Understanding the business is vital to being able to build an effective e-mail campaign. We'll take you through all the important questions you need to ask your client before you begin to strategise your campaign.
Welcome to the last chapter of this e-mail marketing masterclass. We’ve come a really long way haven’t we? And you can now call yourself an e-mail marketer. You’ll be able to strategize, setup and run entire e-mail marketing campaigns for a client or a project.
Now before we let you out into the big whole world of e-mail marketing we want to make sure you’re equipped with the last piece of the puzzle - managing a client.
And for that reason, this quick chapter will focus on how you can do exactly this. How you can get started, plan and manage a client.
Now knowing the in and outs of e-mail marketing is definitely important but knowing how to service a client is an art in itself.
And to be a successful e-mail marketer - you got to know both. They go hand in hand.
Like milk and cookies, working out and eating right, or systemic racism and capitalistic governments.
In this chapter, we’re going to talk about two things.
First, Understanding the business.
Before you can build an e-mail marketing plan, you need to understand the nature of the business. Unless you know what the brand stands for, what it's selling, and who it's selling to, it’s going to be impossible to create an e-mail marketing campaign that actually drives results.
You need to understand the specific pain points that the business is solving, how they’re getting their leads and how these leads or customers normally engage with the brand.
And second we’re going to cover how to understand the business's e-mail marketing needs.
Once you have understood the business, it's important for you to know what kind of e-mail marketing will and will not work for them. I mean, you can't sell airplanes on e-mail, and there isn't much point in trying. So how do you gauge what e-mail marketing can do for the brand is crucial for you to get started.
Getting a good grasp on this aspect also helps you clearly set expectations with your client. You will encounter clients that think e-mail marketing can solve world hunger, and having the right know-how to counter these unreal expectations is very important.
So let’s start with the first part - understanding the business.
There are several important things you need to know and understand in order to build the brand an effective e-mail marketing strategy. In order to do this, we have created a checklist that you can go through. It's a list of questions you need to ask the business when you first begin engaging with the brand, and this will give you a road map on how to understand the business.
What is the brand's history, vision, and mission -
This is going to be the first question you ask. In order for you to really understand the brand's needs, you need to know the brand's history, its story and how it has grown so far.
You then also need to understand where the brand is headed. That would be the vision. All marketing has to tie into the brand's short term and long term goals. It's important for you to understand where the brand is headed, where it wants to be in 5 years and the growth that it’s looking for.
Now, this information is important because all clients are looking for folks who take ownership of the brand - which is treating their brand like its yours. And for you to be able to do that you really have to know them well.
The second question you want to be answered is.
What is the target audience -
Great marketing always begins and ends with the audience. So for you to plan drips, sales or nurture campaigns, you would need to first understand the people you’re going to reach out to.
And while audience definition is honestly a whole other thing, here’s a really simple way to do it.
You understand the different kinds of audiences the brand is targeting.
For example with Lancify Abroad, the business could have 3 types of audiences: undergrads, grads and postgrads. Let’s say you run an online bakeshop, you may say that your top audiences are young working professionals, students and stay-at-home-moms.
The goal here is to keep it simple and divide the audience into as few categories as possible to not complicate things. Once you have understood the different types of audiences, you now need to understand what each of them need and how the brand can meet that need.
So for Lancify Abroad, an undergrad might need a lot of hand-holding on just selecting a university but a post grad student probably knows what university to go to but would rather need help with applications. With the business that you’re working on, take time to understand the needs of the different kinds of audiences.
The next question you want to explore with your client is
What is the brand identity?
Every good business will have a unique identity of its own, in the way it looks, the way it talks, and the way it behaves. Smart brands will have defined exactly how their brand must look and sound. Now a lot of companies don’t have this figured out so you may need to help them get some of this in place. Brand identity will include a couple of different things:
What is the brand's personality? If the brand has a personality doc for you to look at, that would be great. But the odds are they won't. In that case, simply ask your client: if the brand were a person, what would it be like. Would it br a friendly brand or an angry brand? Is it approachable or reserved?
Next you have the brand’s voice and tone? This is just understanding the brand’s voice and how it wants to be perceived. Is it technical or simple, direct or indirect. Just get a gauge of how the brand wants to sound in it's communications which will affect how you write your e-mails.
What is the brand's message? Good brands usually have a clear understanding of what they want to say to the world. This is what you call a brand message. But again it's possible the brand you are working with doesn't have it's brand message defined, in which case ask them to put down a few lines on how they introduce themselves and this could give you an idea.
That’s the brand identity for you.
The last question you want to know is
How does sales happen?
The biggest questions of them all. The whole point of doing any kind of marketing is for you to sell the brand's offerings. In order for you to create a good strategy that can sell, you need to understand how sales have been happening in the organisation so far.
Some questions to ask would be -
Where does the brand get most of its sales from? Every brand has sales channels or sales routes that bring in customers. For one brand it might be Facebook ads and for another it might be walk-ins to the store. It's important for you to understand where most sales come from because it will give you context of how customers are engaging with the brand.
What sales tactics are working - Different brands have different sales tactics, some offer discounts, others offer EMIs, while some offer free trials to leads coming in. If you can understand the different sales tactics that have worked, you can then find ways to leverage that in e-mail marketing.
Sales messages that are working - The last thing you want to understand is what messages are working. What is the brand saying that is bringing in the most sales. If you understand this bit, you will be well positioned to write great sales e-mails.
And that's the first part to acing client servicing as an e-mail marketer!