The sacred inbox. So sacred that some of us cannot sleep if the inbox is not completely empty. Some of these people of which are possibly over the 40+ age bracket, and grew up in a time when the internet hit their lives in their late teenage years or older. The times when receiving an email was a bit of thrill because of its newness and scarcity. They most likely also watched the movie ‘you’ve got mail’ when it first came to cinema. Growing up in a time where the romance of email was strong.
25+ years on. The emails are coming thick and fast. We are receiving them from, God only knows, who. This well could be one of them!! Do we delete or seek therapy for our FOMO on any and every bit of important information that lands in the inbox?
What about the email thread… something that usually occurs with a work colleague. And possibly either person has a complex about not being able to have the last say on the thread.
Our lives are hanging off our email management system.
And the time … the time it takes. You could, and some do, spend their whole day emailing and responding to emails. Also referred to as traffic control. Has email made our life more effective, or made us more insecure, more protective, more political, reactive, slower, less creative?
Just for your information, 269 billion emails are sent each day. On average we receive 120 emails per day, of which 40 are business emails*.
Knowing all this… for the sanity of everyone that you send emails to, PUT THEM FIRST. Yes we all want to see our business, brands and products. Yes we all want to grow… leads, volume, dollars, but if you don’t put them first, they will put you last.
Why Email works?
- You go to your customer. They don’t have to find you.
- You have them captive, to what extent, all depends on you.
- You manage the information you share with your stakeholders.
- You don’t get lost in a newsfeed, and risk not being seen.
- The algorithm won’t change on you.
- You own the list. A very valuable asset, particularly if you want to cross-promote.
- It can be personalised and segmented according to your customer needs.
- The lead time is not as long as other mediums.
- You can create an experience that is just as, if not more effective than other mediums, without the price tag.
- The email can be referred back to.
How to make it work for you?
- Know what role email marketing plays in your customer journey. Is it awareness, engagement, brand positioning, brand value, lead generation, trial, etc.
- Know your customer. Are they on email? How do they use email? What makes them take notice?
- Know how your customer buys your product / service. What is the cold lead to conversion time frame?
- What value will you offer through email? Are you helping them with something, educating them, inspiring them, providing convenience, improving their efficiencies, etc.
- Every part of your email says something about you, your brand, your business. What are you saying? What do you want them to think about you after they have read your email?
- Design and copy are pinnacle. There is a reason why the *Great Wall of China is one of the most visited places in the world. It’s beautiful. It has a story. We are naturally drawn to great design and beauty… irrespective of what industry you are in, find the beauty and the story. This will help people engage and have a relationship beyond logical facts and words.
- Work your keywords in your article – headline, meta descriptions, focused words – but do it in a way that does not interrupt the flow of the article. Keywords are great, but they don’t override quality content.
- Subject lines are subjective! Play around with this. Use the A/B testing option. Even when you think you know what will score better, at times you will be surprised.
- Continue to test various delivery times. In our experience this can change dramatically. One of our best results can on the 2 January – peak holiday season.
- Continue to look at ways to improve the user experience.
Your next email
Think about the emails that you open and don’t open. Ask yourself why you open the ones you do. Some brands send out daily emails. For most of us we may think this is ridiculous, but people are opening them daily, thinking of their brand daily, they are creating great content that encourages this behaviour.
Are you and/or how are you creating this experience for your customers/stakeholders? Can you inject a little romance?!!