A few weeks back, I peeled back the curtain on what I have been doing in my notes to you, and got some great response … so I thought I’d continue on in that vein today.
I feel fortunate to have discovered some simple tools in the strategic growth of our little tax business, and one of these foundational tools has been the power of real relationships — and forming them through email marketing.
Many businesses and organizations use email marketing of course, but often it’s with middling-to-poor results which is easily written off: ‘Email marketing doesn’t really work,’ they say. As with any media, however, the problem usually lies with the execution rather than the tools. And as my Dad taught me when I was young: A poor workman blames the tools.
My last Note dealt with (just a few) commonly-held myths about email marketing strategy which, when adhered to, lead to exactly those kinds of poor results that I just mentioned.
But as I mentioned last time, I should hasten to add that I have stumbled upon the power of all of this mostly through experimentation and testing. I do not claim to be an email marketing “guru”. However, I have seen things work, and I’d like to let you peek behind my curtain a little more …
Three Tips For Colorado Springs Businesses On Effective Email Marketing Strategy
“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.” -Robin Williams
When you see online businesses that are thriving these days or non-profit organizations which have a thriving internet presence that fuels their growth, a key “hidden” secret behind their success is usually excellent email marketing.
And as someone who has been using email to keep in touch with broad segments of my Colorado Springs clients and contacts, I’ve also discovered a thing or two about what makes it work.
There are entire seminars and books written on the topic, but I thought I’d break down three basic rules for email marketing that accomplishes your goals.
- Write with sincerity and authenticity — not being smart and smarmy. And to do so, make sure that you are writing (in your mind) to an individual, NOT to a list.
As you write, visualize who that recipient is — in all regards. Which, of course, presumes that you have a good handle on that information … but hopefully you understand who are your clients and customers.
Know their fears and phobias, their wants and needs, their objections and their hot buttons — and write with those clearly in mind.
That means that you are writing to a real person! A “contact list” does not read your emails. There is no jostling crowd looking over shoulders reading a computer screen or an iPhone. As far as your recipients are concerned, and the effect you want to have on them — he or she is the only one receiving your email; he or she is the only one in the room with you; he or she is the only one you’re seeking to build a long-lasting relationship with (and, um, don’t worry about ending a sentence with a preposition or a dangling participle 🙂 ).
- Understand and integrate the Pareto Principle (The “80/20” rule).
Your emails should contain approximately 80% valuable content and 20% pitch.
Or, put another way, 80% of the emails you send should be valuable in and of themselves (truly valuable — not junk which could easily be found by a random internet search on your topic), which leaves 20% of your emails to prompt a specific response (a reply, clicking on a link to sales or lead-generation page, donating to your non-profit, etc.).
Your readers must believe, based on the valuable and actionable content you consistently provide, that you truly are their friend and advocate — that you’re not just interested in their money, but rather their overall well-being.
Doing anything less than this is abusing their trust (which leads to unsubscribes and steadily-decreasing response), and forms no relationship with prospects, clients, and/or donors.
And a related tip: Write about what your READERS care about … not about all the great, hottest things which you and your organization are up to. News-flash: People care a lot less than you think they do … unless you prove to them that you care about THEM. This is, after all, a principle as old as time.
- Write as much as you’d like!
Do NOT believe the myth that “nobody reads long emails”. The truth is far more reasonable: Nobody reads long, poorly-written emails — which, if you wrote them without keeping your recipients concerns in mind (see #1), are likely to be one and the same.
Because if you’ve successfully attracted the attention and increased the interest of your list, your readers will read every word you wrote and wish you wrote more, because …
… you are writing about something near and dear to their heart, or wallet. And they just can’t get enough of what you can tell them about how what they’re interested in purchasing or supporting is exactly what they need or should be connected to, for all the reasons you can possibly list (which usually confirms what they already knew or suspected).
Can I give you a 4th component? Yes? Here: Try to write with personality. Be unpredictable. Be controversial. Be engaging. Be fascinating. Don’t shrink back from who you really are. Make your contact list want to receive your emails, rather than suffer through them.
Look — I’m a local Colorado Springs tax accountant. I’m not a genius at this stuff, and we’re muddling our own way through doing it all well.
But that doesn’t mean that this doesn’t work.
Until next time, then?
Feel very free forward this article to a Colorado Springs business associate or client you know who could benefit from our assistance — or simply send them our way? While these particular articles usually relate to business strategy, as you know, we specialize in tax preparation and planning for Colorado Springs families and business owners. And we always make room for referrals from trusted sources like you.