A significant element of email marketing is relationship. Does a recipient trust you? Does a recipient even know who you are? When an email jumps the gun by forcing familiarity too soon, the personalization comes across as skeevy. Intimacy is earned in real life, and it would appear to be the same way with email. Take this example from my inbox; no one has called me lowercase kevan l lee in years.
Remember, data collection is a two-way street. People won't give you their data for anything. So, think about how you are managing your subscribers' expectations. How clear is it to new recipient what they are going to be receiving from you? Try and get a good a feel for the experience of the person receiving your data collection methods as you can at this point.
Minimal risk: Some top marketers expect to burn through $10,000 of advertising budget before even knowing if they can make a campaign profitable. (Nope, that’s not an exaggeration. But I’d usually aim for a few hundred dollars—not thousands.) With email marketing, the costs are much, much lower. A simple email marketing software like AWeber is very affordable even if your business isn’t a huge success, yet. And even if you go with something advanced like Infusionsoft, you’re still far away from the kinds of investments many other marketing tactics require. Sure, email marketing and advertising aren’t directly comparable (advertising is mainly used to reach new prospects). But you get the point.
Surprise: Customer loyalty is the key to success. And you can reward your loyal customers by giving them something for free every now and then. Create a “surprise” email that sends an automated email to your best customers that offers a free yearly license to your software for them to use, a gift card or even a coupon code to redeem a box of cupcakes. It’s a small cost for your business but, the reward is huge!
Every week, the folks at InVision send a roundup of their best blog content, their favorite design links from the week, and a new opportunity to win a free t-shirt. (Seriously. They give away a new design every week.) They also sometimes have fun survey questions where they crowdsource for their blog. This week's, for example, asked subscribers what they would do if the internet didn't exist.
Win-back: An existing customer is soon approaching the end of his yearly subscription. The customer hasn’t used your product in 3 months and you need a way to win them back and keep them for another year. Create a “win back” email that sends an automated email to all customers that are coming to end of their contract with a list of new product features and a short plan on expected releases in the next six months.
This kind of initial research and analysis is incredibly important. If you include anything which you haven’t subjected to research, analysis, insights, experience, and expert opinion, it simply won’t fly. This is important. Everything these days has to be tailored very specifically to your brand and your personal customer experience. Your competitor might have an amazingly successful marketing strategy (and it's good to learn things from what they're doing!), but that doesn’t mean that the same kind of thing would be as successful for your brand.
Location: Businesses that offer local service, such as a lawn service company, obviously need to target local customers, but regional, national, and global companies can also benefit from location-based personalization. Consider running special campaigns for customers in a specified location based on regional events or what’s happening at your local office.
The success of daily deal email illustrates this. Customers gain value from a ‘daily deal' email and will come to anticipate the email in their inbox every morning. Tagging links in ‘daily deal’ emails will tell you a lot about the journeys within a given customer profile, as well as about preferences and behaviours. The ultimate sell is not important – what you are doing with ‘daily deal' (or ‘weekly tips') email content is building a relationship with your customers and learning more about how journeys within your brand work. All this information is important and can be put to use on later campaigns.
When you share your opinions, avoid dipping into politics, religion, sexuality, and other topics where many people have almost fundamentalist views. If, however, you know that most of your audience shares your opinion on a topic that’s important to them, you can instantly seem more trustworthy by pointing it out because people trust people who are similar to them.
The transition email – Remember, every potential customer is currently using something else to do what your product could do for them, and the act of switching from that process to using your product is a barrier you need to overcome. This email should focus on outlining a simple and easy process for making the switch from their existing solution to using your product to solve their problem.