In their book No B.S. Guide to Direct Response Social Media Marketing, business coach and consultant Dan S. Kennedy and marketing strategist Kim Walsh-Phillips show you how to use direct response marketing principles on a variety of social media platforms to drive real results and profit. In this edited excerpt, the authors explain why Disney can teach you something valuable about email marketing.
As a fan of Disney, I think one of the greatest services it offers is a VIP guided tour. This allows you to do things such as skip to the front of the line, get led in through secret back doors, and basically do more in one day (and in great style) than most people may ever imagine.
It’s a premium service, so as you can imagine, there are people who say the price is exorbitant. These are the same people who complain about having to wait in long lines at Disney and only having time to go on four attractions during the entire day.
Maybe if they considered that you can, for example, go on 12 attractions in the time it takes others to go on one attraction, they would see the value in the price of the VIP tour. Maybe they’d realize that in the end, with a guide, you can do in one day what it takes the average person multiple days, even a week, to do.
I see this same situation in business all the time: People look for the easiest, fastest, or cheapest route without considering the whole picture.
Email marketing is a prime example.
Many businesses think, because it’s so easy to use, they don’t need to put as much thought, time, or planning into email marketing as they do with direct mail campaigns. Then these same people complain about their poor email open rates, declining click-throughs, and deflated results.
If you want better results, you have to consider the whole picture. And you have to invest in making your emails better.
For instance, one key disadvantage of email is that there are a lot more emails flooding your customers’ inboxes every day, many more than there are pieces of mail being delivered to their regular mail box.
That means a lot more competition for eyeballs. So you don’t want to be sloppy about what you’re sending.
Rather than firing off an email in 10 minutes and blasting it out to your entire prospect or customer list without giving it much thought or consideration, take the time to establish a plan with response or conversion goals so you know exactly what you want your audience to do before you ever write your email. And make sure you’ve included the core elements needed in each email you send.
Consistency is also a factor. While you can do a campaign in the mail at random times, once you start sending emails, you should deliver them consistently week in, week out without exception. If you send email in a hit or miss, random fashion, and go missing from their inbox, people will forget about you in a heartbeat—even if you return to a regular, predictable schedule at a later date.
This doesn’t mean you can’t send emails at other times apart from your schedule. If you take care of the readers on your email list by sending valuable, relevant emails at regular intervals, they will pay attention at other times, too.
There are many strategies you can combine with your email marketing to improve your results and increase your profits, too—in many cases, well beyond the standard ROI you see quoted in many studies.
In fact, rarely do I consult with a client where there aren’t untapped opportunities within its email strategy, including ways to combine email with other media to get a higher response and strategies to use with its opt-ins that can separate the looky-loos from hyper-active buyers, increase its profits, improve click-throughs, or even create more loyal customers, clients, or patients.
You should always split test your subject lines, layout, email length, time sent, call to action, and so on, and then examine your results to see what’s working and what isn’t.
There’s no free pass to the front of the line. If you want your emails to be the first thing your customers want to open, you have to invest the necessary time and resources in making them worthy.