Email Marketing: Direct Marketing In Action

Email is part of an evolution that started in the 1960’s as an inexpensive solution to instantly send messages between networked computers. While email wasn’t designed as a direct marketing tool, email marketing is certainly a natural evolution considering how quickly our lives and communication styles have changed since the 1990’s when email became popular.

It’s no surprise email marketing also has some unique challenges.

Get To The Point

With the widespread adoption of email many of us lost our ability to get to the point. Back when we had to invest in hand writing or phone communication, getting to the point was more natural. Who had the time to hand write a page or two of background or meandering thoughts?

But email helped make typing lots of copy quick and easy. Soon abundance became a common error of email writing as well as web writing, brochure writing and proposal writing. We started to write down everything and hope the reader found a reference to something they liked, related to and/or needed.

Not much changed when businesses started to use email as a marketing tool. Lots of email marketing did… and still does look like a child’s cereal box. The problems were too much detail, too many photos and as much attention grabbing hoopla as possible.

And for a while people paid attention… because email marketing was new. It’s not new anymore.

Email Marketing Is Often An Interruption

Today email marketing is more competitive and our target audiences are jaded from being over stimulated and/or taken advantage of. There’s been so much bad email (even regular business email), that when you get a good message it really stands out. Customers notice.

Remember the Mini Car ad’s when the car re-launched? They stood out – they were fun. They were never seen as an interruption because they were relevant and to-the-point. Even if we didn’t want one we wanted to learn about them.  They were so to-the-point we would read them and instantly know why it would be great for us.

So in the end the Mini Car ads were good for the customer… and good BMW who own the Mini brand.

Strategic   Branded   Relevant

Return To Basics: It’s About Need And Offer

To improve the overall quality of email campaigns, marketers need to return to basic. Businesses need to focus on the ‘What’s In It For Me’ (WIIFM) message for their client. What’s the client need? By creating messages and content that solve their clients’ needs (not pushing only an offer) businesses will also build trusting respected relationships.

Even back in the 1960’s ads showed housewives and husbands ‘What’s In It For Me’.

Being successful in email marketing isn’t about creating a grammatically correct copy with pictures and flashy layouts. It’s also not sending your campaign to everyone you can get access to or by renting your ‘ideal client wish-list’.

A successful in email marketing campaign is about sending a short, clear, relevant message and offer of value to your segmented, targeted audience.

This is especially true when connecting with existing relationships. If you keep sending them mindless irrelevant junk they are very likely going to click the unsubscribe button, or even worse, mark your message as spam… which causes you big problems in the future.

Delivery / Execution

You have a great message and great creative – you’re almost finished.

Now you need a trusted system to deliver your messages. This often means hiring a eMarketing / Digital Communication supplier to help you make sure your campaign gets to the people on your list (and not in a junk folder or identified as SPAM). Professional eMarketing / Digital Communication companies also have easy access to proven tactics they can use which mean further success for your campaign… and ways to measure your success.

Do it yourself is risky to you, your business and your brand reputation. For example, one important step is to notify your email host that you are about to send mass email (which is likely out of character for you). If you don’t do this your host may perceive your sudden spike as SPAM and shut your whole email system down… and I mean all of your email.


Email marketing works because it can drive direct sales to a targeted audience in a controlled manner that builds relationships, loyalty and trust. It’s also a natural fit in a Drip Marketing Program.

So, start thinking how you can get out there and create an awesome package and offer as part of your overall marketing strategy. Go ahead – it can be a great opportunity for you to try something new. Whether you hire a professional or try doing it yourself, you’ll need:

  • A relevant offer
  • Creative… creative
  • A clean organization list (opt in preferably)
  • Clear execution that doesn’t look (or act), like SPAM
  • To measure your results

Happy communicating.

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About Bruce Mayhew
Bruce Mayhew is a Leadership Coach, Keynote Speaker and Corporate Trainer who builds strong client and co-worker relationships that give clients a competitive advantage. Our training and development programs include: ■Generational Differences ■Effective Business Email Writing ■Email Etiquette ■Phone Etiquette ■Behaviour Event Interviewing (BEI) ■Mindfulness ■Using Linkedin to Build Client Relationships ■Objective Setting Made Easy

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