Monday, January 17, 2005

eMail is a Waste of Time
Until it Tells Your Story

Build Your Business ... or Build a Marketing Bomb

The potential for eMail to build business has been missed by most companies because they are using the medium wrong. A recent study by the Direct Marketing Association concludes that most eMail campaigns are bombs – response rates average less than 1%, most eMail is not even opened.

This trend will continue until marketers shift their eMail from feature-benefit messages that are appropriate only in ads and collateral. The eMail medium is an opt-in medium; anything else is spam that seldom gets more than a 1% response.

People will opt-in to receive your eMail only if it is engaging and useful. Our task as marketers then is to communicate the facts about our company and our products by painting them within a story.

The Role of eMail is to Present Your Story So Your Customers Can See Why You Are Relevant to their Needs

Everyone has more facts than they can process. What they need is help in understanding the facts. The stories you tell will help them figure out what the facts mean. Provide a CONTEXT that slides the facts into new slots to change the way people internalize what the facts mean to them.

3-Pronged eMail Methodology to Grow Your Business

Most eMail is so self-serving that it is simply not worth opening, let alone reading.

1. Tell your story in lots of different ways, with inspirational and factual stories that your customers will want to read because the stories help make them more successful.

2. Recruit a network of respected experts who tell your story with objectivity that is unparalleled in the business world. These experts provide unique stories that your readers will not find anywhere else.

3. Measure the performance of every content element and use this information to make continuous improvement and to segment the audience into clusters that respond to specific kinds of content. Contextual Marketing -- The Right Message and the Right Offer at the Right Time

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