Subscriber-Centric Email Marketing with Kath Pay, author of Holistic Email Marketing
Most email marketing is too much about us, the business. Flip the script by thinking of it as a subscriber journey. Then let's hear about holistic email marketing – Kath Pay is here to share all her best-kept secrets that we can take from the corporate world and use in the small business world…
And you'll want to hear them all!
SOME EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS: (2:30) Two lies a truth. Did Kath really get sunburnt from falling asleep in the garden? (4:05) What is customer centricity? (7:14) Why focus on the customer journey? (9:00) How email impacts sales on other channels. (13:04) Why you should name things for what they are! (14:40) How being customer-centric changes how you write your content. (15:40) Why you always need to convert facts into benefits. (17:30) The reason behind the names of our email campaigns. (19:00) How to create an email marketing strategy for your business. (22:25) Subject line of the week with Kath Pay.
What is customer-centricity?
Kath Pay has 23 years of experience in email marketing and is the author of the fantastic book, “Holistic Email Marketing: A practical philosophy to revolutionise your business and delight your customers.” In this mega interesting interview, Kath told us all about customer-centric email marketing.
The phrase might sound scary, but all it means is having the customer at the heart of your email programme. Your customer has to be top of mind at all times!
When doing email marketing, however, a lot of businesses tend to become very brand-centric – we focus on what we want to say to our customers and on what we want them to do. But according to Kath, we should be flipping things around.
Start from the customer. Why are they on your list? What did we promise them when they signed up? What is going to be meaningful to them?
As a brand, we have an objective, and that's generally to sell. But our subscribers have one too – they have a reason for being on your list. So how can you deliver on your promise and help them achieve that objective?
This thing about goals is like a double-sided coin. On the one side, you have your business goal. On the other side, you have your subscribers' goals. So instead of approaching email marketing with your own agenda and focusing on selling and pushing, walk to the other side of the coin. Grab your customers by the figurative hands and work out how you're going to help them achieve their objective. And by default, you'll achieve yours too.
Why do you need a holistic approach to email marketing?
When we run our businesses we tend to focus on the various channels (organic search, PPC, social media, etc.). Then we try and get the channels to talk to each other and connect. But really, the angle we should be considering instead is how to help our customers throughout their journey.
Ask yourself – what channels are going to be best at what particular points? Having a holistic approach to email marketing means focusing on the customer journey, not the channels.
Kath shared a story about a client who noticed an unexplained dip in sales in one of their channels on a particular day. After further investigation, it turned out the dip was due to an email not being sent out on that day. And that impacted sales in other channels! This proves that email marketing doesn't act in isolation – email pushes conversion in other channels.
Customer-centric email marketing in action
Ready to switch to customer-centric email marketing? Then the first thing you want to do is to start calling things for what they are. For example, your welcome sequence does a lot more than just welcoming your subscribers. It's also about onboarding and nurturing. So why not refer to your welcome sequence as your ‘First Purchase Programme' instead? Because that's your aim, right?
Once you're super clear on your aims and your customers' goals, coming up with copy for your emails is a lot easier. Because you are definitely welcoming your customers, but you are also educating them on the solutions that your product and services offer.
And when you focus on this, you give your emails a different feel and focus. And ultimately, a better success rate too. Being customer-centric changes how we write things. According to Kath, we should never just talk about facts. Instead, we should be explicit in talking about the benefits we're offering our customers.
If you've won an award, for example, (like Kath has) how is that of interest to your customers? How is it going to help them? Your job is to expand on it. You're the director of the customer journey, so spell it all out for them. If you're talking to a client or a prospective client, the fact you've won an award tells them they're in good hands.
So share the facts but always convert them into benefits. Have the consumer in your mind at all times. It's a subtle psychological shift, but it puts you in the right frame of mind to write the right type of content for your emails.
It's why we have a ‘Tell Me More' campaign, which we send out to anyone who clicks three times on the same sales page. And our welcome sequence is called ‘Getting to Know You' because it's about us getting to know our subscribers and our subscribers getting to know us. We agonise over the names of our campaigns, but it puts us into the right mindset to nail what the campaign is all about and what is there to do.
How to create an email marketing strategy for your business
A lot of people jump straight to tactics – programmes, forms, landing pages, etc. We tend to latch on to them because it's easier to learn how to implement tactics – it sounds less overwhelming than having a strategy. But unless they map back to an overarching, solid, thought-out email marketing strategy, they're not going to be as effective. They just don't work well in isolation!
So, to create your email marketing strategy, start with your business goals. What is it that you want to achieve? What is important to you? Then map your marketing objectives to the business goal. From there, define your email marketing objectives – for acquisition, conversion, retention, and win back. Then break down each of these objectives and come up with multiple tactics for each.
This way, you're working from the top down, rather than upwards, which is a lot harder and less effective. If you start in the right place (with your objectives) and then work downwards, you'll find that everything leads naturally to the next step. Put it all together and boom! You have a blueprint for success!
Subject line of the week with Kath Pay
Kath's subject line of the week comes from a company called Colon Broom, whose strapline is ‘Poop Like a Winner, Lose Weight the Easy Way'. We love them already. Don't you?
So they sent an email out with the subject line “We have a shit-uation here”. It was sent to subscribers who had abandoned carts to let them know that their special offer was going to expire soon.
Genius, isn't it?
Useful Episode Resources
Want to connect with the awesome Kath Pay? You can find her on her website, where you can also watch her “Email & More: A Q&A with…” series of online Q&A panels. And if you're interested in reading Kath's book, it's called “Holistic Email Marketing: A practical philosophy to revolutionise your business and delight your customers.”
FREE list of the top 10 books to improve your email marketing
Want to write better emails? Come up with better content? Influence and move your readers to click and buy? Well, you can do that with this list of our Top 10 most highly recommended books that will improve all areas of your email marketing (including some underground treasures that we happened upon, which have been game-changing for us). Grab your FREE list here.
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We know your business is different, so come and hang out in our FREE Facebook group, the Email Marketing Show Community for Course Creators and Coaches. We share a lot of training and resources, and you can talk about what you're up to. Will you embrace holistic email marketing – Kath Pay style?
Try ResponseSuite for $1
This week's episode is sponsored by ResponseSuite.com, the survey quiz and application form tool that we created specifically for small businesses like you to integrate with your marketing systems to segment your subscribers and make more sales. Try it out for 14 days for just $1.
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