Email Marketing, Email Marketing Strategy

How will your email marketing strategy add value for the reader?.

What’s in it for me? (WIIFM)

To be realistic (and I suppose a little pessimistic), truth be told we live in a WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?) society.

Before a person buys something or does anything, they’ll subconsciously ask themselves this question, in one way or another.

A person might be buying a product/service, doing something charitable, going out with friends or playing a sport. Whatever it is they’re doing, in the end they get something out of it.

Of course what they take away might not be financial or even material. On one hand it could be that they now have the latest gadget to keep them entertained. On the other, perhaps it’s just a feeling of satisfaction, knowing that they’ve helped somebody out.

What does this mean for my email marketing strategy?

So. Before you start considering the mechanics of email marketing, first consider the WIIFM mindset – and being brutally honest with yourself, answer this question:

What do your subscribers get out of it?

The answer shouldn’t be deep and meaningful – if it is then you’re possibly trying to hard to justify what you’re doing.

It might be, “My email marketing adds value by:”

  • Educating my prospects/customers about my products/services
  • Letting my customers know about special offers/sales
  • Making sure my customers know it’s time for their next appointment
  • Providing a few minutes entertainment on a Friday afternoon

These are all great, legitimate reasons – and if done right will no doubt create some value for your readers.

But – whatever the answer – take your marketing hat off for just a moment and step into the shoes of your average reader. Ask yourself:

“knowing my customers and knowing what my emails are all about, am I actually going to take 2 minutes out of my busy day to read this?”

The answer might be a resounding “yes” – awesome.

It might also be something like “well, if I was this type of customer then definitely – but if I was in this group then perhaps not. Or maybe they would rather hear about <something else>.”

Your time spent on enhancing your strategy will be well rewarded

Having been in your shoes, I know now what you’re probably thinking …

“But that means doing several newsletters and creating different lists and more design work and I don’t have the resource etc etc…”

All true.

So my advice here would be to either look at how you could better resource the situation (and of course this is where we can help), or scale it back and just do what you have the resource to make happen.

From experience, you’ll see much better engagement from running smaller, targeted campaigns than sending generic email newsletters to your entire database.

So, the moral of the story?

During the 3-4 seconds a person considers whether or not to read your email, they’ll be asking “ok – what do I get out of this?”.

So, to help answer that question for your readers:
  • Carefully consider the different ways you can add value
  • Make sure you’re being relevant
  • Consider your different customer groups, and tailor content to suit

Don’t “do” email marketing just because. Do it because your customer will benefit, and ultimately so will you.