Lead Your Team Beyond Email Marketing Monotony
Email marketing is a lot of wonderful things. Yada, yada, yada. I don’t need to convince you of that, because you know it already. (And I don’t work for an email marketing vendor).
You gotta admit, it can feel like a bit of a drag sometimes. Because the pace of creating quality emails can just be relentless. It’s not like the good ol’ days when a three-ad print campaign could run (and pull leads) for six months.
As a marketing leader, it can feel like one of those scenes in “Star Wars” with an endless line of marching stormtroopers. Email. Email. Email.
So how do you make sure your email marketing team keeps delivering high-performing email? Foster humanity, share impact and follow a consistent methodology.
Yes, marketing automation is an amazing and wonderful tool. But don’t let your marketing team become automatons, as well. Always remember, you are sending emails to people. Technology can de-humanize the encounter.
Sometimes I’ll poke around in our marketing automation tool and click to individual “prospect records” just as a reminder of who we should be serving with our email. These aren’t “prospects.” They’re people. Just like you and me.
And they don’t care about our email. They care about what matters to them. Achieving their dreams. Overcoming their fears. Easing their pain.
So treat them with care. Don’t blast them. Don’t send “no reply” emails. And don’t sell them.
The idea of helping other people is far more motivating to a team then simply dripping and batching and segmenting and personalizing. Those are just means to an end. The end is helping a person.
I read an article about a reporter who met a Chinese factory worker. All day long, she glued a chip on a circuit board in a factory.
Fasten. Glue. Next. Fasten. Glue. Next. Twelve hours a day. Six days a week.
When the reporter showed her an iPad, and told her that’s what she was making, she wept. She had no idea she was part of creating something so amazing.
Make sure they feel the impact of their efforts. Share (and celebrate) your email marketing metrics. Show the team how email is impacting bigger metrics like sales. Communicate human anecdotes generated internally (a sales rep who was helped by a nurture campaign) or externally (a customer who was helped by a content email).
For example, we encourage subscribers of our email lists (MarketingSherpa, MarketingExperiments and MECLABS Institute) to email us back. Email, after all, is a two-way medium.
After one such interaction, I got the below reply:
“Thank you for your expertise on the matter. The articles really helped me in more ways than one. Your feedback is quite fast, and I must say that I’m super-impressed with your quality of communication! Hats-off to you guys for being bomb AF! I really will recommend this to all I know!”
… I shared it with the member of my team who monitors and responds to all of our email. And it made her day. She had started the interaction by forwarding the question to me. She made an impact.
Common sense, maybe. But how often do you do it? People inherently want to make an impact. We’re only on this giant spinning ball for a short time. Things like saving the world or getting your name on a building are huge, but even a small amount of recognition that their efforts produced something positive can go a long way.
Follow a Consistent Methodology
As I get at in the above two tips, you do not want to create an email marketing factory. Emails are human-to-human encounters, not manufactured goods.
But factories do have their upsides. Apple has made 360 million iPads. And the quality is far more consistent than most email marketing programs. That is because they follow a consistent production process.
To help your team consistently create customer-first emails, we’ve put together a bundle of six checklists based on MECLABS email messaging methodology.
As surgeon Atul Gawande, MD, MPH has said, “under conditions of complexity, not only are checklists a help, they are required for success.”
Here’s one example, focused on increasing the value of opening an email.
By going through a checklist like this step-by-step when working on an email, marketers can make sure key factors are accounted for and help get the perspective of what it’s like in the customer’s inbox.
For example, does the email consider seasonal relevance? You wouldn’t want seasonal relevance in every email or subject line, of course. But it’s an important factor to consider. As far back as 2005, we shared research about the impact seasonality even had on day-of-the-week effectiveness.
With the deluge of demand for email writing and production, it’s the leader’s job to keep their team fresh and inspired. But it’s also the leader’s responsibility to ensure consistent quality of email messaging for consistent results.
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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.