It’s chaos in the digital marketplace right now.
Black Friday, Cyber Week, and now the last push until Christmas. If you poke your head above the parapet you’ll be met by a virtual bombardment of sales messages, last minute bargains, not-to-be-missed offers and brands big and small screaming: ‘Buy! Buy! Buy!” at the top of their lungs.
It’s overwhelming, it’s exhausting, and, frankly, we can all do better and 2020 has given us a great lesson in how we can do it.
Government enforced lockdowns have seen many businesses having to shut their doors. For the likes of shops, gyms, restaurants, and hotels, it’s been the catalyst for them to evolve their messaging and to focus on adding value to their customers through their email marketing campaigns.
When you can’t push a sale - and aren’t driven by the need to constantly be selling - your messaging has to evolve. Gyms started sending out home workout ideas, restaurants sent out recipes to cook at home, and hotels gave their subscribers tips for ‘at-home’ spa days.
The best thing about this is - when you focus on serving the needs of the customers, enriching their lives through your content, and giving them value - you’re tapping into their emotions and you’re laying the groundwork for them becoming loyal customers and giving you repeat business. The irony is by not selling, you’ll end up driving more revenue in the long term.
Of course sales messages have their place and still work exceptionally well but, if you want to play the long game and win, here’s the best ways to add value to your email marketing campaigns:
1. Build relationships
To build great relationships with your customers, you need to understand them and then target your messaging accordingly. Based on the data you have about them, their preferences, and behaviours, you can then send segmented email marketing campaigns that speak directly to them and are far more relevant than a generic message.
Let’s use a hotel as an example. They have a customer who stays with them every year and on each visit enjoys a day at the spa. Instead of trying to sell them a gift voucher they can redeem in 2021 when (hopefully) hospitality is open, they could send a campaign with the subject line: “Your favourite relaxation spot is waiting for you…” and the content would then include a picture of the spa with a simple a message about looking forward to seeing them in the new year. As a secondary message, the campaign could include a booking link, a gift voucher, or links to buy spa products. By leading with a personal message to the customer, the hotel strengthens the relationship and stands out from the crowd of generic sales messages currently hitting inboxes up and down the land.
2. Spark the imagination
Good email content should educate and entertain. It should spark the imagination. A great marketing email has the power to make someone’s day. You can make them smile, make them think, inspire them, and teach them something they didn’t know before.
Sustainable clothing brand Patagonia bucked the Black Friday trend with an email campaign that had the subject line: “Buy less. Demand more.” Inside they challenged their subscribers to change the world through their shopping habits. It was thought provoking, educational, and powerful. Their values and beliefs sing through their marketing and the result is a much stronger brand with fiercely loyal customers.
3. Show you care
It’s been a tough year and many people are crying for empathy, emotion, understanding, and a virtual arm around their shoulders. Can you give them that? Can you be kind? Can you be the ray of light in the gloom? If you can, you’ll be remembered. You’ll be remembered for caring for your customers, looking after them, and not simply being out for yourself.
If you’re struggling to think of ways you can add value, great place to start is by trying to answer these questions:
- How can you be a force for good in the world?
- How can you touch people’s hearts and engage their minds?
- Do you act as a guide for your customers on their journey? And if you don’t, how can you do it?
- How can you better understand your customers, their wants and their needs?
Every business has a story to tell. Don’t settle for ordinary and make sure yours is one that inspires, entertains, engages, and captures that little bit of magic.
Your challenge is to find the heart underneath the way you communicate and tap into your customers’ feelings and emotions. Have the courage to do things differently and veer away from the crowd. Do this and success will surely follow.
If you want more ideas on how to do more with your email marketing and give more value for your customers we’d love to help you. You can get in touch with us here.