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We Help Small & Medium Businesses Develop Effective E-Mail Marketing Strategies
E-Mail marketing can be a useful tactic for many businesses. But how do you know if it’s the best way to create new customers?
The Difference Between Inbound Vs Outbound E-Mail
There are two primary ways to think of e-mail marketing, strategically. The first strategy can be referred to as inbound e-mail. This is when someone gives you their e-mail address with the expectation that you may use it to communicate with them on an ongoing basis. What you do with that e-mail address as your “inbound strategy.” This often involves additional concepts like marketing automation to assist in the execution. The second strategy can be referred to as outbound e-mail. This is when you send e-mails, via a 3rd-party platform, outbound to people who meet certain targeting criteria you’ve developed. We talk about targeting criteria more later on this page.
Key Considerations for Inbound E-Mail Marketing
People don’t give you their e-mail addresses unless they have some ongoing interest in your business and your brand. Maybe they’ll buy soon. Maybe they’ve already bought and they’ll buy again. Maybe they’ll buy much further down the line. We commonly employ a tactic called marketing automation to help design and manage e-mail relationships with customers and prospects. It allows us to:
- Tag Every E-Mail So We Can Sort Them
- Set Conditions – What E-Mails Will Be Sent When, To Whom
- Make Useful Rules That Help Avoid Over-E-Mailing
- Design Different E-Mail Messages for Each Condition
- Send Those E-Mails Automatically
- Track the Effectiveness of Those E-Mails
- Report Results for Analysis & Optimization
E-Mail marketing can be a useful tool to maintain and build the relationship with a prospect and/or a customer so that you maximize the sales potential of that relationship. We like to think of it as a “users guide” to how customers can get the most benefit from a relationship with your business.
Key Considerations for Outbound E-Mail Marketing
Once you’ve defined your customer targets, there is a reliable way to send permissioned outbound e-mail messages to those target groups (whether they are B2C or B2B) based on a lot of different criteria.
Common B2C criteria:
- Gender / Age / Income
- Home Value / Automobile Registrations
- Marital Status / Children / Pets
- Known Hobbies / Purchasing Behavior
If you’re confused about e-mail marketing or you’re just wondering if it can help you grow your business, we are happy to offer some insight. We offer a free initial marketing consultation. By helping us understand how you want to grow your business, we can help you decide if e-mail marketing is right for you.
How To Best Leverage E-Mail Marketing to Grow Your Business
E-Mail marketing often fits well into your basic marketing strategy. It all begins with our formula:
TARGETING + MESSAGING = REACH = RESULTS
By following this simple road map to design, execute, and evaluate campaigns we can know our return on investment (ROI).
Make Sure You Can Track Any E-Mails You Send
We typically accomplish this with two primary tactics: (1) Pixel tracking, and (2) UTM or other tagging. Most of the e-mail platforms we use have tracking capabilities built-in. When tracking pixels aren’t available, we use a tagging process that communicates with Google Analytics to achieve the same goal.
Use Layers of Targeting to Avoid Waste & Make Your Ads More Relevant to the People Who See Them
Begin with the end in mind. We often layer multiple targeting methods for best results. For example, we often use questions like these to determine targeting layers:
Q: Are there locations visited that indicate someone is a potential customer?
A: This often includes places like competitor showrooms, restaurants similar to yours, nearby hotels, or even certain office buildings (location behavior can often be tracked to specific floors of high rises). We commonly use location behavior as an indicator for targeting.
Q: Is there past search behavior that indicates someone is “in market” for your product or service?
A: It’s common for people to begin a purchase with an on-line search. Being able to target your ads based on keywords and phrases can be helpful. We commonly use recent search behavior as an indicator for targeting.
Q: Is there past purchase behavior that indicates someone is a good prospect for your product or service?
A: This often is represented by categories. For example, if someone has purchased pet products in the past, it’s a strong indicator they have pets in the household. We commonly use past purchasing behavior as an indicator for targeting.
Q: Are past customers, and/or past visitors to the website important prospects for the future?
A: Whenever someone visits your website and doesn’t become an actionable lead (or make a purchase), that may be a strong indicator that they are “in market,” but not yet ready to make a buying decision. This is called re-targeting.
Q: How specific is the customer persona? Age? Gender? Location? Income? Home? Car?
A: For example, let’s say your best customer prospects are women 35-64 in a series of high-end zip codes who drive luxury import cars, are in the top 20% of household incomes, and live in homes valued at over $900,000. That target can be built quite easily.
These various qualifiers can be layered on top of each other to narrow in on your best prospects. And once you build the universe of your best prospects, you can then use e-mail marketing platforms to develop the universe of e-mail contacts that meet your criteria.
Context is Meaningful to the Outcomes
Reach, simply because it’s available, doesn’t always translate to success. In our experience, reaching the right people with the right message has to happen in the right context — the correct time and place that allows your potential customer to engage. Ads that reach prospects when they can’t respond won’t get the desired levels of engagement. So e-mail can often be a great way to narrow in on the right people, and communicate your advertising message to them in a way they can absorb on their terms, and at the time that makes the most sense for them. Roughly 40% of our clients use e-mail marketing as a component of their overall marketing strategies. Our unique Bullseye Marketing Method is designed to track the context where our best engagement comes, and make adjustments to the campaign to focus on the most successful days, times, and other aspects of context that prove to be important for success. Both outbound and inbound e-mail strategies fit right into our method. When properly organized, you can deploy test campaigns on our e-mail marketing platform and track the results to know which combinations of messaging and platform gets the best results.
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