Improve Your Email Marketing Now!
Of all the digital marketing tools, email is the most powerful—so said marketing and sales guru Bob Negen of WhizBang! Training at 2015 Summer NAMM. During his NAMM U session, he pointed out that social media works, but email is still the best way for music retailers to market their businesses. “It gives you the biggest bang for your buck,” Negen said.
He then offered tips and approaches to make the most of your email campaigns. (Watch the video to hear all of Negen’s insights into maximizing your email marketing.)
MAKE EMAIL MARKETING A FOCUS
You own the relationship. With Facebook and YouTube, they own the relationship, even though you build the community. Don’t underestimate the power of email as a way to own customer relationships. People can always unsubscribe from your emails if they don’t want to engage with you.
Action: Take all of your social media audiences, and work hard to turn those followers into subscribers on your email lists. Build your email community.
Your most valuable marketing asset is your lists. Negen shared the story of a retailer whose store burned to the ground. She still had her email lists and was able to send a heartfelt email to her customers. She kept them informed as her plans to open a new store unfolded. By staying in touch through her lists, she turned a tough situation into something special. Customers were able to follow her to the new store, and her business rose from the ashes.
Action: Build your lists, and keep them accessible.
BUILD A LIST
Don’t leave a clipboard on your counter and ask customers to sign up for your emails. Negen recommended that the best way to collect email addresses is to have a loyalty program.
Action: Invite customers to join your loyalty program to build your list.
BUILD AN EMOTIONAL BANK ACCOUNT
Negen used the emotional bank account analogy to illustrate how you own the email-marketing relationship. Once a customer gives you his or her email address, it’s a small balance in your account. You build a positive balance by giving customers what they want.
Email customers information that interests them. Embed a YouTube video in your email, and let them know you have a new video. Recognize that your customers are musicians and people who love music or support music. (“The biggest mistake I see that people make with email marketing is that they don’t know what to talk about,” Negen said.) You can’t just have the Deal of the Day. Your job is to feed that passion for music.
Action: Make your emails all about them. Meet their needs. Every time you do that, it’s a deposit in the emotional bank account.
Earn the right to make a withdrawal. Any time you ask customers for money, it’s a withdrawal.
Have a good subject line. Speak to your customer by telling them something interesting to them, not something about your store. If they don’t open your email, you might as well not have sent it. A good open rate is 25 percent. If you’re getting 30 percent, you’re crushing it.
Make your emails more compelling. There are two ways to do this:
• Don’t write to everyone on your list. Write your email to one person, not a group. Use “dear friend,” “fellow music lover” or “fellow musician.” The feeling and copy should be personal.
• Create an avatar—the typical customer. Write to them the way you would talk with them. Make it conversational and from the heart. It should sound real. Sit down with a tape recorder across from someone and say what you want to say, in a tone that’s natural. Make it positive and of service to them.
CONSIDER EMAIL FREQUENCY
Once a week is the minimum. If you’re not sending emails to your customers once a week, you’re missing opportunities to talk with them. A familiar argument is that you don’t want to pester customers. If you’re sending them interesting, fun and valuable information, you can send them emails more than once a day. Recognize that if you’re sending good content, once a week is not too often at all.
Unsubscribers are OK. You can’t please everyone. “If you’re not getting unsubscribes, you’re not being proactive enough about building the relationship,” Negen said.
USE AN EMAIL SERVICE
Use a service. MailChimp, Constant Contact and Snap are just a few. Your lists are less likely to be compromised if they’re managed by a professional service. These services will also let you segment your lists. It’s worth the cost, around $30 a month.
Up-and-coming platforms for marketing other than email. Twitter and Periscope are supposed to be the next big things for building a tribe. These new social media platforms are free, but you don’t own the relationship. Pick the one that your best customers are on and use that.
TAKE THE TIME
Your time gets chewed up in the day-to-day of running a business. Make email marketing a priority because your relationships with your customers are that important. As you become more skilled at it, email marketing becomes easier and faster. Manage it yourself, barter or trade with someone (maybe a customer), or hire someone. Put it on your list of things you have to do!