Last spring I was thinking about a key problem with small companies trying to do email marketing. I realized that most of the email campaigns companies attempt fail miserably.
It’s amazing how often I get added to a newsletter list from a company that I don’t care to hear more about. Maybe it’s someone I know or maybe it’s someone I just met at one time. I know that the only reason the majority of the lists I get added to is because they found my email address or got my card at some point. (By the way, that’s illegal… just sayin’).
I unsubscribe from emails more often in a week than I can count. I find that so few emails I receive have any value to me at all.
So, last spring, as I was contemplating this, I had a hair brained idea. I thought, what if those emails were 100% educational? In fact, what if those emails were so selfless that there wasn’t even a “contact me” line or any sort of advertisement? What would happen?
So, we started a weekly email blast on Tuesdays. They were emails with tips people could use right now. In fact, we were so clever in our naming that we decided to call them Tuesday Tips.
See what I did there?
It took a bit to get my team on board with the concept. If you look at some of the first posts, you’ll see things like, “If you want to get started, contact us now!” or you’ll see “to learn more, click here.”
Finally, they got it. No advertising. Completely selfless. Just give our information away.
Our Tuesday Tips are designed to give helpful information. They might not necessarily tell you exactly how to do something but they give you guidance and direction.
Suddenly, our open and click-through rates went through the roof. In fact, we found that we would get more leads from not asking for a lead than by asking for a lead. We found that we would get more referrals and that more and more people would comment about how much they would learn.
So, we started offering this to our clients as a service. The beauty is that it costs less and is more effective than most email marketing that is available. It’s easier to write an educational message than it is to write a sales pitch that doesn’t sound like a sales pitch. More people will subscribe, more people will read and more people will come to you when they are ready for your service.
Every time it’s implemented properly, we see great results in terms of brand awareness and leads.
The problem for many companies is there is no real way to calculate an ROI. There is no way to say, “because I signed John up to receive our Tuesday Tips, he bought from us.” It’s just not possible. And old school marketers hate that uncertainty.
It’s just one of those things that people have to trust. The brand awareness that comes from a campaign such as a weekly tip email is something that can’t be duplicated easily in any other medium. Not in traditional media (without significant expense), not in a blog and not even in social media.
While I won’t say exactly how we implement and manage this, suffice it to say that a properly executed weekly tip email can produce far greater results in the long run than you could ever imagine. You just have to be a little patient and trust that people want great tips that apply to them.
Corey Smith is the founder of Tribute Media and serves as the Digital Marketing Strategist. He is also the author of "Do It Right: A CEO's Guide to Web Strategy" and "Tweet It Right: A CEO's Guide to Twitter."