Email marketing is not a silver bullet. To get the most out of email marketing and win the hearts of your audience, your campaigns need to work as part of an entire marketing ecosystem: an ecosystem where each element that makes up the system complements the others, working together in harmony. Now there are lots of channels that you can use to communicate with your audience, including online, offline and in person, but the key is to choose those relevant to your business. In other words, the ones in front of your audience's eyeballs.
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What makes up the marketing ecosystem?
The marketing ecosystem is huge: it includes print media, telesales, live events, web content, email marketing (obviously) – to name just a few. Online marketing is only a small part of it, and getting the different components to work together effectively is the real trick. If you get this right it will give the perception to your audience that you're everywhere, and that you’re on-the-ball as a business.
Don't try to stretch yourself too thin
One of the ways businesses often get it wrong is in trying to do more than their resources will allow. They try to cover all bases and every channel which over-stretches either their budget to outsource, or their internal staff’s time allowances. You should choose your channels wisely: research where your audience is likely to be paying attention. The easiest way to find this out is to talk to a few of your ideal clients. If you're doing a good job for them they'll be more than willing to help out and answer a few questions to help you to grow your business. Reach out to people and ask for a favour... if you can help them in exchange as well, then all the better.
Make sure your messaging is consistent
If you have too many different messages being shared at once it could confuse your audience and turn them off your communications... even if it's subconsciously. A great way to ensure messaging is consistent is to repurpose your content, adapted to the context in which it’s being shared. Which leads me to my next point...
A tweet is different to a Facebook post. Both are different to an email or a direct mail piece. Ensure you're communicating for the channel you're on and don't be lazy by just copying and pasting the same message into your different communication channels. Consider how each individual channel is actually used, and what sort of content users want to be exposed to in that environment. Don't be over-salesy on Facebook, maybe be a bit more light-hearted and communicate sharable content. Don't just spam people with transactional messages in their email inbox – consider what value you can deliver to them on a consistent basis. Which is funny, because that also leads me to my next point...
Don't start emailing every week and then get busy and stop for two months. Don't start tweeting twice a day and then go cold turkey because you're going through a “busy period”. Successful companies consistently focus on sales and marketing as they're always looking to grow. Set the correct expectations with your audience, and stick with them.
My advice when considering the frequency of your email campaigns is to stick within a time-frame that allows you to create great quality content all the time. This is hugely important. If you send out even one poor campaign, which could be filler to keep up your frequency, it could cause your audience to unsubscribe or be blinkered from your future campaigns. Don't waste people's time or attention: it’s a vital commitment to your business’ success, so put in the required effort or it won't work.
How we do it at Winbox
At Winbox we make sure we have each online, offline and in-person channel covered in our strategy, and we repurpose where we can to ensure that we work within our means. For example, we will write a weekly blog article, share this article in a weekly email and also on our social media channels.
We then record the article as an audio file and add it to our podcast. In addition, we shoot weekly videos for our “On The Winbox” show which goes onto our YouTube channel, and we detach the audio from the video for our podcast, which is also shared in our emails and via our social media channels. We also commit to a monthly speaking engagement, are part of networking groups, and send our greetings cards to reach prospects interested in our services.
Our branding on each of these channels is consistent, and our messaging is adapted to the context and the environment. We often receive compliments on our content and there aren’t many people within our close audience that aren't exposed to at least one of our chosen channels.
Be clever with your marketing to make sure you get the most from your activity. You can use re-purposing to help to achieve this, but don't be fooled – there are no big shortcuts and it will take effort to have an effective strategy.
As we always say, focus on delivering value to your audience wherever you can. But make sure you're identifying with top engagers so you can pick them out for a sales message if it appears they might be ready to buy.
If you want to discuss how Winbox can help your email marketing strategy become the backbone of your marketing - send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org