[last Saturday I gave a talk at the Web Marketing EXPO 2018, this is the outline of my speech]
We are all aware of the fact that it is increasingly difficult to gain the attention and the time of our audience, especially for those who do not have millionaire budgets or do not start from a condition of established visibility. However, I often notice that companies tend to forget that the first step to gaining attention is to show attention. In our book, Enrico Marchetto and I insist on this concept to the point of boredom, often talking about marketing empathy, because what we really have to do – and more often than we are used to – is to put ourselves in our clients’ shoes, and imagine what they feel, what are their expectations, how they see us from the outside.
I took part in the Web Marketing Expo 2017 at the end of September 2017, spending two very interesting days listening to talks and speaking with bright colleagues. A few days after the event, I received an email with the subject line:
Thank you for visiting our stand at the Web Marketing Expo
The problem is that I had NEVER visited that stand. In fact, I had not even noticed that company was even present at WMExpo. Maybe I would have even found the things they wanted to tell me interesting, but their approach was deeply irritating, like when I was a young girl and someone was trying to hit on me by chatting me up with the standard phrase “Haven’t we already met?” .
Things like that often happen:
Then, there is the eCommerce version:
When, out of laziness, we write the same message to everyone, perhaps throwing in sentences such as ‘if you have already registered, then X, otherwise Y’, we are putting on the reader’s shoulders part of the work that we should have already done: because it is all information we have, but have not used it out of laziness.
This laziness has consequences:
Let’s imagine I have a Digital Update course starting soon with a couple of places still available, and I decide I want it sold-out: the fastest tactic is to write a DEM, perhaps putting in a little incentive such as a discount. However, I don’t want to unnecessarily reach out to all the subscribers. The delicate balance that keeps them from unsubscribing is based on the fact that they only receive useful updates and links, and I don’t want some useless communication to jeopardize that.
So, how can I select the appropriate segment for my DEM
Another scenario, that of the Freelancecamp. In this case, for each participant in the list we have to take note of all the editions they participated. Then, before each edition, we’ll write both to registered participants and to those who haven’t registered yet, but with a different frequency and call to action:
Then, the day before the event we’ll send out two messages:
When the event is over, the recipient segments become three instead of two:
Note that the message for the “absent registered members” has an even higher opening rate than the one for those who attended.
Let’s conclude with an example from an eCommerce, Simplycris. For Simplycris it is crucial to keep and constantly underline their essence as a small family-run company, 100% Made in Italy, to stand out among well-known and structured competitors.
Thus, we diversified the post-sales messages distinguishing between those who are first-time buyers and returning customers. New customers receive a welcome message, in which the company staff introduce themselves by name, underlining the fact that they are the very people who take care of every step of the workflow, from the choice of suppliers to production and shipment of the order.
For this message to be credible (automations must not tell lies, they must only make the distribution of honest messages more efficient), this first message is sent only during working hours: from Monday to Friday, from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. This automation is paused during company holidays, because the message between the lines is that “you’re not buying from Amazon, here you can find transparency and quality, but there are times when we are not available”.
The first purchase experience is generally so positive that the customers return, thus from the second purchase onwards the post-sales automation thanks them by sending them a discount code. The code has an expiry date, and, as you can imagine, reminders are sent only if no purchase has been made in the meantime.
We also send a discount to those who subscribe to the newsletter without having bought anything yet. Here too, we only remind those who do not make purchases. The result is a conversion rate (calculated only on the last click, thus excluding anyone who uses the discount code but landing on the website from direct access or from a brand search) of almost 18%; follow-ups from the second purchase convert to 5.3%, and even those after the first purchase, despite not containing any incentive, generate 3.3% of new purchases!
The best way to improve relevance is to reduce irrelevance.
This can be achieved through segmentation, or by avoiding the compulsion to write a newsletter at all costs. It is often better to move few, good contents to information packages to be used as lead attractors. It is also essential to highlight, at ideal intervals, the news about specific products, and to regularly clear the mailing lists from inactive recipients.
E-mails are the perfect way to circulate highly customized messages, as they combine segmentation opportunities with proprietary information. Together with other tools, which allow us to progressively select qualified audiences, this method allows us to reduce the amount of writing, making way for meaningful, timely and targeted content.
Here are all the slides. Enjoy!