you need to be conveying in your email campaigns.
It may seem like a tall order, but think of it this way – what sort of things get through to you and make you want to take action? Saving money is usually the first one that comes to mind. If you can show people a way that they can easily save money on something they’re already doing, you’re on to a potential winner. You have to get right to the point, though – just saying “I’d like to speak to you about something important” isn’t even close to enough, and you’re wasting your audience’s time. Give them the same respect you would want, and say what you’re prepared to offer from the start: “you might be overpaying for XYZ, and we can show you how other companies have reduced their costs in this area.”
Offering savings isn’t the only way in, of course – you can demonstrate how companies might improve their processes, or innovate, or simply make their daily lives easier. The point is that you need to make your point clear – avoid vague requests and promises, and tell your prospects exactly what it is you can do to help them. Straightforward, upfront value is what wins in the email game.
Cogo Interactive is an award-winning digital marketing agency specializing in online marketing strategy, web design, SEO and social media marketing. We work with clients in Virginia, Maryland, Washington, DC and nationally.