If you’ve been around EC for any length of time at all then you’ll know that, along with the rest of the Botterill clan, I’m a big Disney fan. Last year was the 22nd consecutive year in which we all travelled to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
The trips have evolved over the years, but, even now, it’s still the only holiday I can get the big ones (aged 20 and 19) to come on. We all love Disney.
When we’re in Orlando, one of the greatest services that Disney offer is a VIP guided tour.
Now, unusually, they were slow to catch onto this because it was their rivals at Universal, just up the road, who first introduced the VIP tour over 10 years ago.
For the uninitiated, the VIP tour basically allows you to skip all the queues, get led into the rides and attractions through secret back doors and basically do a heck of a lot more in one day (and often in great style) than most ever imagine.
Of course, it’s a premium product and there are many who say that the price is exorbitant. These are the same people who complain about having to wait in long queues in the parks and about only having time to go on four rides during the entire day.
If they looked at the full picture, then they’d realise that you can, for example, go on 12 rides in the time it takes others to go on a single one, then you can start to see the value. Maybe they’d realise, eventually, that with a guide you can do in one day what it takes the average person several days, or even a week to do.
And we see this in business all the time. People look for the easiest, fastest or cheapest route without considering the whole picture.
Email marketing is a prime example.
Lots of business owners think that, because it’s so inexpensive to use, they don’t need to put much thought, time or planning into it as they do with, say, direct mail, where they’d be paying for stamps and print.
These are the same people who complain about their poor open rates, their declining click-throughs and generally deflated results. They also fret about unsubscribes.
If you want better results, from your emails or indeed any other marketing pillar, then you have to consider the WHOLE picture. And you have to invest in making your emails better.
For example, one disadvantage of email is that your customers’ inboxes are getting flooded every day. We all get way more emails than we get through the regular, old fashioned post box. That means that when you send an email, there’s a heck of a lot more competition for eyeballs. Just to get people to read it. Or open it.
Which is why you can’t be sloppy about what you are sending.
Rather than firing off an email in five minutes and blasting it out to an entire list with little thought or consideration, a much smarter strategy is to establish the clear plan for that email, with clarity as to exactly what you want your audience to do before you ever start hitting the keyboard.
It starts with some very basic things like your subject line, or the opening sentence.
Christ Blunt of Broken Stones is the best practitioner of email marketing that I know within EC. I get a lot of emails from Chris, and I never know from the subject line, or even from the opening paragraph, whether this is one of his marketing emails or if it’s a personal note to me. And that’s the key.
So many business owners telegraph their intentions by inadequate thought of some of the basics. They absolutely do not consider the whole picture.
There’s a metal sign on the wall in my office that I bought from a street seller in New York several years ago. It says “Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.”
You’ll be amazed how many scenarios this sign is pertinent to, but it definitely applies to email marketing. So many business owners make the same mistakes as everyone else. Their stupidity is there for all to see, in our inboxes every day.
The subject line that summarises the email and telegraphs the message inside it.
The failure to amend the email template that lets us see “if this email isn’t displayed properly … etc.”
Of course, at least these people are sending emails.
However, there’s another bunch of business owners who are too timid to hit send. The price they pay for their timidity is signifi cant. To paraphrase Zig Ziglar “Poor email marketers have skinny kids.”
The reality is that it is extremely rare that I consult with a Member and we fi nd that there aren’t untapped opportunities within their email strategy. Ways to combine email with other media to get higher responses.
Strategies to use with their opt-ins that can separate the tyre kickers from the potential serious buyers; increase their profits; improve their click-throughs; or even create more loyal customers, clients or patients.
Past customers that they haven’t been in touch with for months, or years, and who’d buy is if only they heard from you or were reminded.
If you’re not split testing your subject lines, your email layout, the length of emails, the time that you send them, your calls to action and so on, then you’re not considering the whole picture. And your results will be diminished as a consequence.
Just like at Disney or Universal, there’s no free pass to the front of the line. If you want your emails to be the first thing your customers want to open, then you have to invest in making them worthy.
And that means considering the whole picture …