The first thing that comes to mind when most people think of email marketing is the person who designs their newsletters, holiday coupons, or Happy New Year's batch.
And that's where a lot of people underestimate email and the marketer behind it. Social media gets a lot of buzz because it's so public, but email is actually 40 times more powerful than social for finding new customers, and it drives more conversions than any other channel.
When a prospect hands over his email, he's opening up his inbox and basically saying, "Solicit me." It's sort of a sacred contract, as people are smart enough to know they'll be bombarded with emails.
To maximize the effectiveness of that messaging and earn their trust, email marketers spend a lot of time developing great content with the right tone, and then figuring out just the right time to send it in order to generate leads and acquire new customers for you or your client.
Recasting the email marketer
In reality, email marketers serve as automated workflow designers, thinking through all of the different touchpoints in the customer journey and the best ways to reach them at each point. They handle the copy and design, and they understand your email service provider.
With all of that going on behind the scenes, here are a few things email marketers secretly want to tell you:
Involve them early and often
The sooner you bring your email marketer into the conversation, the better, as he or she needs to start figuring out the best process of discovery and nurturing to achieve your goals.
When an email goes out, it's not as simple as typing up a message and hitting send. There are visuals and specific copy in each ad campaign to consider, which need to be mirrored on landing pages, pop-ups, and in the emails themselves. Say you're running a spot on Black Friday that ends on Cyber Monday, but extending the offer by 12 hours for preferred customers. Your email manager needs to know upfront what that is going to look like on Facebook so that the messaging and copy reemphasize it on the email side.
Remember that YouTube video for Dollar Shave Club that turned into a TV commercial? Its "Our Blades Are F****** Great!" campaign set the tone for all of the company's communications from that moment forward. How embarrassing would it have been if an email had gone out that read "Our Blades Are Pretty Cool!" instead?
Your email marketer would definitely want to be in on that type of discussion well before the commercial aired so all of your drip campaigns carry the same voice and mimic the same style and themes.
Along with inclusion in the creative process, email managers also need access to your teams.
Let them talk to sales
In a B2B and lead-gen space, sales teams and email teams need to be on the same page, so it's important to clearly define how they follow up with each other. In fact, when B2B companies closely align marketing and sales, they see a three-year profit 27 percent more quickly.
You want your email marketing teams to know about their role in the process of overall campaign development so that onsite manipulations -- such as landing page optimization or tweaking creative and copy to match the messaging of the campaign -- can be made to improve the efficacy of the email. All ad copy and messaging must be supported and reinforced via email.
These elements are best developed in a robust collaboration between the marketers writing the words and the salespeople who are saying them. Email managers can also help with direct sales messaging and other communications by creating templates the sales team can use for cold emails, which speeds up the process of getting them out.
Speaking of cold emails, email managers do have one question for you.
Tell them: Where are these leads coming from?
Are they from a networking event or a Google search? Are they from the "About Us" page or the pricing page? This matters because you want your follow-up content to align with the reasons a prospect sought you out in the first place.
If somebody originally comes to learn about a company or a brand based on a specific value proposition, your email marketer wants to reemphasize that in the email that user receives. There has to be consistency in how people are drawn to a brand and what they hear afterwards.
Likewise, if a prospect came to you for a competitive advantage over a specific named competitor, your email marketer wants to touch on that via email. If there's incongruent messaging between where a lead originated and what's delivered in the first few emails.
An email marketer or team adds the most value by designing the automated workflow that uses a lead's origins to drive the kind of statement that person receives in an email. Sophisticated email marketers know how to determine the right metrics to measure in order to drive customization. And by tracking and measuring the effectiveness of each email, they can quickly pivot and modify content that isn't performing well.
Reaching out directly to potential customers with individualized content is exponentially more effective than an online or print ad intended for the masses. The whole point of email is to communicate your brand in a personalized, more intimate way. If you listen to what your email marketers need, you'll increase ability to meet those goals.