Take the "Is It for Us or for Them?” Challenge

Creating a successful email marketing campaign isn't easy. Obviously, the goal of every campaign is to engage and ultimately sell to prospects and current/former clients. With this in mind, your marketing can quickly become all about you, with messages that tout your latest product, upcoming event, or a new field your business will soon branch into.

The question is: are you sending messages that benefit your customers or are you primarily focused on your own interests? Do you ever stop to consider what the reaction may be when a customer receives one of your emails? Will their interest be sparked or will it wane because you are only rattling off facts about the services you provide? Will past customers feel appreciated and warmly invited to your upcoming event or will they feel like they are just one of hundreds that you hope will fill seats?

As every email or piece of marketing is crafted, your company should take part in the “Is It for Us or for Them?” challenge to determine if you’re putting out content and telling yourself it’s good, or if it is high-quality material that will be well received.

Put Yourself in Their Shoes

All too often, companies fire off marketing emails without thinking about what it’s like on the receiving end. It may feel good to know that you alerted several thousand prospects to the launch of your new service, but it's more important to consider -- up front -- what the reaction of the recipients will be.

If you haven’t segmented your audience, for example, you may be sending messages that aren’t even relevant to a particular client’s needs. If they receive enough of these, your emails will be relegated to the junk folder. Take the time to segment your customer base in order to ultimately deliver information that interests them the most. Consider factors such as region, how much money they've spent with you, if they've purchased recently or not for many months, and so on.

Another common mistake email marketers make is creating campaigns that are company-centric, not client-centric. While you want to turn prospects into paying clients, and "C" clients into "B" or "A" clients, constantly barraging them with emails that are only about your company, products, specials, and new services can eventually lead them to delete your emails or opt to unsubscribe from future emails. Instead, create original content or share curated relevant content from non-competing sources. This approach will keep your audience engaged and looking forward to future communications.

Don’t Talk at Them; Talk with Them

This is an especially helpful tip for social media marketing, but it’s applicable to email as well. No one likes being talked at or sold to. Instead, people like feeling as though they’re part of an ongoing conversation in which the speaker is attentively listening to them.

With all of your marketing activities, take customer feedback and communication into consideration. What are you hearing when you engage with clients in person, via email, or on social media? What questions are they asking? What topics interest them? What problems do they have that your product or service can help solve?

With all of this in mind, don’t choose your e-mail marketing strategy based on what you would like your customers to hear; choose it based on what they would like to know.

If you take the “Is It for Us or for Them?” Challenge every time you draft content for an email, social media post or blog post, you’ll notice that your marketing will begin to stir up more interest from your prospects. This, in turn, will generate more opportunities for engagement and achieve the ultimate marketing mission — stimulating sales.