We all try so hard to market our product, across so many channels. Many of the businesses I help are making immensely complicated and exhausting marketing efforts with mixed results.
Most company directors & founders I meet crave clarity, and like us all, results.
What if there was only one channel that you concentrated on? What if that channel was the one tool that grew your entire business? Your business would be simpler. You wouldn't need to keep on paying for expertise in varying channels. Your budgets may even drop. You'd be experts in one channel, constantly iterating until your ROI was really jolly excellent.
If your brand has the ability to entertain and inform (which I'd argue any brand can, to varying degrees of success), then that channel is almost certainly going to be email.
In 2016 I took a step back from the intensity of my own company's marketing efforts and looked at everything we did with detachment. I realised that email wasn't just our best performing channel, it had the potential to become our key growth strategy.
Email was where our best traffic and conversion came from. We were already great at creating content and talking to, and with our customers, we had been doing it since Day One, so we had the tools to make it work.
I changed Vulpine into an email marketing based company, and we grew revenue 149% within 10 months, reducing spend as we went.
We were good at this because we respected our customer's time and effort, and repaid it by giving them emails they enjoyed clicking through on.
When a person subscribes to your email, you have received a wonderful compliment. They made an effort....In this day and age of instant choice and time starved folk, filling a simple form is an effort, versus a click away. They are telling you they want to know more.
The simplistic way to market via email are sales messages. These are valid, as after all your customer is interested in buying products. But in a digital ecosystem, your customer or potential customer expects more.
You need variety. Or they'll ignore it at best, or unsubscribe and lose faith in the brand, at worst.
Boredom doesn't sell anything.
At Vulpine we did lots of simple A - B testing, and discovered that we got the best open rate and click through rates (Open and CTR are KPIs you should obsess about) when we sent a blog or 'feature' email on a Sunday evening and a sales email on a Thursday, usually before work.
Then we had to create interesting content and beautifully designed emails twice a week. Between us, we created a stream of varied and engaging CONTENT*.
Collaborations. Travel guides. Photo-stories. Opinion pieces. Films. Technical guides. Recommendations. Interviews. Rides. Outfits.....*
*EEK, buzzword. This stuff is Content Marketing. It has become one of those much maligned marketing BS buzzterms. It's incredibly effective, if you do it right.
We ensured the images were beautiful, and again, varied. That each image said what it should about the brand.
We bound this together with great graphic design.
Then, we kept standards high, kept testing and iterating, kept listening. And got better and better at it. CTR and conversion went up. We had created a better company. It worked.*
*The marketing worked, but ultimately didn't save us. I had to put the company I founded into administration in May this year. We were growing super fast and I thought we had an awesome future, but when you grow that fast it creates it's own risks, namely cashflow for stock, which is a future blog. It'll be hard to write. Losing a company so suddenly, especially when you're doing well, is a painful and shocking event for anyone, as you'd expect. Deep breath. Caveat over...back to the blog.
When I talk this through with clients, creating content and facilitating an email campaign is pretty intimidating. I have to remember that this is something I love, and feel comfortable in.
If possible, if you're a small company, make sure you have someone who can create Brand Marketing and has an affinity with customers. If not, there are consultants and freelancers who can do this, at a lower cost, and outlay, than a full time member of staff.
If you're a larger business, you need dedicated personnel who can create email/content marketing. The results can be extraordinary.
There is a great deal more to this subject. How do you get these emails? How do you get the 'right' emails? Lots more...
Handily, having created all these images, blogs, features, lookbooks, etc, you now have almost all the tools you need to do all your other Brand Marketing. Now you can cover Instagram, Facebook, SEO, Twitter, etc, without spending another penny.
PLUG: I can show you how to do this cheaply and efficiently. Heh, email may not be right for you. Let's find out. It's a relief to find out what you're best at, and to have a simple plan. PLUG ENDS.
Don't just send emails that SELL. Respect your subscriber. Persuade them the right way, and they will return your efforts with recommendation, repeat purchasing, high value purchases and ultimately growth & profitability. Lots of the good stuff.