When it comes to email marketing, there are several formats of emails that can be syndicated to your database. Hopefully, by this time you have kept a substantial list of opt-in email addresses from either past customers or subscribers of some sort. Some of the formats advertisers send out are newsletters, information articles and tutorials, product updates and sales promotions, direct messages, or combinations of these together.
What advertisers should send to their client base or to prospects is something they will receive value from. As we discuss particular email types, we will also discuss the different value propositions of each. Value can come in several different forms. Perhaps the biggest trick is knowing your customers well enough to understand what they will value. And what they really need to perceive as value is your relationship to them. Here are the different email formats.
Newsletters- Newsletters are a great way to keep customers and prospects abreast on current events that might interest them. At best, the news you insert into these will have some significant effect on their business or life somehow. Minimally, it should be something they can relate to.
There are several ways to find news. We look in our industry forums and news sites to find things. Also, Google does a good job of keeping the relevant news in your reader for when you’re ready to read it. When you finally do find the right news, you’ll get more from your recipients if you rewrite it and have it relate more to their situation. If you don’t rewrite it, make sure the original author is getting full credit for their work.
Information Articles and Tutorials- These are syndications that offer some form of relative knowledge to your customers and prospects. This is one of our favorites because it allows us to really raise the bar and offer a value proposition to you guys without any commitment from you. Another reason why this is so great is because we can establish credibility as an authority in our field of internet marketing. Rightly so, we’ve been doing it long enough. You can always be a “know it all” in your field of expertise and people will read it, learn from it, and appreciate you for it even if it didn’t help all that much.
Specifically what you should talk about is a much deeper question. Whoever wrote this quote, please take the full for this (since I have forgotten who said it) but I once heard this saying, “If you want to sell shovels, write about how to dig a hole.” And that is exactly what you want to do.
If you sell refrigerators, talk about the beneficial differences from meat stored in the bottom shelf of a freezer vs. the top where the vent is. Offer a few recipes for Jell-O. If you sell tax services, tell people how they can get a little tax savings by deferring some payments into an insurance policy. You don’t sell the policies. You just do their taxes. It’s a great conversation piece which will lead to you educating them which will lead to them trusting you more.
In case you were wondering what not to do. Don’t make the main focus of your email to talk about how great or beneficial your product is. The last thing someone wants to get (unless of course they requested it) is a bunch of longwinded paragraphs about why they should buy your service or product. Although there could be some value there, we are trying to give a higher “perceived” value. If the idea to buy from you is theirs, there will be less pressure and they will be more likely to call and ask great buying questions.
Product Updates and Sales Promotions- Now there are other email types that would be better suited for this product or service benefit push. That’s a distinctive product update or sales promotions. Here the value is in the update or the price promotion you are offering. Because the email is totally related to specific products, it’s okay to bullet-point key selling features or discuss a little about your company. Keep it light and fun. These types of emails do great when they have colorful graphics to go with them. You can download a ton of email templates from the internet for relatively cheap. We have some too that we can dig up and post for free soon. We’ll update you when those are all available.
Direct Messages-This is the most sacred of all the types because it comes from you. These should always be from the heart and specifically directed to someone in particular. If you don’t have the person’s name of the email address then do the best you can and begin with, “Hi.”
Keep these emails short and to the point. Maybe direct people to longer articles or things you have posted on a blog that they might get value from. This is a personal message to your customer or prospect so make sure this communication channel isn’t abused. It should be treated as a privilege. It’s okay to let them know you’re around to help but also make the content of this valuable.
“Hey Jim was thinking about a conversation we had a few weeks ago when I came across this article and thought you could benefit from it. Tell me what you think of it and let me know if you still need help with your taxes. Truly yours, Peter”
Keyword Search sends out all of these email formats. In part 1 of this set we talked about how often and when to send them. Remember, the best thing you can do is first understand what your prospects and customers need, then do what you can to increase their perceived value of your relationship. Be patient and always be honest. Speak from the heart. Everything else will follow.