Email Is a Product, Not an Advertisement
Customers don't choose to receive your print advertisements, your search and display ads, or even some of your direct mail.
They subscribe to a newspaper, and happen to receive your print ad within it. They search or read content online, and see a pay-per-click ad. Or their names are in a database because they're attending an event and your direct mail appears in their mailboxes.
Email is different.
Customers Buy Your Email Marketing From You
Sure, they don't use cash. But if you're sending to an opt-in list, customers have chosen to pay for your email marketing with their time and space in their inboxes.
This doesn't make any of the advertising tactics I mention wrong or ineffective (the pages of Target Marketing magazine are filled with examples of marketers profiting from them). But it does mean you have to understand how your customers' motivations for email marketing are different.
How do you deliver information and offers to people that they want to receive and help them find the things they are looking for? You treat email as a product. And like any good product developer, you create something customers want.
Customers want email. According to a MarketingSherpa survey of 2,057 people in January 2015, we discovered that a large majority of U.S. adults, 72 percent, prefer communication with companies to happen through email (second place was postal mail at 48 percent).
But you don't care if customers want any email marketing; your job is to ensure customers want your email marketing. So how do you break through the digital clutter filling consumers' inboxes? Here are three ideas to help you put the customer first and turn your email marketing into a product.
Idea No. 1: Technology Can Help With Segmentation and Personalization
Email service providers (ESPs) and marketing automation platforms can help you segment your audience and deliver the content its members want when they want it.
Daniel Burstein is the Senior Director, Content and Marketing at MECLABS Institute. Daniel oversees all content and marketing coming from the MarketingExperiments and MarketingSherpa brands while helping to shape the marketing direction for MECLABS — digging for actionable discoveries while serving as an advocate for the audience.