Creative Email Marketing
FOR BRANDS WITH A MESSAGE WORTH SPREADING
(This is Part 3 of our 6 Part Marketing Automation Mastery Series. If you want to see all the topics we cover in this series, click here.)
Much like the way cranberries somehow found their way into every known juice on the planet, automation technology is digging its digital hooks into almost everything we do.
In the right hands, this tech can be one of the most powerful ways to ensure that every single subscriber gets a consistently positive (and personalized) experience with your brand.
With the right tools, you can use automation to:
- Deliver personalized resources and support.
- Provide customized offers at the right time.
- Tailor your messaging to resonate with each individual reader.
- Scale the reach and effectiveness of your content.
- Create perfectly personalized customer journeys for every avatar.
- Make data-driven decisions.
- Make magic in a million other ways you can’t imagine.
Will this type of automation assistance completely replace the need for human-to-human contact?
And it shouldn’t.
Technology can’t replace people, but it massively magnifies their effectiveness and efficiency.
But how do you decide what to automate and what to keep on your plate?
Plan the Ideal Customer Journey
What’s the most memorable experience you’ve ever had with a brand?
Let me guess…
It wasn’t a time that you paid a ton of money and came in with high expectations. After all, you paid for a great experience, so even if they delivered, it probably didn’t blow your mind.
When you think about an amazing interaction or experience you had with a brand, often it’s because it went beyond your expectations.
Start With “Wow” Then Figure out How.
This is the beauty of approaching your customer journey planning through the lens of “how could I make this memorable and amazing” from the first step.
Every tiny, fleeting, seemingly insignificant interaction that someone has with your brand can be a powerfully lasting and impactful touchpoint, so don’t ever pass up the chance to fully take advantage of every single moment someone spends engaging with you.
Steve Jobs once said, “You have to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology.”
That’s because technology doesn’t create the experience, it enables it.
The most wonderful widget or tantalizing technology is nothing more than a glorified digital doorstop if the experience of using it falls flat.
How Airbnb Blew Away the Competition.
When Brian Chesky, co-founder, and CEO of the now-behemoth-brand Airbnb, was crafting the ultimate experience for his customers, he wasn’t afraid to dream big.
Most entrepreneurs in Brian’s shoes may have thought, “how can we recreate a 5-star hotel experience?” And fair enough, that would’ve seemed like the high bar to shoot for as an up-and-coming competitor taking on the established hospitality industry filled with successful giants with big budgets.
But Brian’s goal wasn’t to match the hotel experience. He was hell-bent on blowing miles beyond the best.
Good enough wasn’t good enough, as Brian clearly knew:
“If you want to build something that’s truly viral you have to create a total mindf**k experience that you tell everyone about.”
When he thought about the 5-star experience, it felt… expected. Sure, it would be a good experience, but it wouldn’t be the “mindf**ck” experience he was aiming for.
Not one to play small, Brian decided to brainstorm what the best possible experience would look like. He stair-stepped his way up the Ladder of Awesomeness.
“What would a 6-star experience look like?”
“What about 7-stars?”
Ultimately, he worked his way up to an 11-star experience that culminated in Elon Musk taking you on a surprise trip to space.
Is the point to now figure out how to actually provide that experience?
But what if you could make the 8-star experience happen?
The entire point is to think way, way bigger than you have been.
And once you have the best possible experience mapped out, that’s when you look for the technology to make it happen.
Only then do you dive back into the tools and technology with the clarity of what you’re trying to accomplish instead of starting feature-first.
Prioritize the experience and work backward.
If You Could Wave a Magic Wand…
My favorite way to break a client out of the box is to ask a simple question:
“If you could wave a magic wand and create the best possible experience for a client, what would that look like?”
Almost without fail, the first response I get is still firmly rooted “in the box.”
I’ll hear something like, “Well, I’d automate emails to go out so I don’t have to blah blah boring usual cookie-cutter stuff anyone can do features features OH THE FEATURES blah blah.”
After respectfully letting them finish, I point out that they basically just outlined job duties, not a dream. They created a task list, not a vision.
“Okay, I see what you’re saying. But do me a favor and ignore all of the ‘how to’ parts you just told me. I don’t want you thinking about the technology, what it would take to pull it off, or what any of us would have to do. I only want you to tell me what the most amazing possible experience would be for your customer.”
“Really? Um, okay. Well, I dunno… I guess it would be [insert actually amazing idea that any customer would be totally stoked about and probably shout from the rooftops.”
I don’t know what kind of magic wand you’re used to, but they tend to have one absolutely critical capability…
They make magic.
When I think of magic, I’m not captivated by casting a spell to banish the annoying dryer fuzz off of my sweater.
“Elmino fuzzieus sweatori!”
Nah, I’ll stick with the good ol’ magicless lint roller for now.
Don’t Think About Tech… Yet.
Once you’re able to get that Big Hairy Audacious Experience out of your head, start diving into the details.
Get clear on every step, every interaction, every touchpoint.
Here’s a tip: optimize as early in the experience as you can.
You could have the most incredible, memorable, magical, tell-all-your-friends-about-it experience that would inspire every single customer to tattoo your brand on their forehead… but if that experience comes at the end of a journey that sucks up to that point, nobody is ever going to make it that far.
First impressions matter, and even more importantly, they last.
Optimize to make the early engagements with your brand incredible. Often, this can be something as simple as a personalized welcome video using a tool like Bonjoro.
When you knock the socks off your customers on day one, they start believing they might as well just wear sandals because you’re gonna be knocking socks off on the daily.
Okay, Let’s Get Technical.
Finalllllly! We can talk tech.
Well, kind of…
If I were to give you a list of ideas on what is technologically possible and list all the specific tools to do it, I’d unintentionally be putting you back in the box. Trust me, I hear you…
Let’s hold off on that for a minute and instead of getting granular, I’ll keep it focused on the experience.
All you need to know is that these are examples of what you can achieve (often easily) through technology.
- A personalized welcome video, landing page, call to action, and automated email follow up that all takes less than 30 seconds of your time.
- Triggered outreach (email, SMS, push notifications) that engage a customer when their behavior shows they’re stuck or struggling to use your product.
- An automated sales pipeline and CRM that works seamlessly into your workflow and entirely replaces a full-time employee’s manual work (and salary).
From Dreaming to Doing
Walt Disney said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.”
I once dreamt a Tarzan-like Arnold Schwarzenegger swung in on a spaghetti noodle and saved me from an Indiana Jones-esque bouldering meatball tumbling toward me as I climbed a pasta mountain (this is a painfully true story, as my family insists on reminding me).
That’s a helluva dream, and not one that I plan on putting to Walt’s test.
But I’ve dreamt up a boatload of other ideas that are worthy of the challenge.
You’ve got plenty yourself, whether or not you’ve spent the time putting them on paper. Do it now. Don’t waste the chance to wow every person who takes their time to give you a shot.
Map out the journey! Start thinking about what your 11-star experience would be for each customer. And if you aren’t selling anything, then think about the best experience for your readers or audience. Building a raving fan base makes selling easier, if not unnecessary altogether. But you won’t stumble into substance. It takes proper planning and excellence in execution. Get it out of your head and into the world.
If you aren’t using automation technology as a core part of not only your marketing, customer journey, client onboarding, sales pipelines, data management, reporting and analytics, and damn near every manual repetitive task you find yourself doing… well then, my friend, you need to take another look under the hood of your business and figure out why you’re sitting in a Lamborghini with a lawnmower motor.
In the next in our series of Marketing Automation Mastery, we’re going to talk about why being different should be the core of your marketing (and automation) strategy from day one.
We’re a strategy-first email marketing agency that helps you master your messaging, build lasting relationships with your customers, and create email strategies and systems to grow your income and impact.
Need more help?
Whether you already know your 11-star experience or if you’re digging your dream out of the digital ditch, we can help make it a reality. There’s nothing we love more than turning a great idea into the real deal.
Still hazy-eyed and sluggish, you take the first sip of coffee to start your day.
Ahhh… sweet, sweet outsourced energy.
You boot up the computer, which miraculously lights up without any caffeine coursing through its circuits… unimaginable.
You open your email and are immediately bombarded with dozens of brands trying to steal a minute of your attention. They’re selling something, and you probably aren’t buying.
Have you ever been at the gym and see someone using a piece of equipment totally wrong?
I mean, like, “that person is going to hurt themselves but I can’t look away” kind of wrong.
Well, I hate to say it, but when you jump into building automations with knowing what you’re doing, most end up looking like…
I skipped my weekly Automation Addicts Anonymous meeting to take another stab at convincing you that there’s more you could be doing with the wonderful wizardry of the tools available to you for building a scalable and sustainable business.
Come on… join us.
You should be using every technological tool at your disposal to create amazing experiences for your readers, and you better have a good system to do it.