For my debut on BeRelevant, I'm going to share five lessons about email you should master, because they will help you in other marketing scenarios as well.
Although I've spent most of my career working in email marketing, my current position is a broader communications role (email still plays a part) I also spend a lot of time on the social media bandwagon--current obsession is Twitter, of course! However, no matter what I'm doing, I'm finding what I've learned about email works in almost any marketing/communications situation.
Here are five email takeaways that can make you a better marketer overall:
- Be concise - Email marketing requires you to capture your recipient's attention in an instance. Since we all live by our inboxes, on average the population's attention span has deteriorated greatly over the past few years. I think long copy has its place--in a book, magazine or even a user manual. However, short snappy copy wins for virtually any marketing application.
- Put the customer first - Sure we always say "the customer is always right," but we don't always practice what we preach. With email, failing to give subscribers exactly what they want can have serious consequences (Hello "Report as Spam" button!), so smart email marketers strive to provide targeted, relevant and interesting content that subscribers want to receive. Sure, other media have constraints, but if always approach marketing with a truly customer-centric mindset, we'd see a lot less ineffective marketing out there.
- Test, measure, refine - The granular nature of email metrics paired with the ease of testing makes email the ultimate tool to measure and constantly improve. With a little analysis, you can easily pinpoint where a campaign went wrong, or what is causing a drop in subscribers, opens, etc. Once you've mastered the process of constantly testing, measuring and refining, it's easily applied to any sort of marketing campaign.
- Always add value - If someone takes the time to open your email, you'd better offer something of value if you want to keep a happy, active subscriber. Adding value helps build loyalty and lifelong customers. It's long-term value vs. short-term gains, and it's not just for email.
- Planning makes perfect - Ok, so it may be a no-brainer that planning is a pretty good idea. We do marketing plans, communications plans, strategic plans, etc. However, to upper management, email is just something we do to satisfy corporate goals. While email should satisfy goals--there's more to it. Building an email strategy, instead of treating it as a tactic, is a sure shot at success, and this can be applied to any other marketing 'tactic'.