In my last post, I discussed how a business owner or manager can make their message stand out from the crowd with compelling email subject lines, design, and copy. However, these tips only address half the battle. Even the most well-crafted email won’t resonate with the person on the receiving end if it’s completely off topic. So today, we’ll be tackling the importance of targeting the right audience with the right content.
You have my attention… Don’t drop the ball!
Your email is in direct competition with all the other marketers, family members and social networking vying for your readers’ attention. If you crafted a compelling subject line, you may be lucky enough to have had your email read. From there, it’s a matter of providing engaging and relevant content, an often overlooked element of email marketing.
For example, yesterday I received an email from a company about an event they’re hosting tomorrow in San Francisco. What’s the problem with them promoting their event to all their customers, you may ask? I live in NYC, and I’m not likely to travel across the country in 24 hours notice. Not only did they waste a customer touchpoint, they also gave me the impression that they don’t know anything about me. I’m not very likely to engage with their next email as a result.
Here are some tips to try and help you avoid similar missteps:
- Always provide value. Your email should contain content people want to read or something that will address their needs. As much as this might crush you, you need to hear this: People are not interested in your company. Take a moment if you need it. It will be okay. It’s not all gloom and doom, because while people aren’t interested in your company, they are actually interested in how your company can help them. This could be as simple as sharing an article they might find useful, or a promotional offer on a product or service they need. The key to providing value is to focus on the end user—not how great your company is.
- Segment your list as much as possible. You wouldn’t send an email with an offer for a Christmas sale in February, right? So why would you ever send an offer for free tickets to a client who lives 3,000 miles away? Both are equally useless and quick ways to lose credibility.
- Be relevant. Tying your content or offers into what’s trending in your industry is a great way to drive engagement. This is a lot easier than you might think. The web is littered with tools such as Google Trends and Twitter to track which topics are popular right now in your industry. Start using them and get creative in how you incorporate them into your emails.
- Align your content and goals. While it might seem like a no-brainer, business owners often develop emails that aren’t optimized to achieve the goal they want. For example, if you’re trying to drive people to book a new appointment, don’t also clutter the email up with other calls to action (e.g. requests to do stuff). Define what the goal of the email is up front and keep that as the absolute focus. Examine each element of the email and ask yourself if it’s helping drive people to reach this goal. If it isn’t, then remove it. Don’t expect to drive new appointments and also have people go read your latest article. Only a fraction of your readers will do either one, let alone both, so don’t dilute your message. This concept carries over to the imagery, tone and other immeasurables of the email as well.
I hope these tips will help you improve your results as you continue to use email marketing to grow your business. Stay tuned for our next email best practices article in November, when we’ll cover tips for collecting new email addresses.
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