What does your current email marketing performance look like? Analyse the performance of key metrics such as Open Rate, Click-through-Rate (CTR), Deliverability Rate, Unsubscribe Rate, ROI. What is working well and what isn’t. This can also be internally focused – for example, maybe it is taking a long time to create email content, or the creation process is inefficient.
Do people who share your view see you as more relatable or trustworthy because of your opinion? Not all opinions or even values make much of a (positive) difference. For example, I could point out that I think people should be treated as equals regardless of their gender or sexuality. Most people who agree with that don’t think much about it. It’s such an obvious thing to them. So, telling that doesn’t make much of a difference to people who agree with me. However, many people who disagree with that might think I’m crazy.
Now, work out the kinds of email communications which are appropriate and manageable for your brand. Newsletters? Generalised product promotions? Targeted product promotions? Order confirmation emails? Product reminders? All or a combination of the above? Work out what’s appropriate for you, and work out what’s appropriate for your personified customers, at each stage of their journey.
Are you willing to alienate people who disagree with your opinion? Sure, not everyone who disagrees with you will unsubscribe. But if you can’t take the risk of alienating a large portion of them, it’s better to avoid the topic. The only exception are friendly disagreements. For example, it can be a good idea to show your support for a specific sport team, even if you know many in your audience like another team. As long as they don’t take the sport very seriously, it can be just a fun thing to talk about. I could, for example, tell that I’m more of a dog person (we have two dogs) than a cat person. I have nothing against cats, but I like walking with dogs. I doubt almost any cat person will hold that against me.
One of the great things email has going for it is that it can adapt on a dime and turn on a penny, meaning that it has the potential always to be relevant and timely. This is very different from social media posts, which are less intensively targeted, less time-focused, and work on more of a broadcast basis. The capacity to intensively segment, target, and stream your email marketing also helps you to narrow your analysis to certain points. By doing this, you can learn a lot about your brand, your customers, and your marketing profile in general.
For example, you may analyse the journeys on your website and identify that people who visit a page is more likely to purchase than those who do not visit that page. With behavioural data pointing towards the potential for this page, it would be worth testing whether offering a bespoke content message or discount offer to users when they arrive at that page drives conversions. It could be that your customers have left items in their baskets and not completed their purchase, like this example here from Nordstrom:
S • Segment. Market research and data analysis heavily inform this first step. You can also use marketing personas and the like to help. Your primary aim with this step is to identify differing customer needs according to relevant markers (e.g. demographic, behaviour, occupation, interests...). You then divide your market into ‘segments’ according to these needs.
Effective email marketing campaigns are designed for all devices on which users can read their emails -- desktop, tablet, and smartphone. Email campaigns that are designed for mobile devices are especially important -- a quality known as "responsive design." In fact, 73% of companies today prioritize mobile device optimization when creating email marketing campaigns.
The ideal type of opinion (unrelated to your expertise) is one that doesn’t offend anyone, but makes some people relate to you more. For example, I’m a vegetarian. I used to protest whenever there wasn’t a big piece of meat on my plate. But when I tried eating just veggies for a couple of months, I realized I felt a lot more energetic. Sure, it’s more ecological. And often animals are treated cruelly. But those aren’t the things I emphasize if someone asks why I’m a vegetarian. No one in their right mind has a strong negative reaction to someone eating food that makes them feel energetic, right? But for some vegetarians it’s a very meaningful choice, so it might have a positive impact on those people. That said, I highly doubt that my choice of diet have any direct impact on my sales.
Technology has a significant impact on consumers’ expectations, and those expectations impact how subscribers engage with your email marketing. Brands need to continually demonstrate that they know their customer, which can make it a challenge to stay on top of the evolving context of marketing. An email strategy can make all the difference between building a relationship with your customers and sinking without trace.