In this article, you'll learn...
- Why it's important to "be human" in your emails
- What customer-centric tactics will help you gain and keep email subscribers
Before we even start, let's ask: Is email marketing for your small business even worth doing? Yes and no. Yes, if you do it well. No, if you take the path of mediocrity. Sure, tools can make email marketing easier, but it'll still take time and effort. Before you invest any precious time into email marketing, take on the mindset that "good enough" isn't good enough.
Countless small businesses send out countless emails every day. If you were to sift through campaigns and results (as I do), the mountains of data would suggest two breeds of email campaign: the outstanding... and the invisible. Your emails need to be outstanding.
A "bad" email promotion can be much harder to produce than an outstanding one because it involves laboring over imitation and so-called best-practices... sterilizing the soul out of your verbiage only to get lost in a sea of lookalikes and clichés. It's much easier to make an outstanding email because that involves just being yourself and enjoying the process.
With that in mind, here are my Five Commandments for email awesomeness—tailor-made for small businesses.
1. Perfection can be a huge imperfection
The other day, I met a gelled, buffed, and dry-cleaned car salesman delivering a flawless pitch to an elevator-music soundtrack. Why did he make my skin crawl? Because I wasn't seeing him. It was a projection, a front, a lie. His shtick was so universally and calculatedly inoffensive... that it became somewhat offensive. Do not do that in your emails.
Be you. The best brands—much like the best people—have an identity, a voice, idiosyncrasies, and unpredictable quirks. That is the stuff of relationships, the brand glue that turns customers into friends.
Think about the emails you read most—your priority emails. They're from friends, family members, and co-workers: emails packed with quirks and typos and life, but always relevant and real. Relationships are what dominate real email communication. To become a priority, you have to be human, not a watered-down, mass-oriented chunk of supposed perfection.