It’s definitely an expression we’ve heard several times over the last few years. And still, here we are in 2021, and email keeps bringing in as strong sales as ever before — that is, if you know what you’re doing.
Why is that? With all the hype over new channels, why is decades-old technology still one of the most effective marketing strategies?
Despite the rise of social, people use email more than other platforms. After all, what’s the good of marketing to someone if they’re not there?
1. Nurturing Campaigns
They say people don’t like to be sold, but they love to buy. This is exactly what a nurturing campaign aims to take advantage of through a long, sometimes tedious, process of conversations.
And yes, I just said conversations because that’s how your recipients should interpret your communications. In a nurturing campaign, we don’t want to sell all the time; we want to build a long-lasting relationship.
Sometimes I love to compare marketing to dating, and this is one of them. Think of a nurturing campaign as going out to get to know each other better. Small, baby steps that will become the foundation of what comes after.
These campaigns are initiatives that organically engage with audiences. They educate, enlighten and inspire.
If you’ve heard about giving value in marketing before, this is the time to do it. We want to entertain and/or educate our audience with content that will improve their lives after consuming it.
Think about tips, stories that they can relate to, advice on optimizing their workflow, or whatever else you may think of that could add “value” to their lives.
Let’s look at a quick example: Krisp is software designed to remove your background noise from those video calls you might be having more often than not. Once you choose to try their product, you are instantly positioned inside their nurturing campaign. Remember, whether you decide to buy or not, they want to create a relationship with you.
And what do you think? Most of their emails are all related to home office environments and how you can make them better. Trust me; their tips range from the occasional “how to stop feeling stressed” all the way to “this is how you can make your webcam look three times better.”
It’s a pretty impressive nurturing campaign that instantly builds their authority in the space and provides value to their recipients.
And I’m sure you’re wondering — Fernando, why bother with all the hassle? Well, I already told you, people love to buy from someone they like, and also because that will make the work in our following campaign way easier. So let’s take a look at it.
2. Win-back Campaigns
Okay, so let’s imagine your prospect or past customer has been in your nurturing campaign for a while. Enjoying a couple of value-exploding emails here and there and genuinely connecting with you on a deeper level than “this brand wants to sell me something all the time.”
Yep, cause that’s what most of the brands do nowadays. Now it’s time to ask for the sale, or win the sale, depending on your perspective.
A win-back campaign’s ultimate goal is to bring back lapsed customers. When you notice subscribers aren’t engaging or buying during your nurturing campaign, you should aim to change that. Ideally, you’ll want to send as few messages as possible to win them back.
If you can do it without offering some type of discount or freebie, that’s a plus.
Now, as we just said, you want to win a customer back without offering incentives, if at all possible. However, don’t be afraid to use them. Discounts and even freebies are worth it if they mean you win back a customer who’ll make future purchases.
Once again, use personalization when deciding. Do your customers prefer a particular type of product? Are there any new additions to your catalog you think they’d like? These are the kind of questions you should consider when thinking about an aggressive win-back campaign.
Even though most marketers think of Win-back campaigns as a way of recovering past, lost customers, I like to include them after going through an entire cycle of nurturing.
Why? Well, the main objective of nurturing campaigns is to create trust. Win-backs are all about selling, so if you combine both for your audience, you will get better results than if you only use one or the other.
Let’s go over a quick example of a Win-back campaign:
You might send communications detailing a new lineup of products your store has just introduced. Think of “Introducing the all-new stainless steel case collection. Made to last all through every bump, fall, and adventure while looking as stylish as a Fortune 500 CEO”.
In that example, it is not clear that we are attempting to sell at all costs. We’re actually communicating something that our audience might find interesting.
However, use some tricks to add pressure to the sale, perhaps “stock available until we ran out of pieces and then not again until next year.” This will nudge your audience to take action now rather than later. But what if you’re really trying to spike those sales during a specific occasion? Well, let’s head over to our next campaign.
3. Flash Campaigns
Perhaps the most utilized of all the examples we’ve given today. Marketers, owners, and pretty much anyone who can get their hands on an email list loves to use these. And that’s for a reason.
They work exceptionally well, but they can also suck the life out of your list, so be careful. Flash Campaigns are all about giving your audience an incentive to buy TODAY. If that means doing a 24h sale, promo code, or discount that they cannot refuse, then you’re on the right track.
Now here’s the thing, you’ll see some big retailers using this strategy a lot, and I mean a lot.
Think about H&M, Express, Zara, or others. I bet they will send you a flash email once or even twice a month. The worst part? Is that they CAN afford to do this.
Let me explain why. When you’re constantly running Flash Campaigns to your audience, you’re essentially decreasing the perceived value of your brand — I mean, if you have such a great product, why would you diminish its value constantly?
On top of that, you’re basically training your audience to position the reduced value of your product as the norm -Why pay the original value if that product goes on sale every couple of weeks?
Now, you’re probably wondering why these brands choose to use Flash campaigns so often, and that is because they are not afraid of burning their lists.
Here’s the thing, when you are a big retailer, you’re constantly capturing emails with each sale you make, multiply that by the number of stores they have. You’ll end with hundreds, thousands of new audience members per day.
So they don’t mind much if you leave their list or if you choose to take your business elsewhere. However, in the case of most personal or small businesses, burning a modest list should be your last resort.
That is to say, be careful, use Flash campaigns sporadically, and don’t overdo it. You want to keep the perceived value of your product high at all times, so don’t waste it with 24-hour sales every month.
4. Emails for E-commerce
Of course, everything we just discussed in our previous sections can be used for e-commerce businesses. Still, there’s a beautiful email that only online shops can take advantage of.
And you probably already know it, “the abandoned cart” email. An email that drives back a user who hasn’t completed the checkout process on your website.
Even though it’s pretty simple, it still works wonders to this day. The fact of shoving the product that your customer desires but didn’t get for X reasons is a big motivator for them to go back and buy it for real this time.
Simple, easy, but above all effective. After that, you should enter your customer into your nurturing sequence and begin the cycle that way. Back to the top, folks!
Well, there you have it. That’s a bird’s eye view of the most common types of email campaigns you’ll need to engage your audience and bring in sales. If you need any help handling some of these, the MicroMentor platform is there to facilitate you to connect with an experienced marketing mentor who can assist you through the whole process.
And don’t forget, it’s free for all entrepreneurs!