Jun 28, 2022
By Polly Hammond, Founder and CEO of www.5forests.com - a globally-recognized, award-winning digital marketing agency for the food, drink and hospitality sector.
If there’s one thing I’ve discovered in years of digital marketing, it’s that humans love shiny new toys: the infinite potential of a Tik Tok challenge, the endorphin rush of your first livestream. To be honest, we can’t help ourselves. Our brains are hardwired to seek what’s new and exciting.
But the high is short lived. Before you know it, you’re lost in a sea of platforms, burnt out from trying to keep up with everything. Your audience isn’t growing, engagement stagnates, costs of customer acquisition gets higher every day, and it’s damn near impossible to report returns.
What nobody wants to tell you, and what you probably don’t want to hear, is that shiny new toys don’t build brands. Your most effective channel today is the same as it was 10 years ago: email marketing. And getting email right is possibly the least exciting, most powerful marketing effort you can invest in.
So today, I’m asking you to embrace the unexciting and learn to love email marketing again.
To set you on the right path, here are 5forests’ Un-fun but Fabulous requirements for a profitable email strategy.
1. Clean your list. Start with an honest re-engagement campaign and encourage people who aren’t interested to unsubscribe! You’ll identify bad addresses and reduce your list to engaged readers. Remove bounced addresses, duplicates, spam, unsubs; correct typos, clean up tags/segments, and update fields. Yes, your ego might take a hit, but your insights will be better for it.
2. Document goals. New subscribers, open rates, click rates, sales, maybe it’s as simple as frequency of emails? Then, track, review, and debrief -- just like you would if you were paying an agency to run ads for you.
3. Make a plan and stick to it. Grab a calendar, book a recurring date with yourself, and show up without fail, even if it means saying no to the fun stuff. Whether you write a month of emails in one day, or sit down weekly to share the latest news, make dedicated writing time a priority. I promise, consistency pays off and you’ll get faster over time.
4. Writing automated emails sucks, but they are worth every arduous moment. An automated email can be as simple as a Welcome or Happy Birthday, or as complex as a multi-part onboarding series. Good sources of inspiration can be found at Reallygoodemails.com and Mailcharts.com. (While you’re at it, be sure to review your transactional emails: are they accurate, useful, and on brand?)
5. Ask what you can learn from your metrics. “Who, what, when, where, how” are all incredibly useful for future campaign planning. Are your readers mostly over 50? Research says you should be increasing your font size. Is there a crisis (eg, political turmoil or a school shooting) in a region with high open rates? Ask yourself if now is the right time for pre-written messaging. Remember, the analytics are only a starting point, the insights are what matters.
And then, with all that un-fun behind you, let your emails become exciting again. Share stories, provide value, be yourself…and watch your business grow while your competitors are busy learning TikTok dances.
For more information on COVID-19, visit www.sacoronavirus.co.za