Archive for May, 2011
We online marketing communication writers need to be ever mindful of the content we develop, its impact on those who read it (whether intentional or not), and how to make it better.
The fact is that marketers are human just like anyone else. And this means that even the best of us can forget the key tenet of marketing: understand your audience. This simple yet inevitable fact sometimes causes us to write content that may achieve our business objectives (of our own companies!), but may not be relevant to our audience.
The truth is, content matters, a great deal in fact. As more and more email fills the Inboxes of our target audience, we need to continually make our email marketing messages stand out even more. That means understanding our audience – their needs, wants, motivations, interests, etc. And, perhaps more importantly, we need to put our audience ahead of our own priorities at all times. Which also means never falling too much in love with your own writing, but in whatever is most meaningful to recipients.
The Three S’s are recommended when developing email marketing content. They are:
1. Subject – make the subject line (very!) appealing to the recipient so they’ll open the email, the most critical component of ANY piece.
2. Sender – make it a mystery that the email is coming from someone your audience knows or cares about, never make them guess.
3. Significance – make the email content relevant, and significant, to the recipients. If you were a recipient, how much would YOU care?
There are also 4 criteria that every web writer should keep in mind for creating relevant content. Make sure the writing is:
And focused on your audience, of course. Don’t allow your own preferences and opinions to affect what you write. It’s a constant struggle with our human urge to see our own needs met first, but content should matter more to our audience than it does to us, right?
How are you making content more relevant to your audience?
I wanted to take a moment to talk a bit more about the last post below, about an article that I wrote for our team at Hat Trick Associates that focused on Email Marketing and it’s continued marketing viability, even in the face of new competition.
The reason for bringing up the topic again is certainly NOT to impress you the reader with how fantastic the article was, or how important it must have been to receive the coverage that it did.
Actually, quite the opposite.
Although no surprise, I do feel the information it contained was fairly interesting, and made for a good story…the truth is, with the right message and distribution, I could probably gain a similar amount of coverage for an article in YOUR industry, attributed to YOUR company.
And the coverage the Hat Trick article received was pretty cool, I will admit. It’s not every day that you write something that gets shared on Yahoo, CNBC, MSNBC, AOL…as well as lots of other niche websites, like the European Business Express, or the media powerhouse which is KAIT – Channel 8 in Jonesboro, Arkansas(!)
The great thing is, if a piece is written in the proper way – and shared via the right channels – I can almost guarantee similar results. And having so many incoming links is not only good for conversions today from people interested in your subject matter, but also creates some long-term SEO benefits from having high quality sites “aimed” at your own with links. So it’s a win-win.
If you’d like more information on how we can do the same for your company contact us today.
In fact, if you take the time to fill out the quick form, or if you prefer to shoot me an email directly, I’ll even tell you (no-strings-attached, of course) how I did it. I just wish this method existed back in my early days of PR at a large local ad agency.
From the Yahoo Finance story by Hat Trick Associates today:
With the advent of social media, mobile marketing and a host of other new, “sexier” communication channels, one might assume stodgy email marketing has gone the way of the Dodo bird or horse and buggy. But if anything the reverse is true.
“The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” Mark Twain
With all the hype surrounding social media and mobile marketing, it would be easy to assume that email is yesterday’s news, with little chance of keeping up with the other marketing methods now available.
But according to the numbers this assumption is incorrect. Email usage has remained remarkably steady, even in the face of new competition. Research shows that email is still the preferred method for receiving commercial messages of 74% of adults. This perhaps surprising statistic can help explain the continued proliferation of e-zines and other email marketing today.
It’s no longer true that the largest firms are the most likely to utilize email. As smaller companies outgrow their sole-proprietor beginnings, they increasing look for new ways to expand their business to support higher headcounts and overhead. Business surveys revealed that almost half of small businesses were using email marketing in 2010; an additional 36% reported plans to begin this year.
The dollars spend annually show this high participation rate. On average email promotion accounts for about 15-22% of total marketing budgets. These billions spent every year has certainly attracted attention, with many new email distribution and copywriting firms found online today.
This gives today’s marketer many options to choose from, ranging from self-serve programs to ones that completely managed by an outside vendor. Choices are often dictated by the level of expertise and resources available internally.
It is projected that the number of worldwide email accounts will grow from over 2.9 billion in 2010 to over 3.8 billion by 2014. And with similar response rates but higher ROI potential than direct print marketing, due to much lower costs, the future looks bright for the continued relevance of email marketing. Coupled with growth expectations, it’s clear that e-marketing is here to stay.