You know that feeling you get when you internally panic right before you’re about to hit the “send” button on an email communication that’s destined to hit hundreds or thousands of inboxes? You’re not alone. I’ve experienced “send fear” more times than I care to mention and continued to obsessively check the email on every device after it was delivered…but my neurosis is an entirely different matter altogether! For those of you who’ve had this experience, there is a solution to “send fear” anxiety that involves proper planning and the right strategy.
Firstly, don’t be so hard on yourself, “send fear” is a good thing; it means that you care about your email marketing. Secondly, take these two steps to alleviate the nerve-wracking worry you may experience by considering (1) how you will distribute your emails and (2) your overall plan.
How will I get my email communication ideas from my computer to my customer?
Initially, determine whether you’ll utilize a commercial email program like MailChimp or partner with a marketing consultant. There are benefits to each and you’ll have to be honest and realistic regarding budget and time constraints. If you DIY, you’ll save money and will intimately understand your customer list and what’s working or not working, but it takes time…lots of time. If you partner with an advisor, you’ll get everything taken care of for you including reporting, understanding insights, and customer patterns, but you’ll pay more for the expertise. Either way, email marketing is no joke. To give you an idea of what’s involved in the process, it entails planning, list segmentation, content curation, design time, testing, and post-distribution reporting to work well. When done properly, however, you can stay connected to your current customers and more deeply engage with those “warm” leads. Point of the story is that email marketing must be done as part of your multi-media mix to connect with customers. You just have to figure out the best way to engage with this activity based on your bandwidth and what will reap the most rewards for your business.
How will I plan…when I can’t find the time?
Simultaneously, you must develop an email marketing calendar to define your strategy (by month or quarter). Trust me, it takes less time to plan than to “shoot from the hip” and wind up fixing mistakes on the fly. If you take the DIY approach here, start by considering how frequently you’ll distribute email communications; inundating your customer’s email inbox with messages (especially promos) is a big no-no. Another tip is to vary the days of the week and times of day that email communications are sent to track customer behavior. When it comes to content and messaging, you’ll want to deliver targeted communications with variety (informational, educational, promotional, fun, and sometimes personal!) to drive the ideal customer actions. Alternatively, you can work with a marketing consultant (who actually loves to plan!) and map out a structured communication strategy and calendar together.
Finally, I have my plan. Now what?
Once your email communications plan is in place, focus on three key elements to establish a successful email marketing campaign: timeliness, relevance, and personalization. If you’re currently subscribing to the “batch and blast” method of email marketing, meaning you’re hitting your full list with one message, shift instead to a 1:1 marketing approach when it comes to email content development. This tactic delivers a more targeted, refined technique, thoughtfully considering what each customer segment is interested in and developing content just for them. This will help to create long-standing relationships and make your customers feel special. If you’re thinking this seems like a lot of work which may not really matter or move the needle, push those negative thoughts aside! Best case scenario with this strategy is that you’ll see an increase in return on investment (ROI); worst case is if you don’t implement it, you’ll see a spike in the dreaded “unsubscribe” requests because your messaging lacks relevance to the intended audience. Simply put, the 1:1 marketing approach coupled with list segmentation is necessary in today’s consumer savvy world to truly connect with customers via email.
To help you get started, download this handy “Alleviating Send Fear Anxiety” Email Marketing Checklist!
Learn more about email marketing, specifically content development, and list segmentation, in the follow-up blog post…coming soon!
For help with your email marketing strategy today, contact firstname.lastname@example.org! We can chat in person or virtually over a cup of coffee.