When asked about “target audience,” many businesses say they do not have anyone specific. As long as the consumers are interested in their services or products, these people are their target market. Some also say they aim at attracting small business owners, stay-at-home moms, or homeowners. However, these groups of individuals are too general. You need to target a particular market to compete with other brands effectively.
Having a particular market is not about excluding those who do not fit the category or criteria. What it truly means is you focus your marketing funds and efforts as well as your brand message on a certain market that has a bigger chance of buying than other markets. This technique is not only more affordable but is also a better and more efficient method of reaching potential clients.
Let us have an example.
If you have an interior design company and you choose to target homeowners, you can define this particular market further. Instead of just “homeowners,” you can aim at those who are from 35 to 65 years old with an annual income of $150,000 and up. You can identify your market even further by targeting a specific city in a given state. Include their interests as well, such as remodeling of bathroom and kitchen.
Because you have clearly defined your target audience, you will find it easy to determine how and where to promote your brand. Not only would a specific target audience help promote your brand, you can fully understand their pain points and come out with new products that they would absolutely love.
Steps to Find a Specific Target Audience
In simple words, your target audience is a group of people who will pay you. Before outlining the steps for you, there are basically three kinds of people who can fit into the description of your “target audience.”
The person who will pay for your products or services
The person who will influence #1
Your primary focus is the actual person who will pay for your product or service. Often, this is your current or your next boss, but it can also be your bank or investor. Of course, it can also be the target customers of your existing or future business.
Once you have figured out who that person or group of persons is, it will be much easier to reach your goal. The following steps will help you through the necessary process of refining your market to achieve a more effective brand implementation:
Step 1: Identify those who decide if you can advance.
The first thing that you should do is to know the person who is in charge of your career’s progress. It could be your client, an investor, or your immediate superior as mentioned above. Once you have identified this person, you can move on to the next step.
Step 2: Generate a comprehensive description.
Once you have identified the person, you should now be able to create a thorough description. You can open a document and write what you picture your audience to be such as their:
As much as possible, go into extreme detail, such as the daily tasks of the person and what they do on weekends or during their free time with their family and friends. Have as many details as you can, which can help you target this person easier.
Step 3: Pinpoint the motivations of that person.
As you build the profile, you will soon find yourself in their head, which will make it simple to find out what inspires them. This particular detail is important because it will make it easier for you to help them achieve their goals, which will give way to you achieving your own.
For example, if your target audience is your client and his or her motivation is to build their business, you should be able to help them get more sales for more profit. If you can do it, the client will happily pay for your products, which allows you to achieve your goals.
Step 4: Identify the possible opportunities.
After you have learned what motivates your target audience, you can help them achieve their goals. While you can do this on your own, you can also discover opportunities that will help you learn more about them. One method is to simply have a conversation with them.
Step 5: Look at your existing customer base.
If you are already selling products or services, you can use them as a guide so that you can find your specific target audience. Your current customers and the reasons why they buy from you are clues that point to who your market is.
Look for something they have in common, whether it is their characteristics or their interests. You should be able to determine which ones bring in the most profits for your business. Even though you are the one getting the money from them, they are benefiting from your product or service as well. Additionally, it is highly likely that people like them could also find the goods you offer as helpful.
Step 6: Check out your competition.
Inspect your direct competitors and know who they are targeting. Determine who their current customers are and make sure you DON’T go after them. Often, there is a niche market that they may have overlooked.
Step 7: Examine your product or service.
List the features and benefits of your product or service. After that, list the people who could benefit from what you offer. At this point, you could still have a general audience. However, you can use it as a base to specify a more restricted client base.
Step 8: Evaluate your decision.
Now that you have decided what to target, it is time to ask yourself some questions to make sure you have chosen the right one for your brand. Some of these questions may be:
Are there enough individuals who match your criteria?
Are you sure that your target market will really benefit from your product or service? Will they realize it on their own?
Do you know what motivates your target audience to make their choices?
Can your target market afford your product or service?
Are they easily reachable through communication?
Often, the hard part is only when you find your target market. However, once you know who or what group to target, it will become much easier to provide for their needs and demands. It will also become simpler for you to define which media to use in reaching out to them, along with the kind of marketing messages that will resonate with them.
Examples of Target Audience of Different Companies
Just like you, other companies have devoted their time, effort, and resources to identify their target markets. Here are some examples, along with how finding their target audience allowed them to maximize their marketing return on investment:
You may find this a little strange since Apple is already a tech giant, so anyone would probably be interested in them. As with every business, Apple also specializes, particularly because it surprisingly has a small share of some markets where it operates compared to the competitors.
For example, with mobile phones during the third quarter of the year 2013, about 81% of devices sold were Android. Meanwhile, Apple devices only had 12.9% sales. It may sound bad for this big company because they just have over one-tenth of sales in the market. However, Apple made 56% of the total industry profits.
You can easily find clothes retailers these days, especially online. You can buy at different online stores, including Amazon where many people just look for anything they want. But Ties.com only focuses on one item of clothing, which sets them apart from others.
As their name suggests, they specialize in ties, which allowed them to offer the largest collection of neckwear. Yes, you can find many online places for buying clothes, but when it comes to a unique tie, the website is where you will find what you are looking for.
Pinterest started as a tool for the founders to simply collect what served as visual inspiration for them. After that, they decided to make it available online so other users can access it. At first, it was difficult for Ben Silbermann, Paul Sciarra, and Evan Sharp (founders of Pinterest) to find their target market.
A certain conference allowed them to determine later that lifestyle bloggers found Pinterest helpful for them. However, instead of going for the broad target audience consisting of creative people, they chose those who were not professionals. Soon after, their target market became those who were interested in creative ideas for fashion, home décor, and others.
Pinterest discovered its target audience by observing how people were using the tool, along with the whys and who’s. Through the discovery, it became a hit and is now one of the most used social media platforms.
There are plenty of options with accounting software. Some of them are quite successful in their markets, which is why it is hard to stand out in the sea of competition. Blackbaud did not fear of the tough competition though, and instead of going for the same target audience, it focused on just one group of customers: nonprofits.
These nonprofit organizations have unique needs, which are not met by traditional accounting software. By supplying their demands through software solutions, Blackbaud achieved an average revenue growth speed of 15% for over ten years.
As with accounting software, the electrical devices and appliances is a highly competitive industry. It is also difficult to stand out, so instead of going with the usual target market, Lehman’s opted to provide products that run without electricity.
Lehman’s specializes in nonelectric tools and appliances. As old-fashioned as it may seem, they have successfully penetrated the market by targeting environmentalists, fishers, hunters, and homesteaders among others.
Their unique appliances allowed them to be used by set designers in Hollywood to make their layout more accurate whenever they need historical pieces for their films.
Aside from producing quality trucks, Volvo has also mastered content marketing. With their efforts, they soon became the second largest brand for heavy-duty trucks in the world. The company now employs more than 19,000 people from many corners of the globe.
Lefty’s San Francisco
The company is based in San Francisco, and it targets those who are left-handed. From school supplies to gardening tools to kitchen goods, everything is for lefties. The retail store also offers custom gifts for those with loved ones who are left-handed.
According to statistics, only 10% of the world population utilizes their left hand as their dominant hand. Lefty’s invested on PPC advertisement, which allowed for the use of search terms exclusively for lefties. For instance, if someone types “left-handed scissors,” there will be PPC ads from the retail store on the search results. Lefty’s has proven that it is not impossible to compete efficiently against big retailers in the PPC advertising scene.
This company works almost like Ties.com where instead of ties, Bonobos specialize on men’s pants. Founders Brian Spaly and Andy Dunn surveyed their schoolmates in Stanford and discovered that most of the guys were not happy with their pants. They said that slacks bought from stores did not fit them properly.
Therefore, they launched their brand. Six months after the debut of their e-commerce store, they immediately earned a total of one million in revenue. After that, they expanded their brand to include shirts, shoes, and suits for men.
Bonobos use the power of email marketing as well to reach their target customers. These people want to purchase specific items, which is why they send emails to them offering custom recommendations based on the transactions those customers recently had with their online store.
These companies have found success by knowing their target market and of course, by being a relevant source of products and services for their audience. Your business can achieve the same thing. Instead of going for the obvious, generic choices for your target audience, focus on becoming the best option for your ideal customers.
Using demographics isn’t the only way to find your target audience
Think like your customer and consider their emotions, mindset, needs, and wants.
Having a narrow target audience helps you reach your customers better and stand out from your competitors.
Let us say that you have received emails from app developers: one from [email protected] and another from [email protected] Out of these two, it is probably safe to assume that you would choose to contact the first one.
According to GoDaddy’s 2016 survey, 75% of customers would go for a business with a professional email address over one that uses Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, or the other domains that have nothing to do with the company. The customers agree that having a custom domain is one of the keys to building trust.
Professional Email Address vs Personal
If you own a business, it is necessary that you have both a personal and a business email address. Business and personal email addresses are obviously two very different things and are used for separate reasons.
The biggest difference between the two is their purpose. When you email potential clients, you should use your professional email address. It has been proven to be more efficient in reaching out to them because this type of email address is more official-sounding than a personal email. Imagine sending an email to customers from [email protected] and not your business email [email protected] You already know which among these two emails your customers will most likely respond to.
A personal email address is what you can use when emailing your family and friends. When you use your personal email, you do not have to worry about how you present yourself. Unlike business email addresses, you can create a personal email for free.
If you have been using your personal email address in contacting your customers, it is time to switch to a professional one. You can easily forward emails to your new business email with the help of apps like GSuite from Google.
Set up your account on GSuite (my opinion, this is the best service), supply your name, email address, and business name among other pieces of information and that’s it. It is important though that you have your domain name for your business before you start.
Why You Should Bother Branding Your Email for Your Business
Initially, it may seem insignificant but having your own domain for your business email address is proven to be lucrative. There is an even bigger point here than just having an email address with your company name in it. It is actually about building the credibility of your business and establishing your brand. In essence, it is the impression you are promoting your business to the outside world.
In today’s cutthroat competition, small businesses find it quite difficult to penetrate the market. Therefore, branding becomes vital to stand out from the rest.
If you are still unconvinced, here are reasons why you should stop using your personal email and switch to one that bears your business name
First impressions last. You may have heard this time and time again, but that is because it is true: first impressions do last, and this is why you want to give the right one the very first time. With the use of a branded email, you show the recipients that your company is professional and established. Conversely, when you use a generic email, you are showing inexperience, which can raise doubts regarding your business.
Build credibility. When you have a professional email address, it not only sounds, well, professional, but it also adds credibility to your company. The email address you use can help you send a signal to the receiver that you are serious about your business. Unlike with free email services, your customers will not keep wondering who you are and why you are sending emails to them.
Win trust. Your potential customers will not take you seriously if you are hiding behind a Gmail or Yahoo email account. It is synonymous to having no identity since anyone can get these emails for free. When you have a business email, you can distinguish yourself from the crowd, and this can help build your trustworthiness.
Secure data. Another fundamental reason why you should get a business email is that it provides more security than a free personal email. You may have heard about individuals getting their emails hacked or are facing malware attacks. Such incidents are more unlikely to happen when you are using a professional (paid) email.
It’s easy. It is tempting to use free email services instead of a business one because having your own domain means you need to pay for it to continue using it regularly. However, it is relatively inexpensive and is easy to set up. You do not have to be tech-savvy to have your own email with your business name following the “@” symbol. If you already have a website, you can contact your web hosting company since most packages include email creation.
For many small business owners, it can be daunting to spend money on an email address. After all, why should you pay when you can get it for free? However, you should think about the future of your business. It can help with your branding and can even give you huge returns compared to the small cost of a professional email.
What Kind of Professional Email Address Does Your Business Need?
It does not matter whether you are the only employee in your company or you have 20. You should have the following email addresses available to keep the emails organized and your business poised for future development:
Info: This type is where your customers and potential clients will send and receive emails about general information about your business. You can use [email protected] or even [email protected], but research has shown that using [email protected] is the most appealing to readers.
Your Name: Just like you, your customers would not want to receive emails from an unknown person – or even a generalized “[email protected]” all the time. They also want to know who they are connecting with and if they are talking to an actual person.
Support: There will come a time when your customers will need support from your team. Make sure you treat your existing customers because they matter and they deserve it. Use an email address exclusively generated for them. You can also use [email protected] to let your customers contact you quickly and also to facilitate requests.
Billing: You want your business to accept online payments, and one way to make things easy is to file these money matters into a separate email account. A [email protected] account can help you organize your registrations for payment services, such as when you connect them to your bank account.
Sales: Some small businesses use “[email protected]” or even “[email protected]” for sales. However, these two may be too general, which is why you should use a separate email for your sales. This part of your business will keep your company alive and kicking. You want to make sure your salespeople are doing their best to generate sales. When you have this email address, you are not only organizing your sales emails, but you can also use it to monitor your outbound marketing campaigns.
We have already established that a professional email address is necessary for your business’ growth. However, not all emails will work efficiently. Here are two basic rules to follow when choosing your email address for your business
Rule #1: Use your domain name.
It is imperative to buy your own domain name: [email protected] and not [email protected] Custom domain is not only a mark of professionalism but is also expected of businesses today.
Rule #2: Use a standard format and not one with nicknames and numbers.
Instead of using CoolDude100 or BeachLover889, use a simple username that is easy to read and spell. You can use your first name only, or you can include your whole name. You can even use a generic name, such as [email protected] Remember to add an email display name as well, which is what your readers can see next to your messages when they check their inbox.
How Other People Realized the Importance of a Professional Email Address
There are successful small business owners now who also tried to use the traditional email services. However, they soon realized it’s time to switch to a professional email address for their business. Just by using a branded email, they were able to improve their revenue and enjoyed more benefits. Here are their stories:
Ales by Mail
As the business name suggests, Ales by Mail delivers beer directly to the customer’s doorstep. For them to do this, they needed a dependable channel for communicating with their clients round the clock.
The company created an email strategy that included having their own domain name when contacting clients. Ales by Mail found that emails have helped them in reaching out to their customers and determining how they were shopping on their site.
One of their biggest concerns at that time was the abandoned carts. When they addressed this issue, they used a domain name that is specifically for their sales, and they were able to recover more than 20% of the lost revenue from the abandoned baskets.
Before the company launched in 2014, Dollboxx founders had full-time jobs, which made it almost impossible for them to handle the business. Nevertheless, they saw how important it is to communicate with their customers who are from New Zealand, Australia, Europe, Canada, and United States.
The first step of the company’s marketing campaign was to grow their contact list. As the number of people in the list multiplied, they realized how difficult it was to engage with them more consistently. Instead of sending bulk emails, they avoided the spam folder by using behavioral-based or trigger emails.
During that time, the founders that more people opened and read the emails when they were relevant to their preferences and buying histories. Additionally, the clicks also started to increase when the emails sent were more personalized. It was even more rewarding when they used a particular email address for their business transactions to contact their customers.
The company was also able to solve problems and other things, such as promotions, abandoned carts, and follow-ups on orders. After using a custom email address for their business and an effective email strategy, Dollboxx saw a huge jump in their purchase rate and an overall increase in sales of 13%.
Another company that appreciates the benefits of a professional email address is Bee Good. The British producer of skin care products made from honey, propolis, and beeswax started at local markets. When the sales began to grow, they expanded to the online world, and it was clear that there is a huge demand for their products.
After a few years, their business quickly flourished. What started as a husband and wife business became a team of eight people who sold, distributed, and marketed the skincare products online and offline.
To make sure that they keep their customers, they need to maintain contact with them. Email is still the best way to do that, and so they chose to take advantage of email marketing. They had problems with abandoned baskets, and they also had issues with inactive customers, which they aimed to resolve using their email strategy.
With the help of their personalized email address for their business, Bee Good started sending emails to their customers who did not make any transaction with them for at least three months. Then, they sent emails to those who would order and yet would leave their carts without completing the checkout process. The result of was they saw an average purchase increase of eight percent almost right away.
The Chicago-based cosmetics company launched in 2012 and featured makeup products that do not contain chemicals. They marketed their first product on Etsy. Soon after, many customers were waiting in line to make a purchase. The owner knew it is important to engage with the customers and one way to do that is to use email marketing.
After trying several email marketing apps, Orglamix found that the right app and strategy can help in setting up welcome emails, follow-ups on orders, abandoned cart emails, and customer service. With the use of a branded email address, the company saw an increase of 25% on their monthly revenue.
Emails should be a way to keep track of your business relationships. With a professional email address, you not only build your brand but you also cultivate your relationships with your clients and potential customers.
A business email address is dedicated to business communications only and is connected to your business website’s domain.
A business email address can improve your company’s credibility, make your communication more consistent, and can boost brand awareness
Register a domain name, and then from there you can set up your business email address
It seems like social media has eclipsed email these days, especially in driving businesses. However, recent studies show that emails are still the more preferred channel for customers who would want to receive news from companies. In fact, 72% of adults in the US favor emails from companies over social media, phone calls, and text messages combined.
Email does remain to be a flexible means of messaging. Its approach is straightforward and simple, and it continues to adapt to the ever-evolving marketplace. This is why your business should always have a good email marketing strategy to send targeted messages to customers and leads – wherever they may be situated in the lifecycle of buying.
However, it does not mean you will have to create emails for your hundreds or thousands of customers and subscribers. It is not only tiring and time-consuming but also impossible. You have other things to do, and you cannot keep track of all your prospects and customers every day, all the time. This is where email automation enters the picture.
Email Automation: What Is It Exactly?
Email automation is a part of your email marketing strategy where, as the name implies, you send emails automatically. These emails are sent out based on triggers or a schedule you have defined.
It does sound like it’s so simple and for the most part, it actually is. However, it is a marketing skill that needs your time and devotion to it, so that you will learn how to do email automation correctly. You have to keep testing it and based on the results, improve or maintain your strategies.
Before we delve further into email automation, you should be aware that it is not the same as the transactional emails that you have probably sent out. Emails like “Thank you for your order” and “We have shipped your product” are examples of these transactional emails that you send automatically to your customers.
Although these can also help expand your business, they differ in purpose from automated email marketing. Transactional emails’ goal is to merely notify whereas automated emails are created to engage your customers.
How to Set Up Email Automation
To start with email automation, you should have a system that sends relevant and engaging emails, and at the same time, it does so automatically. There are two main types of automated emails that you can create. First, you’ll need a service for your email automation. I use for my clients and for this website Drip but you can use something like InfusionSoft.
First, let us have drip feed emails in which you deliver a sequence of messages based on a specified timeframe. Drip feed can even be a source of additional income and leads if you know how to do them correctly. Often, this type of email is used to provide things your prospective customers have signed up for.
Drip feed has a lot of potential. For example, you can send a drip feed email to your list of prospects to invite them to a conference with your company or any event. What is important with your drip feed email is that you have something click-worthy for the readers.
Events-Based Trigger Emails
Simply known as trigger emails, these are exactly what they sound like. They are emails that depend or are triggered by the behavior or action (or lack of it) of your subscribers. Trigger emails are actually the more common type of automated emails because they help remove the need for you to send messages that would be tedious to create, especially on a daily basis. In general, a trigger email can be:
Getting started with an app, product, or service
Refer a friend (triggered after a purchase where the customer can tell a friend to get a coupon or any special offer)
Abandoned cart emails
Milestones such as join dates or anniversaries and birthdays
Trigger emails can also be set up based on the actions of the customers, known as behavioral email marketing. For this strategy, you can provide rewards and bonuses.
These two types of automated email can be used separately or together. It all depends on your end goals. For instance, an event-based email can be sent out to enroll a subscriber to a drip feed where you provide content through email at specific time intervals.
How Other Companies are Automating Emails
InsightSquared: Drip Feed
This is actually what InsightSquared did where they sent an email to their cold lead prospect list to request them to join a meeting. It was a three-step process where the first email containing a GIF was sent on a Sunday which asked the recipients who were free for lunch on the coming Wednesday.
Next, they sent an automated email on Tuesday for those who did not reply. The email asked if they were still on for the next day. Those who did not respond received yet another email on Thursday that said, “Sorry that yesterday did not work out,” and that the company was happy to reschedule.
Why It Works: It is an unusual approach, especially with the second email as it heightened the interest of the reader.
ModCloth: Trigger Email
ModCloth regularly sends out an email every six months from the time the subscriber joined. The automated email contains a coupon code as part of the six-month anniversary celebration of the customer.
Why It Works: It helps retain the customers and make sure they continue to buy products from the online clothing retailer.
Contently: Drip Feed
After closing a sale, customers receive weekly emails from Contently about blog posts that are relevant and valuable. The emails are casual and straightforward so that the readers do not think a robot is talking to them.
The email is personalized with the name of the customer, followed by a greeting like “hope you’re having a good week,” and then the message shares the link to the blog post, along with its description.
Why It Works: It is quick and easy. The automated email is sent out each time there is a new post on the Contently blog. The subscriber will simply click on the link provided below the short message.
Boden: Trigger Email
When a customer no longer visits Boden for a long time, an email is automatically sent as a reminder. Additionally, there is an engaging GIF that summarizes what the company has in store for the customers since the time they have not been active.
Why It Works: You want to make sure your customers do not forget about you. Sending automated emails when they have not been on your site for some time helps remind them about your business. This is what Boden aims for in their trigger email campaign.
You can have your own reasons why you set up a trigger or drip feed automated email. But one thing is for sure: you need these automated emails for a successful email marketing strategy.
5 Scenarios Where You Can Take Advantage of Email Automation
If you are wondering how you can use email automation for your business, here are some situations where it can help you grow your revenue and brand while increasing customer retention:
Scenario #1: Many of your customers abandon their email cart.
Why It’s Important: A research company showed 67% of shopping carts are left behind without completing the checkout process. That means 67 out of 100 people browse your site, look at your products, and add at least one to their cart with the intention of making a purchase but they leave.
Why You Should Care: Based on the numbers, if your small store is earning $2 million yearly, you lose over $4 million because of cart abandonment.
Automated Email Setup Example:
Send the first email within 24 hours as a reminder that they left something in their cart. Add some benefits, such as free shipping and then a link to complete their checkout.
Send the second email 24 hours after sending the first email and run it for one month where you ask why they did not buy. You can use the data gathered to improve your sales process.
The third email, if they still did not buy, is a discount email. Give 5% or 10% off on their purchase – whatever works based on your margins. Send this email 72 hours after the second email.
Tip: Always add a picture of the product/s in their cart, along with the link to help them complete their purchase.
Scenario #2: Potential customers have signed up.
Why It’s Important: Surveys say 74.4% of new subscribers expect a welcome email.
Why You Should Care: 33% of the subscribers who receive the welcome email will remain with you for the long-term. Plus, this kind of email generates 5x more click rates than your bulk promos.
Example of Automated Welcome Email
Your goal is to welcome the subscribers to the family – but that is not all. You should also introduce the consumer to your brand, including how it could benefit them. Add an incentive (with a call to action) and set expectations about your regular emails and that they can look forward to exclusive deals. Be sure to encourage them to subscribe or connect with you on social media.
Tip: Always send a creative welcome email. Treat your subscribers as if they are your friends. Use GIFs, photos, helpful content, and even cool videos to entice them to keep opening your emails.
Scenario #3: You have leads, but they are not ready to buy yet.
Why It’s Important: Lead nurturing is essential as nurtured subscribers not only provide 50% more sales for the brand but they also make 47% purchases that are much larger than those who were not nurtured.
Why You Should Care: Not all your subscribers will make a purchase when they find you. Lead nurturing allows you to build new relationships and keep your brand in their minds. As a result, you will be their first choice once they are ready.
Ideas for an Email Nurture Series
Educate your subscribers by teaching them something – about your product or anything else related to it.
Talk about your brand and its story in a series of email. Explain why you are different.
Give personal stories as well as stories from a customer related to your business, such as a success story.
Tip: Go beyond promotions and discounts. You can nurture your subscribers by giving them something that adds value to their life.
Scenario #4: You have a new customer.
Why It’s Important: A customer (not a subscriber) should not cut ties with your business after you make a sale. Keep them as your loyal customer and get the chance to increase your profitability up to 75%.
Why You Should Care: It is 10x more expensive to get a new customer than to sell something to an existing one. Also, repeat customers will spend 67% more than your newly acquired ones.
Ideas for Automated Emails for New Customers
Send a welcome email immediately.
Send another email three days later to check their feedback on their experience. Stay away from forms or such; rather, use the email to allow them to reply to you directly.
Send another email two days after the time they are supposed to get their product.
Three days later, send another email for a product review.
Four days later, give them a promo that would most likely interest them based on the item they bought.
One day later, follow up on the promotion and make sure there is a time limit for them to respond to the email.
Tip: New customers trust you enough to make a purchase, but if something messes up, they will not buy from you again. This automated email ensures them that you care about their experience. Take care of their purchase as well as the delivery process, which can almost guarantee you that they will become a long-term customer.
Scenario #5: You have repeat customers.
Why It’s Important: Your customers who keep using your products or services could be the lifeblood of your company. You can capitalize on them if you use email marketing properly.
Why You Should Care: Repeat customers like you and they trust you, which is why they keep coming back.
Automated Emails for Your Repeat Customers
You can give them a welcome email, another one to check whether they have received the product, and then a product review just like with your new customers. Here’s an additional email to send: give them a related product offer that is different from what you send to new purchasers. Instead of a discount, add a gift or a package. Points can also be offered and the more points they accumulate through repeat purchases, the better the gift.
Email automation is a series of timed emails that are triggered by customers’ actions.
You have finally crafted an email that is important to your business. You hit send, and now you are waiting and looking at your analytics. As the minutes’ pass, you wonder if that email could have been better. Perhaps it needed more editing, or maybe you should have tried a different approach. Are you creating that effective emails that capture the attention and converts the reader to your website?
You are not alone with that kind of scenario. Nowadays, getting emails opened, read, and clicked could almost be impossible. Most of us have overflowing inboxes, and we just want to empty it as quickly as we can. This is why it is so important to get to the point right away.
As part of your email marketing strategy, you will have to send out several emails on a daily basis. In return, you will also be receiving emails. Just like most of your email recipients, you are pressed for time, and you want to get things done as quickly as possible – especially because you are trying to hustle your way up for your company.
You surely do not want to receive a lengthy email that is mass-generated. Your recipients feel the same, which is why you should learn how to craft effective emails that get the attention it needs and gets the response you want.
How To Make Your Emails More Engaging
Your recipients could simply open your email without bothering to read it. Or, they would just send it straight to the bin without opening your email. To get your email opened and read, you need to make sure it gets noticed first. Here is a simple checklist to create effective emails that you need to do
Know the purpose of your email.
All too often we simply hit the Compose button and just type our message without taking time to consider why we are contacting the receiver of the email. We have the freedom to express ourselves through our emails but make sure they fulfill any of these two: provide information or provide confirmation.
Be wise about the subject line.
When you know the purpose of your email, you can quickly convey your message to the reader. At the same time, you can provide a clear subject for the email. The subject line is significant and it is one of the most influential email elements that will determine whether or not the receiver will open your message. Therefore, you should take the time to choose a meaningful and straightforward email subject that succinctly pinpoints why you sent out that particular email.
One of the reasons why many emails get bypassed or ignored is because the recipient does not know who the sender is. Make sure the receiver gets your full name when they receive your email. As much as possible, stay away from nicknames or initials since many people actually ignore emails from people they do not recognize.
Another important element in your email is its content. Let us say that you successfully enticed the recipient to open the email. The next step is to make sure that you keep them engaged so that they read the entire contents of your email.
It is not so easy to craft attention-grabbing emails though. You need to cut through the inbox clutter of your subscribers while improving your email’s deliverability and your return on investment (ROI). Here are tips and tricks that will make sure your email campaign gains in opens, clickthroughs, and conversions:
Inform or Confirm
As previously mentioned, you should provide information to your subscribers. This can mean anything from making an introduction to summarizing a meeting or event to offering status updates. Meanwhile, providing confirmation means you will verify an appointment or communicating to a vendor to get price estimates.
There are many strategies in personalizing your message, and one is to add the name of the subscriber in the email subject. However, you should not think that email personalization ends with using the subscriber’s name. You should also ensure that you make the content of your email more relevant to them. You can use their personal information to achieve this, such as their subscriptions, purchase history, and demographics.
It is highly likely that your email subscribers open and read your email using their mobile devices. Therefore, it is important that you use a responsive design to make sure that your emails can be viewed no matter what size the screen is and what platform is used. Recent studies show that over 70% of users delete emails that do not look good on their small screen device.
Emails should be easy to read, so you can use images to draw attention as well as impart your story quickly. Your email should also have headlines and subheads, along with bullets and boldface types. You can even use different colors if you want to highlight some important pieces of information. It also helps if your paragraphs and sentences are short.
Call to Action
Tell your subscribers exactly what you want them to do. They should know what is required of them the moment they open your email message. The call to action should pop and be prominent all the time. It should also be value packed and is customer-centric.
You can get the timing right if you can test the cadence and frequency of your email campaigns. Doing so helps ensure that you do not send so many emails in so little time. You want to make sure that your subscribers do not forget about you but at the same time, you do not want them to get tired of seeing your emails. Sending too many emails too frequently can lead to your subscribers ignoring your emails to the point that they get annoyed and mark it as spam. That is definitely something you do not want to happen.
When you send an email, make an enticing offer that you believe your subscribers will find hard to refuse. You can also test the offer whether or not it will increase your open, conversion, and click rates. Some of the offers can be about free shipping, buy one get one, or a percentage off a product purchase. Test which of your offers get the biggest response, so that you will know what works best for a particular audience.
It also helps if your email gives off a sense of urgency, such as a deadline to the offer. The deadline should be right there at the pre-header or the subject line, which is actually an excellent way to catch the attention of your subscribers. Plus, it can increase their drive to take immediate action.
Phrases to Use
The way you write your emails can influence the kind of result you get. For example, you should set the tone right from the start. It will depend on your relationship with the addressee and the type of email you are sending. For professional emails, here are some phrases you can use
Might I take a minute of your time?
I would like to follow up on…
I’m attaching the document (you need)
Let me introduce myself.
I wish to complain about…
I understand your frustration.
Use the subject lines as well to give a preview of your message. Avoid blurry words, such as “meeting” and just be more specific about the situation. Instead of using just the word “Meeting,” try something like “Tomorrow, 8 AM, Very Important Discussion.”
Phrases or Words to Avoid
Some words and phrases are simply used as filters, but they do more harm than good, especially making your email look weak. As much as possible, avoid the following when crafting your email:
The last three phrases can make you seem indecisive. You can express your opinion without them – the same as with “In my opinion.” If you are going to provide your views and sentiments regarding a specific subject, give your strong reason instead. Additionally, do not use all caps or even exclamation points as they will not help you in emphasizing what you mean since readers often think the writer is angry.
Here is another useful tip. You already know how popular social media is today. When crafting your email copy, make sure that you include links to your sites on different social media platforms. These sites are a key component whether you are creating a welcome, thank you, or any kind of email to your subscriber.
Examples of Effective Emails
In crafting your emails, make sure it has the following elements
The goal why you are writing the email
Why the reader should actually care about your message
Call to action
Here are some examples that can help you understand better how to write effective emails:
Example #1: App Invitation
I read your terrific blog post regarding product descriptions on ThisWebsite.com. I’m wondering if you have some clients with ecommerce stores.
I would love to introduce you to my new app called Ecommerce Solutions. This app is for ecommerce owners (add a serious benefit).
Are you interested?
Please reply to this email. We’ll set up a quick demo of the app at a time that’s best for you.
Marketing Coordinator for Ecommerce Solutions
Example #2: Asking for Feedback
Dear Ms. Wyatt
Thank you for choosing Splendid for your recent holiday trip.
Did you enjoy your experience?
We would love to hear your feedback as well as suggestions on how we can improve
Click here [link] to fill out our online survey now.
Customer Services Executive
PS If you complete our survey, we will enter you in a yearly draw with prizes up to $1,000 worth of Splendid holiday vouchers.
Example #3: Welcome Email
Thank you for signing up for Stack. We are really happy to have you!
Click the link below to get your profile set up right now.
Set up your profile now [link button]
Lots of luck,
Example #4: Thank You Email
Thanks a billion! You have helped us reach a huge milestone.
We would like to express our warmest “thank you” for being one of Sum1’s 5 Million Users.
To celebrate, we are giving away free vouchers. Click the button below to grab yours now.
Example #5: Updates or New App Features
Subject: We’ve got something to show you…
We have made some really big changes.
Over the past eight months, we have been listening to our clients’ feedbacks. Here at DropSpot, we only dreamed of a future where our app is bigger and better for our users.
That future is here now with DropSpot version 2.0.
We have our team of marketers, developers, and designers working nonstop to make sure our users will experience how great the transformation is in the newest version of our app. We promise that everything is more colorful and a bit slicker now.
It is really a lot of fun!
Come check it out [button]
We hope you have a great time using our app.
The DropSpot Team
In the examples above, there are crucial things that you can learn from them:
Keep it short. Your emails are not like business meetings where more agenda items mean more productivity. With emails, the less you include, the better.
The goal or purpose of the email is very clear. If you are going to welcome a new subscriber or member of your site, your message should clearly state that.
As much as possible, add a link or button, especially because your email is simply a summary of your whole message. The link should point the reader to where he or she can get more details.
Of course, you should not forget about your call to action. You sent that email because you want the reader to do something. Be clear about the action you want the subscriber to do, whether it is to click a link or complete a survey.
To get your point across and get the response you’re looking for; your emails should be succinct, relevant, and appropriate
Your emails should have a clear purpose, express your expectations, and have a call to action
Avoid using “shrinker” words and other phrases that might make your emails seem weak and indecisive
There is a funny joke that goes, “Why did the marketer burn his initials into a leather jacket?” The answer is because he was looking for his personal brand. Although that joke may be little corny, if there is one thing that can help you build trust with your existing and potential customers while you position yourself as a thought leader in the industry you belong to, it is content marketing. With content marketing, you can promote your business, establish your brand’s identity, and maximize your return on investment (ROI).
When you consider these benefits, they make content marketing extremely appealing. However, it is usually not that easy. You need a strong and reliable content strategy. Most businesses do not understand that the things they post are actually a part of a bigger discussion about their identity. You can post about almost anything you want but what is more important is that every post you make fit together. Through this strategy, you can truly reach out to your audience and tell them exactly what you wish to convey.
Let us say that you have a travel agency that specializes in vacation packages, reservations to hotels and resorts, and flights to places where people can be close to nature. Your brand’s story is “Traveling for Peace of Mind” and the following are good areas to focus on:
A relaxing video that shows a quiet beach, a lush green forest, and waterfalls
A photo of a woman meditating with nature
A post about how traveling can help you find inner peace
There is one theme that your content focuses on and that relates to the story of your brand. While you can talk about discounts on your vacation packages, it will not help with your content strategy. Your aim should not just be about supplying content for your readers and followers. You should create and publish content that is useful and usable. With a content strategy, you can manage all the content you have.
Do You Really Need a Content Strategy?
The short answer is yes. When creating a content strategy, think of it as a sketch of the key needs of your customers and your business. You can also view it as a detailed guide on how you can use your content so that you can address those needs.
As you plan out the strategy, you should bear in mind that it should be able to help give your online activities achieve your business goals. At the same time, it should meet the following requirements…
Your strategy should allow people to understand what your business stands for.
It should help you provide content that your customers are interested in.
With your strategy, you can limit the content that your competitors have already provided, which can help you stand out.
Your strategy will also help you create content that is structured based on how users think about a certain subject.
A good strategy helps you create content that will allow you to communicate with your audience in a way that they understand.
You can provide useful, up-to-date, factual, and accessible to everyone who follows your posts.
With all those requirements, it may sound like you need to be an expert in planning out a strategy for your content. The good news is you do not have to be; in fact, you do not even have to have the experience in strategizing your content. There are no definite templates for creating a content strategy. Yours will be unique to your business. However, there are five components that your strategy should include:
Business case: With your business case, you can innovate with content marketing. You communicate your reasons for providing content, the potential risks that may be involved, and finally your vision regarding how success will look like. With these things in mind, you can figure out what actually works best for your business.
Business plan: You can use your business plan for your content marketing efforts as it will cover the goals that you have for your content. It will also cover the unique value that you want to provide your content as well as the specifics of your business model. Using your business plan for creating a content strategy will help you outline the obstacles, along with the opportunities you could encounter in executing your plan.
Personas of an audience and content mapping: As you create your strategy, you should also be able to describe the audience that your content is for. It is also part of your strategy to know what their needs are as well as what their cycle for content engagement might look like. Mapping out content is also quite useful as it helps you move your content closer to your business goals.
Brand story: Do not forget about your brand story as it is where you characterize your content strategy regarding the ideas, opinions, and messages you would like to communicate. Through your brand story, you can decide on how those messages would be different from your competitors. It is also where you show your views on the landscape evolving once you start sharing them with your target audience.
Channel plan: With your channel plan involved in your content strategy, you can use various platforms to tell your brand story. Your strategy should also meet your criteria, objectives, and processes for every platform you use. Finally, you should be able to connect all of them to come up with a cohesive conversation about your brand.
With a good content strategy, you will have enough to learn more about your content goals. You can use that ample time you have to create and manage content that will fit your budget. One thing that you have to know about content strategy is that it requires teamwork. You may have heard about the maxim that says content is king. It is said over and over, but be aware that content alone will not bring your projects to life. Therefore, it has to work closely with other disciplines, including:
Search engine optimization
Whether you are a small or large team, it is important that there is a holistic view when it comes to creating and implementing content.
As you come up with your content strategy, you should allow room for flexibility. You should not expect it to be effective at first and remember that you are allowed to make mistakes. Based on these learning experiences, you can use them to gather more information regarding your audience, their preferences and requirements, your business and brand, and everything that is in your environment. These things will help you polish your content strategy in the future.
Killer Content Strategies You Can Steal Today
When you create a strategy for your content, make sure it is a strategy that is specific to your circumstances, audience, and of course, your company. A strategy that works for your business can provide you with a framework for answering important questions like “What are you doing?” and “Why are you doing this again?”
At the same time, you want a strategy that is flexible enough as circumstances, audience, and company change. These requirements should not frighten you. To make this easier, read this article about creating content themes. If other companies can do it, so can you. Here are some examples of content strategies that have worked and are still working today:
He has almost 60 million subscribers on YouTube, and this famous gamer and comedian earned 15 million last year. His content strategy is not about him winning any awards for producing high-quality videos. In fact, he does not need to do that as it is not his priority and his audience does not care for production quality as well. What he does is provide homemade videos that his subscribers enjoy watching.
His audience is mostly made up of teens and those who love watching funny videos on YouTube. He is adept at providing content that resonates with his target audience. He knows exactly how to create content with high impact without the need to go over the budget unlike with big companies.
An online company designs customizable templates for landing pages that are also mobile friendly. They also provide testing services, so that businesses will be able to improve their reach. There are already plenty of other bigger and more famous companies out there that provide the same services. It is difficult for this company to compete with other giants. However, instead of spending thousands to acquire customers, just like most of their competitors, they developed a content strategy that is based on the idea that a good content team can outperform a sales team made up of more than 50 people.
Based on that idea, the company developed the following strategies for their content:
They started a blog to cover the process of generating leads while discussing all sorts of topics related to their company.
They offered various marketing resources, such as marketing sources, EBooks, case studies, and infographics. These offers are all available to their target audience for free.
They hired a popular podcaster to run their weekly podcast
They also offered weekly webinars that cover different topics involved in online marketing
The idea proved to be right, thanks to the content strategy. The company ended up with high ratios of customer acquisition to lifetime value.
WP Engine is a hosting platform that is focused on WordPress. Web hosting is already a very competitive sector in the world of technology. There are several hundreds of companies that target the same customers, and most of them are not even tech-savvy. WP Engine knew they were facing a huge challenge and it was difficult to overcome given the fact that they exclusively cater to WordPress users. Therefore, they tried some strategies for their content management, and these are the ones that worked:
The content was focused on their product, including its new features. They also provided news related to WordPress and WP Engine.
They also provided content focused on the industry where they talked about how agencies and marketers use the blogging platform to create and develop their online presence.
WP Engine also blogged about how people and businesses use their online presence to encourage growth in sales, leads, and other aspects.
The blog they created also talked about the open source community of WordPress. The technique they used here is to avoid branding the content as much as the others. This way, it would create a sense of being in a people-oriented group.
The company also used videos that are aimed to solve the problems of their customers.
The techniques used above were based on the vision of the CMO of the hosting platform, and it allowed them to drive significant results in no time.
The company is an insurance broker in the United Kingdom. Insurance and similar industries are not really famous for being exciting and admired. There are many cases where people and businesses deal with insurance companies only because they have to. With this fact alone, Simply Business found it difficult to attract potential customers. What they did was to acquire customers through content.
Simply Business caters to entrepreneurs and small business owners, so they focused on content that would be useful for their target audience – even if it was not related to insurance. Their content strategy involved the following:
They provided an email productivity guide to their subscribers.
They also offered a guide on Google AdWords for small business owners.
They also have a WordPress guide for small businesses
Another guide for business blogging
They offer a success roadmap for social media.
Immediately, their efforts were recognized, and they soon experienced an increased ranking for the main keywords they used.
A Plan You Can Start Now
Fortunately for you, creating a content strategy is often approachable, easy to start, and affordable. You can kick-start your program with these three easy steps:
Research, research, and more research: Do your homework on your competition, platforms, your audience, and the industry trends. You can use these pieces of information to launch an effective content strategy.
Goal setting: You should have a goals list that is specific, such as your deadlines, time frame and money investment, and your main objective.
Draft: Now that you already know what you want to achieve, you will be able to produce content. You can assign someone who will take over this responsibility and make sure that you leave a wiggle room if you have to adjust your content strategy.
Creating a content strategy is an investment of money, time, and effort. While this is true, having a reliable strategy will help simplify all your marketing efforts while allowing your business to grow and improve.
Everything you post or publish should follow a content strategy.
Your content strategy should help you reach business objectives.
It involves steps like research and goal setting, as well as evaluating, creating, and measuring content.
Email may seem outdated compared to social media, but it is still one of the best ways to communicate with your target audience. However, you should not make the mistake of using it to reach those who do not want to hear from you.
Email marketing delivers your marketing message without costing you much and yet is high impacting unlike other techniques – including social media. But it will not work unless you have a great email list.
Why Email Marketing
A much-cited study showed that email is still 40 times better than Facebook and Twitter combined specifically in acquiring new customers. Additionally, 91% of consumers in the United States still use email on a daily basis. Compared to social media, emails have three times the power of converting a subscriber into a paying customer. That’s not all because the average order value of emails media is 17% higher vs. social media.
Email marketing is a low-cost way of reaching current customers and potential ones. For every dollar you invest, your email marketing efforts can give you a return of $38 to $40 on average. That is equivalent to a whopping 3,700% return on investment. For this very reason, more and more marketers have increased their email marketing budget this year.
Building an Effective Email List from Scratch
Your email list is one of the most prized assets you can ever have for your business. It is all yours, and you are not bound by algorithms and search engine rankings. Every subscriber you earn counts. It does not matter whether you gain one daily, weekly, or per minute. But what really matters is the “how” or the method you use to get people to subscribe to your emails – not to mention have them buy your products.
It may feel overwhelming especially if you are starting from scratch. With the right elements put together though, you can drive more subscribers to your emails and eventually generate more sales for your business. Here are the key ingredients you need to build a clean email list that will definitely work:
The Right Incentive to Sign Up
The first and most crucial stage of building your email list is to choose the right incentive. It is what marketers call the “ethical bribe,” in which you offer something in exchange for people to join your mailing list. For example, you can offer a $5 discount on your products if you sign up. What is important here is that you get the permission of your potential customers so that they do not feel as if you will invade their inbox with your unwelcome emails.
Aside from discounts or members only sales, you can also offer free content to your audience. Make sure that they would find the content you provide as valuable. It also helps that you can come up with a piece that will put the reader in a buying mood.
The next step toward building an effective email list is to create a landing page or a squeeze page that is designed specifically to get people to hit the subscribe button. This part of your website is significant, and you can use it in different ways such as the following to build your list:
Link your blog posts to it.
Include it as a link when creating your social media profile.
Add it in your emails such as in the body or your email signature.
Your landing page does not have any other objective than to help you gain more subscribers. It should have a persuasive headline, an opt-in form, and reasons why people should join your mailing list.
Opt-in forms or sign-up boxes should be strategically placed on your website. You can use email marketing software solutions, such as MailChimp, Drip, and Constant Contact to get a snippet of code, which you can drag and drop into places around your website.
Do not hesitate to add more than one form to your site. If you use eye tracking analytics, you will find that most of the visitors just look at the content they want, your sidebar, or your navigation menu – not all parts of your website from top to bottom. Therefore, it is important that all the spots they look at should have a conversion point, which is your opt-in form.
Staying in Touch with Your Email List
When growing your mailing list, you should make sure you remain in contact with the people who clicked the subscribe button. Do not just email your subscribers for a few months and have them unsubscribe or leave your emails unopened because they have forgotten about you and the reason why they joined your mailing list in the first place. How do you stay in touch though? You have two options to make sure your subscribers remain interested in you and your business:
Option #1: You can send manual updates regularly. These updates can be anything such as newsletters, links to your newest content pieces, or the latest information about your industry that you know your customers are interested in. As much as possible, this should be high-quality content with separate value, but you should still target sales and conversions with it. If your business consistently has new things to talk about, this option is ideal for you.
Option #2: The second method is to put your subscribers in auto-responder series, which is a series of emails set up in advance. You will send the emails to new subscribers on schedule. If your business has static products or you want to automate your sales funnel, you can choose this option. Even though the emails have been pre-written for your new subscribers, make sure that you update them whenever necessary.
Whichever option you choose, your very first email should have the incentive you promised. Whether it is a free guide, download link, or discount, it should be there. The next emails will be up to you, but you can follow this format:
For the next email, which you should send a few days after your first email, can be a follow up on the subscribers. For example, you can ask if they are pleased with the incentive you have given them.
The next email you send a few days after your second email can be about letting your subscribers know about your existing or future products and services that you think they would be interested in based on the incentive you sent.
Building your email list is about two things: getting permission and offering value to your subscribers. When you know how to delight them in their inbox, they will surely repay the favor by purchasing your products.
Building vs. Buying Mailing List
Because of the promising ROI of email marketing, it can definitely be tempting to buy mailing lists to have subscribers swiftly. This is especially true for newbies in email marketing who want a quick way to gain hundreds to thousands of subscribers. Even some who have experience in this online marketing tool turn to mailing list purchasing to extend their success.
However, there is a huge difference, particularly in results, between outside (purchased) and in-house (built) lists. The biggest difference is that there is the potential that you could damage your reputation not only as a sender but as a business if the receivers complain about you as spam. Believe it or not, this can have long term consequences and can impact your message deliverability in the future. When that happens, the people on your mailing list, including those who specifically asked to have your messages delivered to them, may see your emails in their Junk folder.
While buying is quick and painless, it can pose significant problems to your email marketing strategy. Still, the best way to make sure you achieve optimal ROI while protecting yourself from spam complaints about your emails is to have your own email list that you have built and maintain from scratch.
Some List Building Techniques from Experts That You Can Try
Just like you, marketing experts and big companies also collect subscribers to expand their mailing list. They understand how important this marketing tool is and how it can help them grow their business and income. Here are some successful techniques used by experts in building their lists:
Brian Dean, Backlinko
What Brian displayed on his home page was the opportunity for potential subscribers to get traffic tips in exchange for their email.
Why it worked: His visitors know he is an expert in backlinking, so they sign up to receive his proven tips on SEO and getting traffic.
Why this could work for you: If someone visits your website and is on your homepage, there is a chance that they have heard about you. At the very least, they are curious about your brand. There is also a chance that they see you as an authority, so they want to know how you can help them.
How to make it work: The first fold of your homepage is often the most viewed section. Make sure that 100% of the traffic on your homepage gets the chance to give you their email address by signing up.
Nordstrom and Best Buy
If you bought items in these stores, you may have been asked for your email address. They do so to give you an electronic copy for your receipts. In return, they add you to their mailing lists.
Why it worked: Many customers today see paper receipts as just a waste, so they gladly provide their email addresses to get the receipt in their inbox.
Why this could work for you: Often, people are not so hesitant to provide their email address after purchasing something.
How to make it work: If you have a physical store or product, you can give your customers the option to get e-copies of their receipts instead of traditional paper. This can help make their lives easier and for you to build your email list. If you have an e-commerce store, it is even simpler to ask for their email addresses during checkout.
Ramit Sethi, Zero to Launch
Zero to Launch is a paid online course created by Ramit Sethi. What he did was he put a gated entrance to this certain product by enticing people with a killer copy. Instead of buying the course right away, you need to give your email address to receive more information about the course.
Why it worked: The course was offered to people who were really interested in learning about the subject. By asking for email addresses, Ramit was able to separate serious students from those who were simply curious about the lesson.
Why this could work for you: You can put your course or any of your paid products or services behind a gate – in this case, an email gate. You will need to collect the emails, which you can use in the future. At the same time, it will build up the prestige of your product and brand.
How to make it work: What you need here is to provide something legit, a no-frills product or service that people would really want to get their hands on. Bribe your potential customers by giving them a copy or a snapshot of the product, along with reasons why they would want to have it. In exchange for that, you will ask for their email addresses so that you can explain more about the product.
Daniel DiPizza, Rich20Something.com
This technique shows you do not need a website to create an email list. For Daniel, he used Instagram for his call to action post. He posted a photo with a content upgrade with a call to action as the post’s caption where people would sign up for the product.
Why it worked: Instagram is one of the great social media platforms for driving subscribers to your email list. Plus, it has a high level of engagement with a huge number of the users on Instagram are active.
Why this could work for you: Whether or not you are active on Instagram, you can benefit from this platform if you have an offer for your followers. It is great to expand your email list using your website and social media such as through IG.
How to make it work: You can create an image with some details about your opt-in offer. Make sure there is a call to action right in the caption of the post where you ask your interested followers to sign up.
A good email marketing strategy will never work without a clean and effective email list. You own that list, and you can use it to engage with your customers regularly, promote a new product, service, or content, and evaluate whether or not your messages resonate quite well. Remember that your list consists of people who actually opted in to receive your updates, so it is a fantastic opportunity to get your message across and reach your business goals at the same time.
An email list helps you reach out to customers in the future and keep them engaged with your business
Encourage people to sign up for and stay on your email list by having strong email content and by using strong CTAs that describe why your emails are so valuable
A content strategy for your website, blog, and social media activity can help draw people in and convince them to sign up for more
Email has become a wonderful tool for communication. These days though, it is overshadowed by tweeting, sharing status updates, and other means of imparting messages through different social media platforms. But emails and email marketing are far from obsolete. In fact, as an entrepreneur, there has never been a more critical time to take advantage of email marketing campaigns than it is now.
Studies and surveys have shown that email marketing consistently outperforms social media. It reaches its intended audience 90% of the time and has a higher click-through rate (CTR) than social media promotions. These benefits and a lot more can entice you to start an email marketing campaign. But there is one problem: not everyone knows how to do it right.
Why Bother with Email Marketing?
Email marketing should always be a part of your marketing strategy. It is a cost-effective way to endorse your products or services. On average, you can spend a dollar on email marketing, and you can get $48 back. That’s not bad. Additionally, it is a way for you to communicate with your customers, while you reach your goals for your business.
How to Create an Effective Email Marketing Strategy
You can begin with a compelling headline, interesting content, and a call to action in the end. But there is one thing most entrepreneurs forget. The first step to a successful strategy is to make sure the recipients have permitted you to contact them.
Getting into your existing or potential customers’ inboxes is similar to being invited to dinner at their homes. Therefore, if they ask you to remove your shoes, you should respectfully follow the instruction. For your email marketing strategy to work, you should always remember that you are in your customer’s “house.”
The first step is to build a sizeable list is to get permission from the possible recipients. You can choose your own way, such as giving something for free such as an eBook or you can offer product updates. You can also provide newsletters. Whichever method you choose, the purpose should be clear. The recipients should understand…
What will happen after they give you their email address
You are not out to spam them
The frequency of the emails
Whether or not they will get discounts
If they will have the chance to test your products
Whether they will receive relevant offers or you are just going to give them more junk
Let us say that you have built your email list. It is time now to focus on your email marketing strategies. Here are tactics that will surely help you turn to email marketing as an important communication channel that can help increase conversion rates:
It does not mean you should send an individual email to each of your 100 subscribers. Personalization is simply about using customer data:
Dear Mark instead of Dear valued customer
You might like these (after inspecting the buying or “liking” history) not about a randomly generated list
Using personalized subject lines increases open rates by 16%. Plus, 70% of the brands do not practice personalization, so you easily stand out from the rest.
For example, if you are hosting an event and you want small business owners from within a 20-mile radius to participate, segmentation is important. Create a segment of these small business owners who live within 20 miles and then send them an email to invite them. You can use CRM software to segment your email recipient list. Segmentation is vital in email marketing because no one would want to receive an email that has nothing to do with their current location, industry, interests, and other factors.
In 2012, almost 30% of marketing recipients opened their emails through a mobile device. Two years later, the number became 42%. This year, 54% of emails were opened on mobile. These are really huge numbers and are expected to keep growing each year. It is only right that you make sure your emails are optimized for their handheld devices; otherwise, they will delete the email or even unsubscribe.
When you create a website, you make sure that you test all the buttons, designs, and links to make sure they all work properly. You should do the same with email marketing. The following elements of your email should all be tested
Call to action
It also helps to test what actually works for the sender name since research shows that it is the main reason why customers open their email. You can also test whether your subscribers open your longer emails more or they like it short and sweet. The best way to find out the results is to keep testing.
You can create trigger-based emails, such as those that welcome or thank your customers. These emails are based on the behavior of the readers. This website and for my clients, I prefer to use Drip as this tool is very powerful for marketing automation. For example, the customer made a purchase. You should have a trigger email ready, including an order confirmation and a receipt. You can leverage email automation to win you customers and retain them for the future.
Whenever you send an email to your target audience, it should always be valuable, interesting, and timely. There are ways to know whether your email marketing strategy is finally working. You can measure it through…
Click-through rate or CTR which refers to the number of people who clicked on the links
Open rate or the percentage of people who opened the email you sent to them
Unsubscribe rate or the percentage of those who decided to stop getting your emails after receiving one from you
Conversion rate or the percentage of people who did the task or action described in the email
Of these four, you should always measure CTR and conversion rate. While the number of people who unsubscribed and those who opened your email will also help you determine whether or not your email marketing strategy is working, they are not as useful as CTR and conversion rate.
CTR will tell you if the emails you send to your subscribers are engaging and are valuable to them. If the CTR is low, it is time to change your strategy. Start with your call to action that should create a sense of urgency, so that the reader will feel the need to click that link.
As for the conversion rate, this metric tells you whether or not email marketing is helping you realize your business goals. If it is low, make sure that you are telling your subscriber what to do in a plain and simple yet compelling manner.
Examples of Email Marketing Strategies that Worked – and are Still Working
All kinds of businesses need to reach out to their customers. Even the big companies today use email marketing to maintain their customers and convert readers into buyers. Most of the time, the emails are useless that people simply mark them as read (without really reading them) and even unsubscribing.
However, there are also times when the email is so good that the subscriber does not just read it but also clicks on the link and shares it with their friends. Here are some of the email marketing strategies that can inspire you to create one that really works for you and your business:
Subscribers like how BuzzFeed uses attention-grabbing subject lines. They also have preview texts that compel most of their subscribers to open the email. They are simple and short but come with a punch. Often, they will present a question on their subject line, and the preview text will provide an answer. There are also emails where their subject line is like an instruction, and the preview text is to strengthen that command.
Example: “Get up! Get Up Now!” as the subject line, and the preview text says, “It’s time to get out of bed, people.”
BuzzFeed does not just rely on the subject and the previews. They also make sure that the copy is engaging and contains images that will surely hold the interest of the reader.
We have mentioned trigger emails, which you may have also known as transactional emails. These automated emails just go to the recipient’s inbox after taking a specific action. They could be anything from an email about a person filling out a form to purchasing a product. Often, these emails are made of plain texts and marketers simply set them and later, forget about them.
Charity: water, however, took a different route. Subscribers who decide to donate money to the charity: water project, they will receive an automated email to show where the money is and how it will make an impact in the future. There are a timeline and a table to know where the project is going and its progress.
Obviously, people will not read the emails through and through. However, they send emails that are clear and designed well for the purpose that the donor knows exactly where to read to check his or her status.
Most businesses use email marketing to promote their products and services. Uber is not an exception. The company emails their subscribers about deals and promotions so that people will click and buy their services. But what sets Uber’s email marketing strategy apart from other companies is that they make sure the emails are simple and straight to the point. The initial description is brief, and there is a very clear call to action that prompts the customer to do exactly what it says.
Subscribers these days are on the go, so they do not have the time or the patience to browse through the email. When they skim the email, they want to know exactly what it is about or they will leave it opened yet unread. Uber uses short emails, but they also put a link in the copy for those who want a detailed explanation about the deal.
Uber’s emails also work effectively because they are consistent with the branding of the company. From the app to the website, the emails come in geometric patterns and bright colors known to Uber. Additionally, the brand uses marketing assets and communications that tell a story. As an entrepreneur, you should also nail consistency to gain brand loyalty, just like what Uber continues to do.
TheSkimm sends out daily newsletters to the subscribers. While not everyone may be reading them every day, the design is clean and comes with short paragraphs. Aside from newsletters, the company also sends emails triggered by certain milestones, such as anniversaries and birthdays. A lot of people appreciate these kinds of emails on a special occasion.
You can also try this kind of triggered email. The beauty of such emails is that they do not require extra data from the subscribers. You do not have to ask them to input information about themselves, and the emails can work for various recipients.
Other Email Marketing Strategies
You still have several techniques to try as you improve on your email marketing strategies. One example is by attempting to know the people who are reading your emails. The best way to do this is through surveys, market research, and interviews among others.
Another strategy you can try is to use pictures or even GIFs. These images capture the eye of the reader, so make sure they are delightful, colorful, and of course, related to your email and brand. It also helps to add some brief, clever content that will allow the reader to scan the email easily.
You can also offer something but do not put it inside the email. For instance, if you offer beauty products, you can say that you are giving away something in the subject line. In the content of the email, add the link where the subscribers can click to get that free offer.
For many marketers, email marketing is old-fashioned. However, if you know what you are doing, you can create a strategy that will deliver results and will continue to do so. Email marketing will keep on evolving. Therefore, it is important that you update your strategy from time to time to benefit from an improved campaign performance and of course, a bigger and better business.
Email marketing is an easy way to reach customers and achieve your business goals.
Every email you send should be useful, timely, or interesting.
Click-through rate and conversion rate are the 2 most important things to track.
When you already have your product, you are excited to make your very first sale. You have taken photos of that product, written its descriptions, set up your online store, and provide your followers with great content. All these efforts could mean it is time to launch your product. Unfortunately, you cannot just sit back and expect sales to come flooding in. It is never easy in the business world, especially in e-commerce.
You are probably like most entrepreneurs out there who are virtually unknown. It is possible to have a paying customer without building an audience first. No matter what path you take, selling a product is not the last step to take in running a business. This process alone takes several procedures before you can establish your brand to your audience.
Are People Interested in Your Product or Will They Hit the Back Button?
Many business owners agree that there is nothing like the feeling of making the very first sale. Some believe it is even better than getting your hundredth sale. The first time that someone makes a purchase, you feel validated. It just means you have created something that can help you earn money even as you sleep.
However, your business is not something that you can set and forget. There will always be ongoing work for you to do so that those sales will keep on coming. You need to perform significant steps to ensure there will be a viable income stream.
Before you make a sale though, you should know about the value proposition of your product or service. Value proposition is a crucial thing that you need to test, and if done right, your revenues will get a huge boost. What exactly is it though? Value proposition is the very reason why a prospect should choose your product over your competition. In a nutshell, it is a statement that clearly states:
How your product will provide a solution to the problems of your target customers or how it will improve their situation – in other words, relevancy
The specific benefits of your product or its quantified value
Why your product is unique and should be chosen by your customers, not the competition’s
If you already have a website, your value proposition should be presented to your website, particularly on its landing or home page. Of course, it should also be noticeable on all major entry points for your site.
How to Make an Effective Value Proposition
Value proposition can ultimately increase your customer lifetime value. It is not for robots or search engines, but for humans to read and understand.
Use language that is easy to grasp without the need for meaningless jargons, which are common in “blandvertising.”
You cannot guess how your customers describe your product because it will usually be different from how you talk about it. You should interview your customers, or you can use social media to find out.
Figure out the end-benefit of the product you are offering and describe it in one short sentence. Make sure it is an attention grabber.
A value proposition also has a sub-headline, which can be comprised of two to three sentences. The sub-headline will specifically explain what the product will offer, for whom, and other reasons why it is useful.
There can also be a list of key features or benefits, which are presented in bullet points.
You can insert an image of your product. Since images can communicate faster than words can, you can use the best photo of your product to reinforce your message.
With your value proposition ready, you can proceed with the other steps toward making a sale.
How to Make Your First Sale
If you have no prior experience in selling something, it should not worry you at all. There are actually several ways on how you can make your very first sale even if it is literally your first time to do so. Here are techniques you can use:
Take advantage of social media. There is a significant number of social media sites and apps you can use. With the right platform and a wise strategy, you will eventually make your first sale:
Facebook: Make friends on Facebook, craft compelling status updates, and create a page that will feature your store.
LinkedIn: Create a network on LinkedIn by connecting with the right people, having a professional profile, posting intelligent and useful content, and leveraging groups on the site.
YouTube: Use the site to sell, produce engaging video content, and use YouTube analytics to help you start selling.
Twitter: Strategically involve followers and convert them into customers with the site. Use hashtags, tweet, and retweet regularly, and make sure to interact with the other users.
Tap into search engine marketing. These days, there are many consumers who use comparison shopping to purchase a product. You need to stand out on these comparison shopping tools so that you can get your product or service in front of more consumers. While at it, you should also know how important it is to be found on Google Places. Additionally, your website and your content should be search engine optimized, which when done correctly, can help you rank higher on Google searches.
Be accessible on handheld devices. With everyone on the go these days, you want to make sure your website is accessible on mobile devices. It is one of the best ways you can gain an edge on your competition. You can make your existing site mobile friendly, or you can create another one that is intended for mobile use.
Improve on your PR. For your online marketing method to be effective, you should get other people or websites to review your products. Doing so can help build visibility for your brand while increasing credibility. Of course, there is also word-of-mouth advertising. You can also write a press release for your product or pull a PR stunt to bring attention to your brand. You can also interview an influencer who is well-known in your industry.
Be ready with relevant content. It cannot be stressed enough how vital content marketing is for your product and your business in totality. Some of the things you can do here include:
Writing a guest post
Creating a viral video
Having your own blog
Writing a blog post that is sure to be controversial
Advertise. You can go for paid ads online, such as advertising on Facebook, paying for Google AdWords, or buying banner ads. You can also promote on Twitter to highlight your tweets on the site. Of course, you can also practice traditional advertising where you go with trade shows. You can also try print ads, or you can sponsor an event. Distributing flyers, advertising outdoors, and even going door to door are some of the most overlooked techniques for startups. However, these methods can actually work whether you are delivering physical, subscription, or digital products.
When you already have a product, do not forget to tell your family and friends about it. These people are usually the ones who would make your first sale easy. It does not mean you will have to sell to them, but you can use them to kick start advertising through word of mouth.
How Companies and Entrepreneurs Made Their First Sale
Most of the big companies that exist today also went through a hard time, particularly in gaining their very first client. Prior to launching their products or services, they went through a variety of stages and challenges. The same things happen even after a sale. As you can see, the process does not stop when your customers pay for your products. It is usually the start of something you have to consistently improve on.
Here are some stories of how entrepreneurs and companies made their sale and how they did it
Sales Funnel Roadmap
Jordan Gal created his first product that he called the Sales Funnel Roadmap. It was an info-product where he provided an online course about implementing a successful sales funnel for startups and small business owners.
At that time, Jordan had no name recognition, and he even had no existing mailing list. However, he managed to make a four-figure sale on the first day of introducing his product. He did it by creating a plan that worked for him as well as the course around sales funnels. He put up a home page where there were offers of a free webinar discussing the same traffic. He also made sure traffic went to his site using Facebook Ads, and it allowed him to land hundreds of registrations. He also hosted his first ever educational webinar where he presented his premium course.
Clint Warren is the man behind Illuminate WP, which is a workshop business for WordPress. Its very first workshop was in 2013. Clint already had a blog at that time, but he did not post there a lot, and he also did not have a personal email list. He was not a fan of tweeting as well. However, his first workshop was able to sell 25 tickets, which were priced at more than $300 per seat.
His technique included a combination of speaking engagements and word of mouth strategy. Before he launched Illuminate, he was at several local meet-up groups for WordPress, and he eventually became the organizer of some of those meet-ups. One of the very first things he did was to send an email to those who attended the last meet-up. Since they were already interested in WordPress, this means that these people were the perfect audience for his workshop.
Ma Yun or Jack Ma is the founder of Alibaba who also used a unique technique to gain a large number of users for the website. What he did was he sent out several members of his workforce to visit different parts of the country. From there, they went from one factory to another to make the people understand how to use Alibaba in order for them to sell their things online.
At that time, there were not a lot of people who were willing to work with those they would only get in touch with online. Apart from that, most of them did not even own a computer or have an Internet connection. It was definitely hard work, but Alibaba’s efforts immediately saw its first sale because many companies flocked to the site.
Niel Patel, who is now known as the founder of CrazyEgg and KISSmetrics, had an SEO company prior to the two mentioned. He found it difficult to have clients at that time because most of the companies already had others providing services for them. He later looked for companies that were spending more on paid search advertising. He started calling them one by one until he found someone who was willing to talk about SEO.
It took him almost a hundred calls before he got a client to say yes. It was not a big contact at that time, but he was able to convince the company when he showed that he could help them save money.
A Successful First Sale and Many More to Come
The product launch is definitely not the end of your business. You cannot just rest easy simply because you have your product or service out in the market. If you do not have a product yet, you can survey your target audience to know what they would like to get from you. If you don’t have an audience, focus on building your audience first. It becomes easier to sell the product because there will be people who really want it.
You should also be crystal clear on your offer. Confused consumers will not be paying customers. You can provide them with useful content that will provide them with a list of benefits they can get from your product. Doing so can help you with your conversion rates.
Finally, when you already have a product, do not stop selling. Some entrepreneurs simply start the launch, but they do not sell the product hard. As a result, they do not achieve their goals, and they eventually give up. It is actually the follow-through that will make you successful, so make your first sale and do not stop selling.
Understanding which metric to measure can be a very daunting task. New and old don’t know where to start because there is so much data that goes through your company every day. It’s important to understand what is going to create the most value for the customer and start with that.
Think of the value of a person like a totem pole. The bottom of the totem pole is something that has no value. The top of the totem pole is the necessities to survive such as water, food, and shelter.
If you don’t achieve what this article will teach you, it does not matter how many “growth hacking” tricks or tips you try to do, you will not grow.
The goal with your product is to get to the highest part of the totem pole as you can. The best products out there are the ones that it is the first thing people think of when they wake up in the morning. People nowadays wake up to their phone before even saying hello to their spouse or loved ones. That’s crazy, and Samsung and Apple loves it.
The number one most important metric for any product is engagement.
When you have a high engaging product and something that people rely on, on a daily basis. You have a product market fit. The more time they spend with your product, the higher the chance they will tell someone about it.
It doesn’t even need to be a product, and it’s anything that you are giving something of value. The more times a person comes back to a rock concert, the higher the chance they will tell more of their friends about an upcoming rock concert or how about an open source git project, the metric to measure is the frequency of git commits if you are an engineer. For an e-commerce company, the metric to measure is all about repeat customers, the more products a single customer has, the higher the chance they will tell someone else about it.
Let’s think about a messaging app for example, like WhatsApp. If you have a person logging in every day, that does not mean they are active, and that doesn’t provide any value. The metric to measure is messages sent per day. That’s the only metric that should matter. When you measure how many messages sent per day, you are sending out a notification per message and the other person is notified about a social interaction bringing them back into the application and the loop is started. The more time the person stays in the application, you are creating that much higher value for them.
They are going to tell their friends about it because they care about their friends and want them to have as much value as they are getting.
This blog is all about you reading these articles repeatedly, and I need to provide that much value to you that you look forward to what I am writing. What a challenge!
I hope the concept is clicking at this point, all of this is achieving product market fit. If you fail to reach this engagement number, the stickiness of your application your product will not grow.
In a future article, I will talk about at what point your product achieved product market fit and how you should target your customers.
As a business owner, one of the most important strategies that you have to incorporate into your business plan is content marketing and we’ll use content themes to connect to your core values. At its core, a company’s content marketing entails why you create content, who you want to help, and how you aim to assist them in ways that no one else can. Typically, content marketing is used to build an audience and achieve one of these results at the very least in regards to…
Through content marketing, your organization allows your existing customers to know even more, and new or potential customers will develop more ideas about what your business is really about. With the abundance of social media platforms these days, you have many venues where you can share your content. From blogging to posting on Facebook, to tweeting on Twitter, you can reach out to your customers much easier.
However, your content marketing strategy should not just be about providing information to your audience, however, it should also be linked to your business values. You can achieve this good connection with the use of content themes.
The Importance of Content Themes
You already know your business has many competitors, but there are even more rivals in the online world. The Internet is such a magnificent thing, and these days, people turn to it to find answers to their questions. It is indeed good news for most individuals how convenient the Internet has become – even solving problems is usually an easy task.
While there may be a plethora of options for online users, this benefit creates a dilemma for businesses and brands. It is so easy to get lost in the sea of content, so how are you going to stand out? One of the things that most entrepreneurs forget is related to the content they provide to people: content themes.
Why are content themes important to your business? Content themes are simply what you write about and post for your followers to read. You can have weekly or monthly themes, whichever would satisfy your readers. Regardless of the frequency, as long as you have these themes, you will be able to form hooks. Readers will keep coming back to your website, social media page, or blog to seek for other related posts.
It does not sound complicated at all. In fact, themed ideas are almost always right in front of you. Every day, your existing and potential customers are providing you with these theme ideas. What you need to do is to look at what they are posting and sharing on social media. These posts will tell you what they are interested in.
Matching Your Business Values
The content theme ideas are not everything your customers talk about. While it is important that you are providing them with content they like, what you post should also match and strengthen your business values. How do you do this? The very first step is to define your target market.
You should never post content without defining who you want your readers to be. While you may want everyone to appreciate your articles or blog posts, it is not how things work. Imagine a website that provides a variety of topics that you do not even know what its goal is. For this reason alone, you want to know your target audience so that you can determine what to post based on their interests.
Defining your audience is not always easy like you are just defining their location, age, and gender which was the case before. Interests are now crossing every demographic boundary. To identify relevant content themes, you should not just consider your vertical; it should also be about your target market’s lifestyle.
The next step now is to understand what your goal is in creating content themes. Your business should not just be about revenues and how you can deliver products or services to your customers. You should also be ready to become a go-to source for a variety of things like the ones below through your content such as…
Ways to make your customers’ lives better
Relevant news updates
Points of interest
You can create blog posts, infographics, videos, and feature articles for your customers. These examples all appeal to a really broad audience today. However, if the content you provide does not adhere to the specific requirements and desires of your customers, it will not give the positive results of content marketing. If you really want to provide your target market with something that they will find useful, interesting, and effective, you should offer relevant content while making sure it matches your core values.
For example, one business sells personalized costumes for Halloween, Christmas parties, and other events. This particular business believes they can provide a fun way for people to dress up while showing their customers’ creative side. The next step now is to look at what the customers talk about in the comments section of the company’s social media page as well as the business values and use both to create content themes:
A customer posted about trick or treat candies.
“Top 5 Halloween Costumes for a Ladies’ Night Out”
Great Accessories to Bring to a Party
DIY Christmas Party Dresses
How to Lose Weight in 10 Days
From 1 to 4, these posts are relevant to the business as well as the values of the company. Those four can be used to create content themes, which will allow the customers to know more about the brand.
How to Create Content Themes
With an effective content theme, your customers are guided as to what to expect from your company for every post you offer. You can connect the interests of your target market with the beliefs of your business. Here are some tips for creating a strong content theme:
Have three to five themes to serve as guardrails in which almost all your content should follow these themes.
While the themes should be relevant to your products or service, business, and your core values, they should still be different yet specific. They should not overlap but should be able to show your point of view. Of course, they should be appealing to your target market and if possible, to the general public.
Your content should be inspiring while providing help to the readers. Interesting content usually tells a story. Having themes make your content even more compelling because they can assist you in adding structure to your content marketing strategy. Themes fuel creativity as well and can provide you with an assurance that you are covering the key messages as you reach your key customers and prospect bases.
Examples of Content Themes Based on the Company’s Values
To help you understand better about content themes and how you can create them for your business, here are some examples that you can use as your guide:
Problem Solver is a company that aims to do exactly what its name says: to help solve problems. The company believes that people’s lives are all about solving one problem after another and it can be done by surrounding one’s self with people who are willing to hop from one problem to the next. The customers of the company often talk about their problems at home, school, and at work, while others would offer advice on how to solve those issues. Some of the posts that the company has come up with included the following:
An article about “Steps on How to Overcome Problems Anywhere”
Simple mind games that can enhance the mental and analytic skills of the readers
A post about how to widen your social circle with the right people, particularly those who have a positive mindset
A sports apparel company believes that the foundation for everything they do is their excellence in performance. They cater to athletes as well as those who are passionate about sports. Their customers are of course very much interested in many sporting events, the athletes’ clothing, and anything that has something to do with their favorite sport. The themes that the company has come up with for their content are:
A collection of photos of basketball legends
Photos of athlete clothing that are currently trending on Twitter and other social media sites
A post on how to dress like the top athletes today
A post that encourages a debate over a certain sports team versus another sports team to know which one is better
An ice cream company strives to be different from other companies in the US. Their business values state that they provide delectable ice cream products and at the same time they aim to minimize their impact on the environment through the use of safe and sustainable methods of producing food. The target customers of this business are ice cream lovers who care for the environment as well. With this in mind, the company can deliver the following content by concentrating on themes based on their values and the interests of their customers:
Recipes for healthy homemade ice cream
Social media posts from famous people about ice cream and other desserts
A post about the weird flavors of ice cream from around the world
A children’s toy store offers not only toys that kids love to play with, but it also gives the young ones the chance to build their own toy. They believe that the best gifts are those that come from the heart. Their content is for the parents of the children. The parents actively post on the Facebook page of the toy store about their children’s favorite toys and games among others. The toy store used the posts as a guide to creating content with the following themes:
Handbook for parents to help them guide their children in building toys
Tips on how to select the right gift for the children
How to clean and care for toys
Twitter is a social networking website that allows its users to “tweet” about whatever they want. This social media giant believes that they should “give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers.” With over 61 million followers, Twitter also tweets about various things, but as a reflection of their business values, the content mainly focuses on these themes:
Creating hashtags that allow people to respond to current events and interesting topics such as #InternationalCatDay for cat lovers and #BookLoversDay for fans of books
Retweeting users’ tweets to encourage other people to use the social networking site regularly by expressing themselves
Allowing other people to respond to questions such as Top 5 lists and the like
A shoe company aims to help the needy by donating a pair of shoes every time it makes a sale. The mission is to alleviate poverty while making life better for other people. To encourage other customers to help with this mission, the company has some content themes based on the interests of their readers while taking into consideration their core values which involve helping the less fortunate:
A post about the rewards of generosity
Encouraging the customers to share their stories about helping other people especially those who are in need
A post about celebrities providing assistance for poor children in Africa and their families
In its simplest definition, the business values are your company’s fundamental beliefs. You use them as guiding principles that command how you and your staff should perform and behave, usually toward your customers.
What Does Your Business Stand For?
Before you can create content themes, it is important that you know what your business believes in first. To help you in knowing what your organization stands for, there are two things you need to answer:
In five words or less, describe what your product or service does to help your customers.
Using two words, what does your business represent?
As you provide answers to the two questions above, you will discover what your company believes in. You can use this piece of information to drive content that motivates, assists, and captivates your target audience.
Themes help you create content that reinforces your business’ core beliefs.
They live in the “sweet spot” between business values and customers’ interets.
Create 3 to 5 themes that are different from each other and not too generic.