Do you have an email strategy?


While I am getting ready for today's SDIBP meeting I thought I should finally do a recap on the meeting we had last month about forming an email strategy for your business. As you can see from the picture, we didn't exactly pack the place - in fact there was just me and Austin Beals. You know what though - I asked that he give his presentation anyway and it was excellent - I learned a great deal even though I thought I already knew most of what I need to know about email.

I have a few theories as to why so few people showed last month - our meeting attendance goes on wild swings from more than 20 - which is at the limits of the venue, to fewer than a half dozen, and it never seems to have that much to do about how I market and get the word out. For now, however, I want to mention on a few things I learned during this meeting even though I can't even begin to do it justice, because it really was an excellent presentation.

  • Did you know, for example, that when you post on social media like Facebook typically only one percent of your followers will even see your post - unless you pay for it. This is called "organic reach" and I knew it was bad, but I didn't know it was that bad - that means that if you have 500 "friends" on Facebook only five or so will even see your posts while if you send to a well managed email list it can be over 50 percent. I knew it was bad, but I didn't know it was that bad. For a number of reasons I have "fallen out of love" with Facebook but that makes me wonder why people even bother with that site at all. Email, on the other hand, can be highly "targeted" and has one of the highest ROI's (return on investment) of any kind of online marketing.
  • Having some kind of mailing list is important and special attention should be paid to "nurturing" prospects and the welcoming / on-boarding process. He discussed the importance of understanding the "emotional journey" your prospective customers must take before they decide to do business with you.
  • Austin also discussed how important email is for keeping up with existing customers and prospects because often people lose customers simply because they "feel neglected" and you lost touch with them. He mentioned, for example, that it costs six to seven times more to acquire a new customer than to get business from an existing customer. Campaigns should always be "customer-centric" where the customer instead of focused purely on what you are offering.
  • He mentioned how important it is to "segment" you audience and "personalize" your email messages. The subject line is especially important and you should "promise something" to make sure they open it. There should be at most three features or benefits discussed in your message - you don't want to overwhelm them, and never be afraid of "unsubscribers".
  • Telling a story is an important part of your brand building, and the well known "hero's journey" is a good place to start, with the customer being the "hero" of the story. Don't ever forget to tell them "what is in it for them".

Like I said, it was a great presentation and I can't begin to do it justice - that is why you should try to make these meetings if you can. Feel free to use this thread to post your ideas or questions about email. Austin is on this list so perhaps he can weigh in as well.

Meanwhile, our next meeting is just a few hours away, and the rain is not giving much encouragement about the turnout, but try to swing by Charlie's Best Bread at 1:30 PM today if you are available. This month's presentation will be given by member Wendy Kitts, a professional writer and author on the topic of: "How to Stand Out in a Noisy World by Writing and Sharing Content". It should be a good meeting and I hope there are more people than me and Wendy this time, but if not I plan to learn as much as I can anyway. As I have said before, when we get a big turnout we can have better networking, but when we have a small turnout we can "go deep" with a discussion with fewer people - so either way we win.

Regardless of what happens today, this group will keep going and I have lots of plans I want to share with the group - some at today's meeting and some over the next few weeks on this list. Don't be afraid of the rain though - come out and join us if you can.


P.S. Austin, that really was an nice presentation and I may want to have a "do over" sometime in the future. In the mean time you are always welcome to join us at any of our meetings.  

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