Ever wonder how some companies can generate such overwhelming amounts of business with seemingly little to no effort? It’s all down to effective email marketing, and in this article, you will learn the ins and outs of the crucial first step in any marketing campaign: determining the best strategy for your target audience.
The Anatomy Of An Email Marketing Campaign
If you’re reading this, I assume you’re already somewhat familiar with email marketing. Perhaps you’ve even dabbled in the industry, using a tool like MailChimp to send out a few carefully managed emails. Or perhaps you’ve even ventured into the world of inbound marketing and generated interest in your product through content marketing and case studies rather than pitching sales messages. Regardless of your experience, you’re likely familiar with the concept behind effective email marketing and how it can be used to grow a business.
What many businesses overlook, however, is the very first step in any marketing campaign: defining the target audience and establishing the goal of the campaign. Unless you define these two crucial factors, you’ll never know if your efforts were successful or if you’re just wasting your time and money. Without further ado, here are the elements you need to consider before sending your first email…
The Target Audience
The first and most crucial element of your email marketing campaign is the determination of who the target audience is. Before you start sending out those carefully crafted sales messages, you need to make sure that you’ve nailed down the right demographic- a group of people who have a demonstrated interest in your product or service.
To do this, you’ll need to look at several key factors. First, consider the nature of your product or service and the demographic you plan on targeting. What type of person is most likely to be interested in your offering?
“Research has repeatedly shown that consumers are far more likely to buy products or services that they relate to in some way. This means that rather than targeting random groups of people, marketers should be focusing on tailoring their marketing messages to be more relatable to a specific group of people,” says Chris Caisley, Marketing Manager at Conversion Rate Experts.
For example, if you’re marketing an online health magazine and your product is fitness equipment, your target audience might be fitness enthusiasts. If your product is makeup, your target audience might be millennials. There’s no single, perfect answer to this question, but you can get closer than you think. Consider the demographics that populate your social media platforms (e.g., millennials on TikTok) and the demographics that frequently visit your blog (e.g., millennial women on the Haircuttery blog). Use these insights to craft a more specific and relevant message that will resonate with your target audience and generate more interest in your product or service.
Why Are They Interested In My Product?
The second element you need to consider before sending out your first email is the reason that your target audience is interested in your product or service. This is arguably one of the most crucial elements of any effective marketing campaign. If you can’t explain exactly why your product or service is useful to your target audience, you’re leaving open the possibility that they won’t be interested in your offering at all. Worse yet, you might convince them that your product or service is useless, leaving you with an unmet need that you’ll never be able to satisfy. In other words, unnecessary suffering.
Luckily, this scenario is very unlikely. If you’re able to provide some value or usefulness to your target audience through your product or service, they’ll be much more receptive to your messages about the same topic. Consider the following statement:
“In a study from the UK, researchers found that a product’s ability to solve a problem is the primary driver of the product’s appeal. They also found that the more useful a product was in solving the problem, the more the product’s user would value it. In other words, your product’s value proposition (what you state in your email campaign, website, and social media posts) influences your target audience’s perception of your product. As a business owner, it’s important to think of your product in terms of how it will benefit your target audience rather than how it could potentially disappoint them. If you can’t provide value, don’t worry. You’re not going to hurt your business by not offering it. Instead, you’re going to hurt your business by offering it and no one being interested.”
If you can provide value to your audience, you’re much more likely to engage with them. This is because they’ll perceive your offer to be beneficial rather than pointless. In fact, when used correctly, value-based marketing can generate a lot of interest and engagement.
How Should I Market It?
When you’ve determined the target audience and the usefulness of your product, you can craft an effective email marketing strategy. The third and final element you need to consider before sending out your campaign is how you should market your product.
As we mentioned above, your product’s value proposition influences your target audience’s perception of your product. To put it simply, if your product solves a problem for your target audience, you can be certain that they’ll be more receptive to your messages about the same topic. In other words, you can use messaging that is aligned with their needs. This means that rather than just pitching your product, you should be considering the following:
- The benefit your product provides for your target audience
- The problems your product solves
- The pricing of your product
- How to make your product better
- Alternatives (especially if your product is a lifestyle choice like vegan food or skincare products)
Crafting a subject line that draws in your target audience is also extremely important. As Chris Caisley explains, “When someone clicks on an email subject line that matches their interests, they’re more likely to read the rest of the email. Additionally, you can use keywords in the subject line to target a specific audience- for example, if you’re marketing to an online casino, you might want to consider using the keywords ‘online casino bonus’ in the subject line to draw in potential customers.
The Results Of An Effective Campaign
The goal of your email marketing campaign is, of course, to generate interest in your product. To do this, you’re going to want to send out a series of carefully crafted emails that outline the features and benefits of your product. Once you’ve established a small list of interested customers, you can take it a step further and begin to market your product through traditional (i.e., physical) and digital (i.e., online) channels.
In order to generate interest in your product, you must first create a demand for it. To do this, you’re going to want to consider several tactics, including email marketing. To prove the effectiveness of this strategy, you can look to companies like ConvertKit, which we’ll discuss in more detail below.
Keep Things Light
While you want to appeal to your target audience, you don’t want to overly burden them with information. In order to engage with your audience, you need to keep the language accessible and the information concise. When done right, value-based marketing can generate interest and engagement simply by being relatable and useful. For example, if you’re marketing a fitness app and your target audience is made up of primarily millennial consumers, you might want to consider using language such as the following:
“Sweat. It’s what keeps you honest. Without it, you’d be tempted to fake your exercises. Just thinking about getting sweaty makes me want to workout now.”, says a fitness blogger for the Huffington Post.
As you can see, the language is informal and there’s a clear call to action (i.e., workout now). Keep the information concise yet attractive- think of a headline that’ll pull your reader in and make them want to learn more. If someone else is paying for the content you’re creating, make sure that the information is precise and relevant to what they need.