One of my favorite authors recently started a Podcast that has become a fast favorite of mine. On a recent episode, she reminded the listener that her quarterly blog link-up was coming up, and suggested that people looking for more details head to her blog and sign up for her email list. In exchange, she was giving away a free template to help inspire bloggers to join in with the quarterly link-up.
I knew exactly what this marketing process was about, but because I loved this author and was interested in joining in on the blog link-up, I went ahead and added my email address, received my free inspiration template and ended up writing a blog post which I linked to the quarterly link-up.
I expected to just unsubscribe from the email list, but the next day I received a welcome email that caught my eye. Emily P. Freeman added in a sentence at the bottom of the email asking a simple question. She asked where I was located. She went on to talk about her family and where she lived and promised that if I responded I would hear from her soon.
I decided to see what would happen if I replied, so I sent off an email with a few sentences and within an hour had a reply from Emily. Now, to be fair, I have no idea if Emily herself replied or if an assistant did so for her, but either way, the email response indicated the email I had sent had been read just as Emily promised, and the personal engagement on her end has kept me from unsubscribing.
Email Marketing continues to be a proven way to engage with customers at various stages of the buying process for businesses of all sizes. Still, if we as customers chose to be on every email list for every company, author, or restaurant we frequent our inbox quickly overflows with promotional emails. All the noise might cause a valued company to become lost in the spam.
I should add an important point here. Now that I’ve engaged with one author via a marketing email in this specific way, I’m less likely to engage with another email presented with the same suggestion to reply to an email. I’m even less likely to do so if the question is the same as Emily’s. I realize this might be frustrating. You might be thinking but “There are only so many ways to craft an email with the same end goal in mind, overlap will occur.”
How do you craft genuine emails that will keep your persona engaged and avoid becoming part of the noise in most people’s inboxes?
When it comes to actually reading and engaging with an email, people are most likely to open it when the title gives a clear idea of the content and it seems like something they need more information about. If I find that the same person or company has sent me emails with misleading titles or information that isn’t relevant to the company I hunt for the unsubscribe button.
These are all email subjects that are interesting and likely to contain key information your persona will want to know about.
Reminder emails can also be helpful, but they can go too far. There is a balance between knowing a sale is going on and being told this sale is the most important sale of someone’s life. For me, one has me browsing the website, while the other is quickly deleted.
Adding in personalized tokens like someone’s first name are great, but that’s not what I’m focusing on. In the email that I referred to from Emily P. Freeman, a question was asked that she was willing to answer herself. The goal of the email was personal engagement, and the content was “get-to-know-you” related. It made sense for her welcome email to feature her published works and where she can be found on social media. Since her writing often includes her family, it was relevant that they would be featured as well.
For a small business, this email will look different. It might highlight the business mission statement. It could remind a subscriber of the services offered. This can be a great way to feature all the aspects of a company that may not initially be realized. For example, if an accountant is contacted for tax filing support a new customer might not yet be aware that the company also offers book keeping services.
A key part of email marketing personalization is that your company’s voice is represented. The email needs to sound like it came from you. You might think this will happen automatically, but that isn’t always the case. Use similar wording to what is used on your website and in person.
I’ve received many emails with typos or broken links. I’ve sent a few too! Although this is an easy mistake to make, it’s one that can also be avoided. Have a second and possibly a third set of eyes review all content before it’s sent out.
When it comes to the structure of an email, I find that my eye naturally gravitates towards a few specific things:
Using a wrap-up paragraph to reiterate the most important point of the email is always a great way to ensure your point isn’t missed. I find I’ll reread an email to confirm I understood all the relevant details to the last paragraph if that last few sentence increases my interest in an offer.
It’s also important that your emails are compliant with all companies you choose to be an affiliate for. This might mean not including a web link for a product even when it’s featured on your website.
Email marketing is a free, simple way to continue engaging your customers along their buying journey. Whether that journey concludes in the purchase of a book or clothing item, or a call to utilize your company’s services email can help build a relationship of trust without even meeting in person.
If you think email marketing is a service that would benefit your company give us a call or send us an email. We would love to help you get started in the process of engaging with your contacts in a way that authentically tells them about you and your company at any stage of their buyer’s journey.
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