Email marketing, like any other form of marketing, is a tool used to achieve specific goals. These goals vary across the marketing mix, from building awareness and engagement to defining your brand persona with the public or even confronting a publicized mistake.
All of these goals do converge at the same point, however, and that is to leave the business in a better place than it was before. Ultimately, this equates to generating a strong ROI for your company. While marketing can be creative, socially aware and completely earnest at times, on some level, it’s about making money. This may feel like a page straight out of “The Capitalist’s Manifesto”, but realistically generating profit is what drives marketing and vice versa.
With that in mind, let’s play Madonna for a few minutes and get materialistic. How can we use email marketing to make you money?
Email marketing is at its core, about fostering a relationship between a brand and it’s audience. If you think of your own personal email inbox, the best way to do this is to make that audience feel special.
If you speak to me on a very personal level, about content unique to my interest, I’m far more likely to engage with your brand. Even though your business is sending emails to large groups of people, you need to strive for a level of personalization that makes me feel like I’m in an “audience of one”. If you do this correctly, as a member of your audience I already feel valued, and I want to reciprocate these feelings by engaging with your brand.
The stronger the relationship, the more money your audience is likely to spend.
A great example of this is Spotify, who are historically on the ball when it comes to highly personalized and curated content for their audience. In the email campaign below, a band’s top fans were offered early access to tickets for an upcoming concert. Imagine being rewarded for listening to music that you already love? Those tickets definitely sold in a flash.
One of the many countless benefits of strategic email marketing is that you have a direct line to your target audience. Right off the bat, you know that any campaign you send out is going directly to the person you’re trying to communicate with. This presents some interesting opportunities if you’re willing to put the work in.
A common way to entice a quick response is loss aversion. If we’re told we can only have something if we commit in a certain timeframe, we’re already interested. This is what every sale does, be it Black Friday or a general promotion, all you’re saying is “you can have this, but only if you do it now!”. With email, you can take this a step further. Instead of sending me an email about a 20% off sale, how about an email for a 20% off sale for a pair of sneakers that are similar to products I’ve bought before. Even better, send me the email when there are only 3 pairs left in my size. I guarantee I’ll be making that purchase.
Plenty of brands are already doing this. Nike allows it’s subscribers to purchase certain products before the general public. Once again, this is simply tactful loss aversion. By giving me exclusive early access, you’ve fostered the seed that this product won’t be available at some point and that I need to make a decision sooner rather than later.
The simple campaign below by Ayr is a fantastically minimalistic way to illustrate loss aversion and entice immediate engagement from your audience. Bonus points for a cheeky CTA that has you actively acknowledge their tactic.
Quite a confusing headline given the spirit of the rest of this blog, but you’re going to have to convey this message to your audience if you want their trust and support.
If every campaign you send is strictly focused on generating sales and boosting your revenue, you eventually become a faceless corporation to your audience. What’s even worse, you could become a nuisance, and as soon as you annoy a subscriber, they unsubscribe.
You need to split your content. There has to be a balance between campaigns that serve your business and campaigns that serve your audience.
There are various ways to share the love with your database. Sending out helpful blog articles (wink wink, nudge nudge) or useful whitepapers is one approach. Rewarding long time subscribers with exclusive content and offers is another. Speaking about your CSR efforts can add a layer of humanity to your brand (as long as you’re completely sincere).
The below campaign by Nordstrom not only thanks customers for a year of their support, but it uses video content that humanizes their employees to make it even more relatable. It’s a side of a company we don’t often see. There’s no attempt whatsoever to promote their products here, and that’s why it works.
Diving right back into what’s important like Scrooge McDuck into his vault of gold, email marketing can definitely make your business a lot of money. The key thing I hope you take away from this is that the amount of profit you generate is going to depend directly on the amount of effort and strategy you’re willing to put into that approach.
Luckily, making money with email is at the core of what TouchBasePro does. Let us help you bring home that bacon, we know you like nice things 😉.