Email marketing is all about sending the right message to the right people at the right time. So, the question begging to be answered is – how? Messaging and timing will be addressed in articles still to come, but this one is all about the reader –your audience – customers and potential customers.
Why should you investigate your audience? Because you can reach more people without extra cost. If you’re already sending newsletters, increasing the number of people reading about you can only increase your brand reach, potentially increase sales as well as attract the type of customers you enjoy (and they you).
Who doesn’t want an audience who loves what you have to say? Who brags about you? And introduces you to new customers?
Of course, it’s not just the numbers, you need to get to know the people behind them. “Numbers only matter because people count.” Numbers give you the thumbs up or down with your newsletters.
When you experiment with content, you can find out what your readers enjoy. If all your information is sales driven, then you’ll constantly attract those looking for a bargain. We’ve done newsletters that are entirely technical/educational and ones that only tell personal stories/journeys. They each had great results because the company who sent it and the readers who read it are different.
There isn’t one rule for all audiences and by creating a mix to cover all bases doesn’t always work either. Get to know your audience. Who connects or aligns with your brand – and therefore purpose and values?
Look at what they click on, make notes on the types of content that is clicked on the most – you’ll likely discover a pattern. For one client we had completely technical content and it would get the highest open and click rates. Then when we noticed those numbers going down, we inserted a human-interest story, and those numbers knocked the record out of the park. We learned that we needed to keep checking in with our audience.
Do some A/B testing. For those I heard ask – what’s that… A/B testing is when you send out two versions of the same newsletter with differences – it might be in the headings, imagery, or subject line. A small percentage of your newsletter will be split, some sent to group A and some sent to group B. After a period, whichever group returns the most favourable data (opens and clicks), the rest of the database will be sent that version. It’s a great way to discover more about your database. Swearing or proper English? Graphic imagery or standard photos? Short and sweet or detailed?
Social media has a big influence on our lives. What often happens is people will find purchase inspiration from their social media channels. So, paying attention to what your audience engages with on social media, will help you find topics they really enjoy. And it goes both ways. Post the individual articles from your newsletter on social as well – this will add to the notes about what your audience enjoys.
This one comes under KISS (an acronym for keep it simple stupid). Ask them. Ask your audience what they want to read. Like duh, that seems a little obvious – but it really is the best way to learn. Pick and choose who you ask – the clients who rave about you, pay you on time, fit the profile of the clients you want… create a list and then ask them.
In summation, to get to know your audience and attract the audience you want – experiment. Discover what works, keep doing that and then check in occasionally.
Next month we’ll be talking about how to organise your content topics for best results, explaining some marketing jargon called Pillars and Clusters.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. Happy to help.