— June 15, 2018
The friends you’re willing to help are the same ones that help you.
You can think about email marketing in the same way you think of the give and take between friends. The more value you give to the relationship, the more value you’ll get back.
If you can consistently provide value all year long your marketing will become more effective. You just have to start with the right plan.
Step 1: Create an overview for the whole year
Think of the year as a whole, what are the key dates throughout the year you would have reason to contact your email list? Are there any major holidays or events specific to your business that make sense to communicate about?
If you find any gaps in your calendar, are there marketing holidays you can include? There are plenty of other holidays, like Friendship Day or Book Lovers’ Day, that can relate to your business, like a bakery sending a new recipe on World Chocolate Day. Mark all these dates on a single sheet of paper, including the day/month, so you have an overview of your year.
Step 2: Choose a specific day each month
Once you start planning out what you’re going to send each month, the next step is to figure out when you’ll send an email. Be specific and choose a single day to send an email, and make it the same each month.
Customers will start anticipating an email from you on that day and will be more inclined to hear what you have to say. Constant Contact uses this technique when sending out the Hints & Tips newsletter, sending it on the second and fourth Wednesday of every month.
Step 3: Know what you’re going to send each time
Knowing what you should include in your email every time you send to your customers is as simple as answering a few questions: What are you offering, how does that help your customers, and what do you want customers to do next? Answer these questions to make each email more focused and effective.
If your barber shop needs to get customers to book more appointments during the week, especially during midday, you could offer a special rate for a lunch break trim. After highlighting your offer, you could explain that a lunch break trim is cheap and quick, exactly what they are looking for in a barber during their work hours. Then you could include a call to action button that clearly directs customers to book online, before the promotion ends.
Create a plan that does the hard work for you
More time working at anything means more success. When you create a plan for your email marketing that looks at the entire year, your message becomes more consistent and much more effective. Then you can focus on running your business, instead of creating emails at the last minute when you need a boost in sales.
Once you stop forcing your marketing, leaving out the heavy discounts and hard sells to your customers, they’ll start listening to what your business is saying. As long as the message is consistent, you can drive them to action and create more lasting relationships, keeping your business growing year after year, just like your marketing.