Is it me, or can nearly everything be neatly packaged in sets of three? Sun, Moon, Stars. Red, Blue, Yellow. Earth, Wind, Fire. Mother, Father, Baby. Republican, Democrat, Tolerable. Etc.
Using that logic, there are three types email marketing programs that your company can develop, manage and measure. Here I will explain each program and provide real world examples in three different industries (just to go along with the “3” theme). Depending upon the level of complexity of your email marketing tool, you may be able to execute upon all three of these program types or maybe just the most basic.
Email marketing tracks are comprised of a short series of messages that are typically initiated by the recipient. This series of email sends is delivered on a consistent basis, whether it be daily, weekly, monthly. When some one provides email contact information initially, a track of messages can be queued that leads the individual closer and closer to the desired action with each message. Tracks work particularly well with big ticket items that usually require a long sales cycle (think boats, cars for B2C and large software packages or office space with B2B). The beauty of email marketing tracks is that they are typically automated. You develop messaging and creative one time, and messages are sent automagically when the individual customer takes the first step. With each message, you should include a clear call to action and try to garner additional information about the individual in some cases to learn more about specific interests and motivations. This data can be gleaned by monitoring click behavior or simply asking for information via surveys.
Here are some industry examples…
Message 1: Thank you for your interest in our criminal justice program. Here is some additional information about pre-requisites, enrollment dates and class fees. Contact us for further detail.
Message 2: We appreciate your desire to pursue your degree. Here’s what others who have enrolled and graduated from the program have said about their experience. Enroll today.
Message 3: We invite you to attend our event/webinar on [date] to learn more about our criminal justice degree program. Act now as classes are filling up and the final enrollment date approaches.
Message 1: Your interest in our community is much appreciated. Here is some more detail on amenities and surroundings. Please tell us more about the type of home and features in which you are interested. [include short survey]
Message 2: Based on the information you provided, we feel that our community could be ideal. We have listed details for three homes currently available. View floorplan, spec and features info. Call us today to schedule a tour.
Message 3: We’re proud to announce that three more homes have sold in the past week. The following homes that match your interests are still available. Plan a visit today and we’ll provide $1,000 toward moving costs upon closing.
Message 1: Congratulations on beginning your 30-day trial of our web conferencing software. We realize there are many options in the market, but we feel our customized solution will best suit your needs. Tell us more about the features you are looking for- [survey link].
Message 2: Thank you for feedback and information. We are holding an online conference tomorrow to cover the features that interest you as well as some new and planned features set for our next release. Please attend to learn more.
Message 3: Your free trial is set to expire soon. Purchase an annual license now and save on the standard monthly fees.
If the light turns green, then apply the gas. If your team scores, then cheer and clap. If she tends to nag, then you invest in earplugs. That’s essentially what triggers are: simple if/then statements. Similar to tracks, triggers are automated to deliver value to email recipients at exactly the right time. Triggers work well for businesses that require important customer deadlines, offer subscriptions and provide online shopping.
Here are some examples…
Triggered Message: Our records indicate that your subscription is set to expire next month. Renew now and recieve this free hiking guide.
Online Jewelry Merchant
Triggered Message: We noticed you purchased the garnet earrings last year. Would you like the garnet bracelet to complement your previous gift?
Brick & Mortar Book Store
Triggered Message: Thank you for visiting our store last week. We hope you enjoy your recent purchase. Here are some other books by the author you might like. Here’s a coupon for your next visit.
Email campaigns can be categorized as a series of ongoing messages in which the sender consistently provides value to the recipient. Often times these take the form of “eNewsletters” or weekly/monthly announcements. The most crucial element of campaigns is to offer up something with every customer touch-point that they will cherish. Creating an email testing plan should go hand in hand with developing and managing a campaign. While tracks and triggers are sometimes too sophisticated for your basic email tools, campaigns can be handled by all.
Here are some examples…
Sample Message: Meet the cast of our new show.
Sample Message: Pre-sale tickets available now for “Damn Yankees!”
Sample Message: Planning our fall performances. Give your input.
Car Oil Service
Sample Message: A Coupon for your next visit.
Sample Message: Beyond the Oil – 7 routine car maintenance tips
Sample Message: Complimentary tire pressure gauge with oil change – this month only
Garden & Nursery
Sample Message: Spring and Summer planting tips
Sample Message: Rose workshop this weekend – Learn to plant, prune and care for your roses
Sample Message: Exclusive Email Club Offer: 25% off all shade trees
Given what you now know about tracks, triggers and campaigns, how do you see your company utilizing each?