Before your customers became your customers, they lived in a place where ignorance of your brand was the norm, where indecision and ambivalence toward it were common, and where awareness of its benefits didn’t exist. As your brand’s champion, it’s up to you to lead the way to enlightenment – and there’s no better way to do so than through email.
Targeted, personalized, relevant and engaging emails can convert even the most unaware into not just customers – but into knowledgeable, passionate brand evangelists like yourself. Rarely is that destination reached in a single leap; instead, the journey begins with one step followed by another and another. Here are five steps to get you started down the path to email success:
Welcome all who share their email address with you
You’re privileged to be able to reach out to newcomers to your web site. They didn’t have to share their email with you but chose to do so. That they’ve expressed such interest in your story is a wonderful compliment and it deserves a thank you.
Create an automated thank you that shows your sincere appreciation to your guest, and use it as an opportunity to share with them some basic information about what you can provide them, and what they can expect. Don’t overwhelm a new guest with too much information – keep it short and to the point, with at most a 5-bullet list of resources they can enjoy and links to get them started. Set the tome of the conversation, and let users know you’ll be in touch soon with more detailed information as they begin to explore their relationship with your brand.
Send practical, useful information regularly – but not too frequently
Once you’ve established an email connection to your potential customer, it’s a good idea to place them on a path to introduce them to your products and services. In this case, the “path” is a string of automated emails structured as an introductory campaign.
While you could generally consider this a straight path, most email marketing platforms provide for a few “curves” driven by user actions. The best way to envision these is with flow charts. In fact, it’s not unusual for email campaign platforms to use flow charts to define automated campaigns. They help illustrate how each communication path interacts with another so a comprehensive communication strategy emerges.
It’s therefore likely that as guests interact with your emails, the course of the introductory path will branch out to provide more detail on an area of interest. This doesn’t necessarily mean the root campaign is abandoned – but you might consider programming subsequent campaign emails to resume sometime after emails addressing the newly-discovered user interest are sent.
Get personal, and be yourself
Use any information you have to personalize emails – particularly subject lines. Lacking personal information, you can target your emails and make subject lines and content more relevant by using keywords relevant to previous email interactions, website behavior, buying behavior and more.
Do this while retaining your brand voice. Start by examining content that you feel best expresses you brand voice. Think of three key attributes common to all the content you’ve chosen. Think of these attributes as personality attributes, such as “spontaneous,” “fastidious” or “quirky.” Then define specifically what you mean by these personality traits, and how they’re manifested in website content and language. Use the same sort of language in your emails, and send them out at regular intervals (unless they’re driven by triggers that demand immediacy) so people know when to expect them.
Get the mechanics right
Of course, to reflect your brand in the best light you have to ensure you cover the basics. Does your email have a compelling subject line that presents your brand in the inbox preview? Is the From address recognizable as your brand? Does your email contain a clearly visible and relevant call to action? And is your email mobile friendly?
By focusing on the basics and adding your own brand personality to useful, relevant emails, you’ll take your guests from a place of ambivalence to the place you want them to be – right beside you, echoing your enthusiasm for your brand and shouting it out to the world.
Build Your Brand With Email
was written by me, Greg Norton – also known as webzenkai. I’ve got more than two decades’ experience building effective websites and powerful email campaigns that yield results. Feel free to contact me regarding this article or anything else you find on this website.