Email marketing is all the rage
Or well, it’s something that gets talked about a lot because it is actually really effective. Still, there are a lot of boring useless things in email marketing.
There is so much resistance to email marketing, though. I think part of that is because it seems harder than something like Instagram. Also, it is definitely not as “fun” or “pretty” — but it can be more effective, particularly if you feel exhausted by social media. If that sounds familiar then you might really like email marketing.
I’m not going to address all the virtues of email marketing here because I think you know them already – perhaps you haven’t accepted them yet BECAUSE of the things we are going to talk about today. Perhaps you feel turned off or bored of the idea because of the things we are going to talk about here.
There is plenty of coverage for email marketing, you can’t walk three steps into entrepreneurship without it coming up, but so much of it is boring, overdone or useless to product sellers.
Opt in coupons are the worst
Let’s start with my LEAST favorite thing that gets a TON of play: the idea of offering an opt in coupon.
If you’ve followed me for a while you have heard me talk about discounting first orders in your handmade business.
I absolutely hate the idea of product sellers offering coupons in exchanges for emails. It seems like a quick win – and maybe it is – but it’s so boring. And who does it really serve?
If that is the reason someone gets on your list, what does that mean to you the business owner? It means someone didn’t see the value in your work enough to pay full price. This is not the kind of customer you want to cultivate. YES there is value in a customer who only buys during a sale but you don’t want that to be the majority of your customers – and you certainly don’t want to expend your energy getting customers on your list who don’t see the value of your work full price.
Don’t just go for the lowest hanging fruit because you cannot immediately think up a better incentive for people to be on your list. We know that coupons might work in getting people on board, and it might feel like a quick win but think long term through this: why would someone who didn’t have to pay full price on their first order pay full price on their second?
Save your coupons and promotions for your loyal fans and customers. We know coupons might work to get people subscribed but WHAT ELSE could work? This is tired — what else can we try that might ALSO work? Seriously, think about it.
Email newsletter more like snooze-letter
The second super boring thing in email marketing: calling it an email newsletter.
Does the word newsletter or the phrase mailing list elicit any excitement whatsoever? No. it doesn’t. No one wants to be on your mailing list – that makes them feel like another name of a long list of names. No one wants to receive your “newsletter.” Newsletter sounds like it’s all about you. And that’s not what people want. There is no one answer here – what do YOUR people want? Deliver that (with strategy, of course.)
One size does NOT fit all
The third thing that drives me bananas about email marketing is the how one-size-fits-all so many people treat their lists.
These days, there are so many tools and features that will allow you to segment your list and send messages to people that are more aligned to them and their interests. Why wouldn’t you do this? Just because you don’t currently know how? That’s not a great reason!
Think about it this way: you’ve got customers on your list who have already purchased product A five months ago – since then, they have also purchased product B and C. They have A B C and would probably really love D but you have constantly been featuring A B C because those are your leaders. And slowly, because people need to see something over and over before they go for it, people are getting on board with ABC but D is still sitting here getting barely any action… meanwhile you’re telling more and more people about products they already have.
What if you could send an email to those people only about product D? You are leaving money on the table if you aren’t segmenting your list and sending more targeted messages. Recently inside of The Council, one of our guest experts spoke about doing this and how it is possible even in MailChimp and some ways to implement segmentation and more customizable emails. It’s such a simple idea but it can be so so powerful. Don’t bore your people, keep it spicy for them – you spent all that time trying to get these leads – and these orders – and now you have what everyone wants: a customer base that loves your product – DO NOT BORE THESE PEOPLE.
Let’s leave these three super boring useless things in email marketing behind and head for more exciting pastures!