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Archive for December, 2007

Excuse #2 For Not Doing Email Marketing: I have nothing to say.

Monday, December 17th, 2007

This has got to be the most depressing reason for not doing email marketing.  When this excuse is used, it typically goes deeper than email marketing, it saturates the person’s or organizations mentality.  This is akin to saying my product or service is boring or I don’t do enough to talk about.  The fact is there is something to say, it just might be too close to see.  People tend to stop seeing the appeal of what they do after a while because it becomes mundane to them.  Every person, company, or organization has a story, if they didn’t, they wouldn’t exist.  The challenge is figuring out what part of the story matters to the intended audience.

If you want to run weekly emails that are nothing but digital fliers, you’re right, you have nothing to say.  If you’re spouting mission statements or dull facts about how the company started, you’re saying very little.  However, that doesn’t mean you have nothing to say, you just aren’t saying it.  Every business can and should do more than slapping ads or dolling out facts on the web.  Sure fliers or mission statements are boring and no one cares but that doesn’t mean the story they’re trying to tell is a bad one.  It’s like saying Shakespeare is terrible when a bad group of amateurs perform his work.  The way it’s being told is at fault, not the story. 

So look into your fliers, mission statements, or history.  There probably is a compelling story there.  Drill down to what you think the audience will respond to.  Chances are you’re an expert at what you do and if you write about that expertise, people will pay attention.  Good content is always in demand.

Don’t use the “nothing to say” excuse.  If someone really feels this way, it’s probably time to move on completely.  Email marketing is a great way to spread a message about an organization and if someone can’t get excited about that opportunity, there’s a bigger problem than putting off an email campaign, there’s a lack of passion for what they do.

Excuse #1 For Not Doing Email Marketing: I don’t have a list.

Monday, December 3rd, 2007

Many people don’t start email marketing because they don’t have a list to send to.  There’s two pieces of good news here.  The first is that you didn’t try to buy a list and blast out an email.  While that isn’t necessarily spam the productivity and conversion rate will be low.  The second piece of good news is that no company has an extensive list until they decide to do an email marketing campaign.  Lists never fall from the sky to a fortunate marketer, a plan is executed to get the message to the intended audience.

So where does the list come from?  If you’re lucky, you already have it and don’t know it.  It’s amazing what some companies have buried away in a database or spreadsheet that with a little effort can be a foundation for an email marketing list.  Once the contact information has been organized an offer can be extended to these people to subscribe to the new email campaign.  The companies that don’t already have a list are undoubtedly passing up opportunities to build one.  Do clients get a chance to sign up, could an offer be added to existing forms?  Do you do event marketing, trade shows, networking events, or direct marketing?  Do you have a website with traffic?  These are viable avenues to allow people to join an email marketing campaign.

The point is everyone can get a list.  The plan is different from person to person or company to company, but the building blocks are there.  It takes a little more diligence than buying addresses or phone numbers and a system needs to be put in place so it’s not an administrative nightmare.  However, it’s possible, organizations just needs to put a plan together to build a list.  Decide to do email marketing and as you’re first agenda item, make a plan to build your initial list.  With a good plan lists tend to grow faster than expected and also tend to have a beneficial side effect of keeping information flow and management more organized.