- I hate spam. I never read any email from anyone I don’t know
- It doesn’t work – I’ve tried and failed
- Email is dead anyway, numbers using email are declining. Social Media is the way forward
- No one read our marketing emails that we’ve spent a fortune having designed
And on the other hand comments like these appeared:
- Email is a great channel to find new customers
- We mainly use email to retain clients
- Our email strategy gives the highest ROI of any of our marketing
So what’s going on? How can a relatively homogenous group have such different views on the effectiveness of email as a promotions and sales channel?
I believe the difference is between those that see email as a broadcast medium and those that seek to engage contacts by sharing knowledge and advice. To differentiate the two, I have coined the phrase email selling to describe this second activity.
The difference is stark:
|Email Marketing||Email Selling|
|Designed emails with lots of HTML and pictures||Plain emails, often short with limited or no design|
|Content talks about the sender “we’re great”, “we’ve got lots of clients”, “look at our services”, etc…||The content is focussed on the recipient: Useful knowledge; valuable advice and relevant stories|
|Everyone gets the same message||Recipients are segmented and receive different messages and customised content intended to be directly relevant to them.|
|Messages often originate from the marketing department||Messages are usually created with the involvement of sales department or other line of business users|
|Focus is on propagating brand and being “on message”||Focus is on giving great value to the recipients|
|Fire & forget||Regular engagement with further email or telephone follow up around the topic the recipient engaged with|
|Campaigns don’t evolve based on user behaviour||New messages are created and targeted based on engagement with past content|
|ROI difficult to measure||Known ROI based on a regular stream of new leads and closed sales|
So next time you are thinking about your email strategy think email selling over email marketing.