You need to do your email marketing backwards. Think what you want to have happen and then write to that goal. You determine the goal first, and then you write to accomplish that goal. In marketing-speak, this is your intended response. Write to your intended response. You need to plan your email marketing backwards.
Think of this as vacation planning
Remember those trips you had the time to take before you decided to become a small business owner? Those are called vacations. And, they are planned. Nobody just goes on vacation. You plan where you want to go and then you prepare accordingly. Suppose you were to go on a ski-vacation. Then you need to pack ski clothes. You prepare for your trip.
How do you start the planning?
First, think through what you want to have happen. What do you want the email readers to do? This answer comes from you and your business strategy. You need to think about your business. Not every business is the same, so I cannot tell you exactly what to do. Here are some examples.
You want them to call you. If you prospect business via the phone, then provide your phone number and ask them to call you.
You want people to go to your website. Provide a link and tell them to click on the link. I suggest that you highlight the link in a shade of blue to make it more prominent.
You want them to refer business. Ask them to refer business to you. Be very specific. Please do not ask for 'more business' because your subscribers may not understand exactly what that means. If you are a real estate professional you might say 'Please pass this message along to your friends who are looking to buy a new home.'
You want people to donate to your charity. Ask them to donate. You can place a link that says 'donate now' and have this go to a donation page of your website. A message like 'support us' could be confusing. That might mean volunteerism to some people instead of donations.
Remember to think backwards. Do not think from your standpoint. Think from the reader's standpoint. If they read your email marketing message do they understand your business and what you want them to do?
Determine a Goal Focused Plan
There is an old adage that says that you can only manage what you can measure. Determine some metrics for your email campaigns and monitor, measure and improve those metrics. You can most effectively do this if you have numeric goals.
Let us say that you manage a college endowment fund. You are executing a capital campaign to raise $200,000 in donations to build a new computer lab. What is your intended response? You want people to donate. So, let us think backwards. You need a plan of frequency, content, and messaging in your messages to get to that goal $200,000.
Suppose you have six months in your capital campaign. You should sketch out a plan and determine what you email campaigns should focus on over those six months. Your intended response of donations is the strategic goal, but 'donate now', 'donate now', 'donate now', might not be the right messaging for weekly or monthly campaigns.
When you attach campaign-specific metrics to this strategic goal you can more effectively monitor it and improve it along the way. For example, the goal of the first campaign might be to get major corporate sponsors. Perhaps you promote a Gold Level Sponsorship category and you ask corporate sponsors to call you about the participation. If your goal is ten calls, and you get twenty, then your messaging was very effective! If only received two calls, this tells you that you need to improve your content for future campaigns.
Pack for your vacation
Just like to need to pack the right things for your vacation, you need to prepare for your campaign. Make sure that your team is aware of promotions. What if your email campaign directs people to a webpage that is down for maintenance? That would be horrible. Make sure that you are prepared for your intended response.
To really be effective in your email marketing, start with the intended end-results and then work forward and do what you need to do to get there.
I encourage you to practice backwards email marketing.
Mark Mikelat can rock you next conference with a great workshop. Click on his video speaker reel http://bit.ly/MarkMikelat_Speaker
Join our email list http://bit.ly/BuildingAspirations_Email_Signup
You can post a new message in the Community or find us on Twitter Mon-Fri 8am-8pm ET, Sat 10am-8pm ET, & Sun 10am-6pm ET. We've got real people waiting to help you out. Click below to start a conversation!