With email inboxes more crowded than ever before, simply arriving successfully is half the battle. Assuming you routinely have good deliverability, the second half of that battle is standing out in a crowd. The majority of email users (more than 70% by some estimates) view the lineup of email messages in their inboxes via preview panes, so only a snapshot of each message is visible either to the right or on the lower half of their screens. Mobile environments can be even worse, eliminating preview-ability altogether.
One of my email seminar students recently asked: “I feel like the only emails my company ever sends are sales messages: like we’re always asking people to buy, buy, buy. Should we supplement these with other types of email and if so, what?” Don’t feel bad, lack of variety in email marketing is a common dilemma for many marketers. Businesses newer to email or with fewer resources tend to gravitate first and only to promotional messaging, but there is plenty more you can and should communicate to your list. Here are just a few of the many greetings and message types you should include in your email program:
In Part 1 of this series, I explained that marketing is not simply about hawking your wares. Certainly it’s about communicating what you have to offer, but how you do that is what makes the difference between feast and famine. Whether we know it and like it or not, most decisions in life are fueled at least in part by emotion, and that goes for buying decisions large and small. Our brains are equipped with both reasoning and emotional centers, and each factors into decision making. More often than not, people buy from emotion and justify with reason, so it’s important to know how to emotionally connect with them. In online marketing, making emotional connections is especially important because the digital world is immediate, urgent and can seem highly impersonal. It doesn’t give us the time or intimacy to know and trust people like face-to-face interactions do. That contributes to a lack of trust (and unfortunately, fraud) online, so allowing people to get to know you digitally goes a long way toward creating the confidence consumers and business people alike need to buy from you in any channel.
You might read that title and wonder what in the world emotional connections have to do with online marketing or any marketing for that matter. Isn’t marketing simply about telling people what you have to offer and letting them know how to buy or work with you? Certainly it’s that, but much more. Whether you realize it or not, most decisions in life are fueled at least in part by emotion, and that goes for buying decisions large and small. Our brains are equipped with both reasoning and emotional centers, and both factor into decision making. More often than not, people buy from emotion and justify with reason, so it’s important to know how to emotionally connect with them. In online marketing, making emotional connections is especially important because the digital world can be fast, furious, and impersonal. There is a built-in immediacy in digital communication channels that often undermines or bypasses the opportunity to slow down the sale and deepen the consideration process that older, offline channels delivered. Plus, there’s a huge lack of trust (and fraud) in the digital world so allowing people to get to know you online goes a long way toward creating the confidence consumers and business people alike need before they're willing to buy. So, is it easy to create emotional connections online? The good news is “YES!” thanks largely to social media and content publishing platforms that are faster, simpler and more accessible than ever before. So, how do you do it?
It’s no secret that in the United States at least, we’re obsessed with size. Perhaps stemming from our pioneering roots we equate bigger with better, have a preference for more vs. less (even if it’s far more than we need), and value limitless expanse. Whether it is due to this mentality or other reasons, a similarly pervasive way of thinking has been the mindset in direct marketing for decades. Yet in an age of awareness about how unfettered human expansion has negatively impacted the environment, times are changing. Sustainability and austerity are in, conspicuous consumption is out. There’s a clear quality over quantity movement underfoot and already visible in social media. I for one say it’s high time this shift made its way fully into email marketing.