There’s an ongoing debate over the role of permission in sending marketing email to customers you have a pre-existing business relationship with. Although in recent years opt-in list building practices have clearly been on the rise, there is still no clear legal mandate for opt-in as a standard email marketing practice in the US and many countries.
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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
photo credit: Berto Garcia
. 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.
The U.S. Census Bureau releases the results of its 2010 census this summer and marketers are advised to prepare for some major demographic shifts. In a recent interview I read of Peter Francese, consultant to advertising megalith Ogilvy & Mather and author of the research report 2010 America, I was surprised to learn:
Unless you were raised by wolves in the wild
photo credit: mmatins
, at some point you've learned it is polite to say "Thank You". Not only is it proper etiquette, it's just downright considerate and gracious. Yet for marketers, saying thank you is about much more than just being polite. If you're in the business of building lasting, loyal customer relationships (and if you're not, please question why you're bothering to be in business at all) it's an essential practice that pays both monetary and good will dividends. Without it, you're both at greater risk of customer flight and a sitting duck for the competition.
photo credit: doug_wertman
If yours is a services business, B-to-B firm or solo-entrepreneurship, this time of year it can certainly seem like all the marketing focus is on retailers. Yet just because retail eclipses other industries during the holidays doesn’t mean non-retailers can’t take a few lessons from retail marketers and employ similar strategies in their own communications, especially email.
In the spirit of the season, here are three email marketing lessons non-retail businesses can swipe and deploy from holiday retail marketers. Here’s hoping they enlighten your email for 2011!
Vary frequency and cadence seasonally
Retailers live and die by the holiday gift giving season (hence the term “black Friday” for the day after Thanksgiving, traditionally the biggest shopping day of the year on which many retail businesses that haven’t yet made an annual profit will go from “being in the red” to “being in the black”). Even before the days of e-commerce, holiday messaging was much more frequent than advertising done at other times of the year. This increase is easy to see in the email marketing frequency of retailers, which goes from monthly or weekly to as often as weekly or daily during November and December.
It may not be at holiday time, but chances are there is a period or there are seasons when it makes sense to increase your
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If you’re just tuning into this series, Part 1
explored the difference between broadcast and triggered-email, explained the role of trigger-based email, and defined the fundamental characteristics that make it so powerful. Part 2
took a deep dive into the first two of four must-have triggered-email campaigns no email marketing program should be without: welcome
campaigns. Here in Part 3, we’ll wrap things up with a look at the last two of four essential triggered-email campaigns: up-sell/cross-sell
The Up-Sell/Cross-Sell: Are You Leaving Money on the Table?
Too many marketers think about email campaigns as singular blasts rather than as a progression
of offers and information interwoven into a conversation – a conversation designed to maximize customer lifetime value. There are plenty of great tips for building ongoing engagement and loyalty with your list members here
. Still, if you’re thinking in terms of “one and done” campaigns, it’s time to develop an up-sell/cross-sell trigger program.
Here are three types of up-sell/cross-sell triggered email campaigns to implement during or after the conversion process.