Email Marketing for Noobs - Part 1

Email Marketing for Noobs Blog Cover

Congratulations, you have access to a potential consumer’s email address.

Shia LaBeouf Clapping Gif

Now what?

Email addresses are like phone numbers, sacred pieces of personal information, and people don’t like giving out either to just anyone. When you’re granted access to someone’s email address, or phone number, you’re being invited into their circle of trust.

Don’t let this happen:

The Circle of Trust

 

Don’t Send Emails Selfishly

This generous person is letting you know they trust you won’t abuse or misuse the information, and they trust you won’t annoy them. Your job is to hold on to the info closely, secure it from others, and only use it when you have something valuable to say.

Unfortunately too many businesses don’t agree.

Email marketing campaigns often overlook the level of trust they’ve been granted. When an email address is obtained, too often the first thought is to start sending messages asking for something.

This isn’t what trusted connections to and it shouldn’t be what your company does either.

 

Value People’s Emails

When you send emails to people that don’t offer any value, they get the impression you don’t actually value their personal information. They’re not happy you have their email, they just feel boo-urned.  

Mr. Burns Excellent from The Simpsons

People hold their inbox on a pedestal. It’s a special place that delivers messages from friends and family, sends important work-related communication, and keeps people up-to-date on their interests, hobbies and special events.

It’s not a place to be “sold.”

 

Permission Email Marketing

Seth Godin introduced the idea of Permission Marketing in his book by the same name.

Permission Marketing by Seth Godin Book Cover

Seth argued that the days of interruption marketing (such as advertising, TV commercials and other forms that interrupt an activity with brand messages) no longer work in the modern world. Instead brands must engage in permission marketing, which only delivers brand messages when a potential consumer grants a brand permission (such as Liking a Facebook page or signing up for newsletters).

To market effectively with email, permission marketing is the best strategy to use.

 

Email Marketing Without Permission

Buying email lists doesn’t work, and it’s also a waste of money and time. If you don’t know about the potential harm these lists can cause, consider these consequences:

  • Most email marketing vendors don’t allow the use of non-opt-in lists, instructing companies to only use lists that were obtained from people that agreed to receive emails.

  • The emails purchased aren’t of high quality, and are often completely dead. If you’re able to purchase an email, it’s likely others have done so as well, meaning these emails have already been bombarded with marketing messages.

  • The people behind these email addresses usually have no idea who you are, know nothing of your company, and don’t know how you obtained their email address. People are not often receptive to messages from people or brands they don’t know.

  • If too many recipients mark your message as “spam,” your brand can be damaged. In the best-case scenario, an email marketing vendor can refuse to work with you and drop you from their platform. In the worst-case scenario, your email address can be blacklisted and cause all of your emails to be caught by spam filters (even harmless ones).

  • It’s downright annoying. No one likes receiving emails from people and brands they don’t know. These types of unsolicited communication can lead to bad brand images and negative word-of-mouth referrals.

 

Did You Buy an Email List?

All is not lost, and there’s no need to overreact.

Ron Swanson Throwing Out Computer on Parks and Recreation


But you can probably throw away the list. If it works, you’re likely the outlier, not the norm.


How to Grow Your Email List

The best way to manage email marketing is to grow your list slowly, and send emails to potential consumers that actually want to hear about your brand. The best way to grow your list is organically.

 Signups can be added to your website and social media pages. Calls-to-action can be added to other forms of communication (receipts, invoices, confirmations, business cards, and direct marketing collateral) to drive new sign ups.

Any time a customer makes a purchase there’s an opportunity to request an email address. This type of interaction works exceptionally well because the customer has already shown an interest in your brand, and is likely already interested in the things you have to say.

These methods are part of a permission email marketing strategy, and work because they give the power to the consumer, allowing them to make the choice about whether or not to invite you into their circle of trust (or inbox). When a customer is interested in what you have to say, they’re more likely to respond and engage when they receive it.

But once you’re granted access to their inbox, the job isn’t complete. The trust they’ve granted can be taken away with just a single poorly constructed, pushy or irrelevant email.

This is where the concept of email personalization becomes vital.

But that’s a topic for another blog.

Check back soon for Part 2 of the Email Marketing for Noobs series.

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