Categories
Email marketing

Reach All Your Customers Via Email For Less Than R500 A Day

Have you considered email as a customer communication strategy? If you are unaware of the costs, and that’s keeping you from making an informed decision, perhaps this blog post will provide some clarity.

Here is the good news – sending email is an uncomplicated process and so is the cost.

The cost of sending email can be broken down into 3 simple steps:

  • Content strategy + production
  • Building a newsletter template
  • Sending your email
  1. Content strategy + production

This is the secret sauce and the stuff that takes the real time. Before you start talking to your clients via email, you need to build out a content strategy. Crafting a story that your customers will connect with is the “graft”.

Here are a couple of questions you need to ask yourself:

  • What are the important questions your customers keep asking you?
  • How do you answer those questions with interesting and relevant content pieces?
  • Where will that content sit?
  • Do I have the skills internally to get the content work done?
  • What does it cost to produce a piece of content?

Let’s answer the last question for you right now. A 2 minute TV Ad can cost hundreds and thousands of Rand to produce and millions to flight. A well written blog post article can run at about 1,000 words and expect to pay around R5 a word.

2 x pieces of content per month = R10,000

  1. Building a newsletter template

Now that your content strategy is waxed, you need to have an email template to slot your content into. The truth is that you can send email in a plain text format (like this email is delivered) or in HTML (just a fancy name for ‘making it pretty’). The majority of promotional and newsletter email you receive on a day-to-day basis is in HTML format because it allows you to add images and a company logo which is important to your brand.

The once off cost of building an email template that you can use over and over again = R5,000

  1. Delivering your email

In order to deliver your email you need an SMTP server (fancy name for a computer that hands email envelopes to another computer). Depending on the amount of email you send, you can probably get away with one SMTP server at R500 a month. The cost of actually sending your email is as cheap as chips.

If you are sending less than 1 million emails per month, you shouldn’t be paying more than 1c per send.

My feeling is that you don’t have 1 million customers 🙂 But you would be surprised at how many prospects you can build up.

Cool, should we have a look at an example to better illustrate how all the costings play out?

Jane owns a well-established travel agency. Over the two decades she has been running her business, she has built up a customer base of +/- 5,000 people. Jane wants to start sending her clients an email newsletter twice a month to inform them about useful information on specials and travel tips.

  • Content production = 2 x blog posts = R10,000
  • Email template design 1 x once off cost =R5,000
  • Email delivery = R600

Now that you have the numbers, what’s stopping you from getting your email marketing strategy in play next year?

Until next time.

Brendan

Categories
Content Marketing Email marketing

Why Big Business Is Like An Anxious Teenager Trying To Make Small Talk

I don’t know about you, but I pay over thousands of Rand a month in the way of insurance premiums to some of the biggest brands in SA. I’ve also financed a few cars and a house, have cellphones, DSTV, armed response and all sorts of other subscription services just like most South Africans.

I think I’m a customer of at least 15 of SA’s top brands (maybe more)

You know what’s interesting?

Even though we shell out buckets of cash to these companies, I can’t recall ever being wowed by their post- sale communications, can you?

Let’s put it this way:

  • I’ve never taken out a medical aid plan and ever received a piece of communication on how the plan works and how to get the most out of my monthly contribution.
  • I’ve never taken out a cellphone contract and had any additional information on what I could bundle on, or how to manage my minutes and data a little better.
  • I’ve never taken out an armed response contract and every received any tips or advice on how to make sure my family is a little safer.

Billions of Rand is spent on marketing, trying to acquire you as a customer, but once you are on the books the communication ceases to exist.

Why is that?

Why can’t a multi-million Rand business manage to work out a basic post-sales communication strategy?

I think I’ve worked it out.

  • It’s not because they don’t think it’s important (they aren’t that naïve)
  • It’s not because they don’t have the money (let’s get real)

Here it is:

They don’t know how to talk to you anymore

Think about it – big companies have become masters at marketing and new client acquisition. They have their profit margins waxed and their brands placed strategically everywhere we look.

Sell, Sell, Sell!!!

But they have forgotten how to engage with their customers. It’s the reason they re-brand as often as they do, and change up their tag lines 🙂

Today, forever, together, whenever becomes What’s your big dream today?

One-on-one relationships held by bank managers have been replaced by call-centres, outsourced to India. The guy you used to be able to call when you needed a line of credit has been replaced by this guy

0861 789 8191919 19 – Option 9 to talk to an operator.

Your medical aid scheme doesn’t know who you are. Your bank knows everything then need to know about your finances, but they don’t know you. Your cellphone carrier could listen in on every call you ever made, but they still don’t know you.

As a result, its super-awkward when they try and communicate with you.

They know it, they just don’t know how to go about fixing it.

The solution is simple – communicate with us like humans and take some of that massive profit you make and invest it into a post-sales communication strategy.

Until next time.

Brendan

 

 

Categories
Email marketing

Be Cool, Not Everyone Is Gonna Read All Your Email

What type of email marketing do you subscribe to? Mine is a combination of my personal likes and some industry experts (basically people and businesses I find interesting)

• Yes I subscribe to a few online retail mailers
• Yes I subscribe to a few deal-a-day mailers
• Yes I subscribe to a few travel mailers
• Yes I subscribe to a few music blogs
• Yes I subscribe to a few people I find interesting (like Seth Godin)
• Yes I subscribe to a few businesses I find interesting

Do I get around to reading each and every email I subscribe to? The answer is “No”.
Have I therefore decided to “unsubscribe” from any of the mailers I follow? The answer is “No”

So what conclusions can we draw from this?

• Very few people are going to read every bit of email communication you send to them.
• Most people will engage with your email communication once in a while, when their interest is sparked.
• Very few people will unsubscribe unless you bombard them with too many emails or your content becomes stale.

If you are an email marketer and people are allowing you to send them emails, then you are winning.
If more and more people are unsubscribing, then you are losing.

It is that easy.

Until next week

Brendan

Categories
Email marketing

How We Sold Legal Cover Via Email At A 20% Conversion Rate

A client of ours recently tasked us with generating Legal Cover leads for them. Using our cool SMS4Email™ email product, we knocked out the leads at a 20% conversion rate. The client is super-stoked with the result, and we thought this campaign would be an excellent case study.

Watch the video below:

If you need any assistance with your email marketing, drop us a line.

Until next time.

The lads at Manalytics

Categories
Email marketing

As Marketers We Still Don’t Ask Direct Questions

We are all selling something, right? Then why is it that we are so afraid to ask simple, yet direct, questions, in order to generate sales?

  • Are you in the market for a new laptop?
  • Does your company need back-up software?
  • Do you need pet insurance?
  • Do you need chemicals to keep your pool blue?
  • Would you like to get away to the bush next weekend?

Let’s look at the last question for a second: Would you like to get away to the bush next weekend?

Ask yourself that question right now.

Here are the most likely answers your mind will ping back, without you even thinking about it:

  • No thank you
  • Yes, where can I make a booking
  • Yes, but it depends on…

Now, the “Yes, it depends on…” might come with a few conditions. Those conditions could be affordability and accessibility, but you’ve already made up your mind and provided you can get the deal to work, you will probably find yourself in the bush next weekend.

The mind has 80 000 thoughts a day. Seems odd, that if you have a marketing message, you wouldn’t get straight to the point. We are all so busy these days, that if your marketing message isn’t specific & addressing a direct need, it will get lost in amongst the 79 999 other thoughts the brain is juggling.

But as marketers, we don’t do that, do we? We don’t ask simple questions, because that would seem too easy. We’ve been taught to identify target audiences and sell benefits and use subtle, persuasive techniques to generate wishy washy interest.

Does this sound familiar?

Book a 3 night stay in the bush, which includes all your meals & a free game drive!

There is a flaw in the logic.  How can you start pushing benefits when you haven’t established interest?

At Manalytics we believe tradition email marketing is kaput. Nobody makes money sending boring promotional email anymore. Watch our 90 second video about our innovative email marketing product called SMS4Email™

We ask direct questions in an email marketing message and wait for email audiences to reply “Yes, I’m interested”

Here is a direct question.

Would your business like to make money from email marketing?

Drop us a line if you need any assistance with your email marketing.

Until next time.

Brendan

Manalytics

Categories
Email marketing

90% Of Zimbabweans Would Prefer Uncle Bob Over Donald Trump

This is a truly scary statistic! A ruthless dictator over arguably America’s finest presidential pick (note the sarcasm…), who would have thought? It’s probably the hairdo if you ask me.

Now before you smear this blog post all over social media like sticky Marmite on a warm slice of toast, let me come clean and tell you that the statement is false! It’s a fib.

No I didn’t do it because I’m part of the “fake news” brigade, looking to reinstate Robert Mugabe.

I did it because I wanted to grab your attention and highlight the fact that any news (fake or not), delivered in the form of a statistic, grabs attention.

Did it work?

Have a look at these statements below:

  • 99% of our flights leave on time
  • 80% of SA women believe their husbands are terrible in bed
  • 40% of Taylor Swift fans are white men over the age of 50

Again, these statements aren’t true, but you can’t argue that the statements aren’t bold!

Why does advertising copy, with statistical information in it, work so well nowadays? Why do you see it on the front cover of magazines and billboards?

The short answer – It’s because our brains are becoming hardwired to wade through the quagmire of information, that rains down on us from the “cyberclouds” on a daily basis. To give our ‘kops’ a chance, we need to scan for snippets of information.

So, what does this have to do with email marketing? Everything, really.

In the last few weeks I’ve been introducing you to a few ways in which you can differentiate yourself when it comes to your email marketing strategy.

We have covered the Storyteller, the Giver and the Expert so far.

Now meet the Analyst.

The Analyst uses big data analysis as his core ingredient, to serve up small tasty canapes of statistical information that gets people eating from his marketing menu.

The Analyst understands the following:

  • Companies sit on huge amounts of data that could be turned into useful marketing material
  • People have short attention spans and need to be fed information in bite-size pieces
  • Content marketing is all about feeding people information, and statistics help reinforce an idea quickly

Do you have loads of data in your business? If your answer is ”yes” you should be using this as marketing ammunition.  Should you not be implementing an email marketing strategy into your database? 90% of you are sitting on this type of data, and less than 10% of you will do anything with it.

Now that is a shocking statistic!

Need help with your email marketing strategy? Drop us a line.

Until next time.

Brendan

Categories
Email marketing

I Reckon I Could Take Roger Federer If He Wasn’t An Expert

It goes without saying that Roger Federer is an expert at playing tennis. He might not do his own tax returns, or cook for his family, but when it comes to tennis, you would put him in the expert category, wouldn’t you? A quick Google search of the word ‘expert’ will reinforce what you already know. An expert – is a person who is very knowledgeable about or skilful in a particular area.

When building an audience, why is it important to be seen as an expert?

TRUST is the answer.

We trust expert opinion. If someone has spent 10 years studying to be a cardiac surgeon, we TRUST that they have the expertise to get the job done.

When you take your car to the local mechanic, you trust he will do a good job. You don’t know for a fact that he has the skill, but because he has a signboard on a wall that says auto-service, you assume he is an expert in the field of repairing cars.

Do we trust more than we should? Probably. But that isn’t the point. The point is we rely on trust every day to make pretty big decisions.

Marketing is all about trust.

Brands spend billions of Dollars on building trust with customers. Trust leads to a sales funnel that doesn’t have resistance.

Every time you walk into a McDonalds you don’t question the process, the cost or quality. They’ve done enough to earn your trust, and as a result you pull a handful of cash out of your pocket and spend with ease.

Do you have your customer’s email addresses? Are you communicating with them via email?

Are you coming off as an expert?

In my last few blog posts, I’ve been highlighting different email marketing strategies that you can use in your quest to connect with your email list.

The Storyteller weaves a story and takes the reader on a journey. The Giver, hands his best work away for FREE because he wants to add value and build trust.

The Expert, well the expert makes it his mission to be seen as an expert, because he understands the immense value we all place on expert opinion.

What do you need in order to become an expert in the eyes of your target audience?

• A dedicated focus to one thing (you can’t be a professional tennis player and a Michelin Star chef)
• A plan to communicate about your expertise, to your email list, on a regular basis
• A desire to be the best at what you do (because it will come through in your communication)

Anyone who makes a living doing something specific, can call themselves an expert in my mind.

Even people who sell beds can argue that they are the experts in the art of creating blissful sleep. The trick is to tell everyone the buck stops with you when it comes to a good snooze!

Need some expert help with your email marketing? Drop us a line.

Until next time.

Brendan

Categories
Email marketing

The Giver 

It’s really tough to produce something of value and give it away for free. Why is that exactly? In a dog-eat-dog world, where time is money, there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch – the idea of handing something of value away, for free, seems down-right idiotic.

Surely you can’t get ahead if you keep giving stuff away for free?

So why do it then?

Answer: Reciprocity

The unspoken universal law that suggests that if you do something for me I will do something, in return, for you.

Last week we spoke about adopting different types of email marketing strategies and how storytelling is a great way to connect with your audience. In this blog post I’m going to touch on the art of giving and why it’s the best marketing strategy to follow. Only a handful of people, reading this post, will ultimately follow through with it.

The Giver

I recently read a content marketing book and in the book there was a story about a guy who had a small pool business in the USA. He worked hard and did OK, but he really wanted to share his decades worth of pool knowledge with everybody around the country.

So he started a blog, got all his clients to start subscribing, via email, and started giving his knowledge away for FREE every week.

He produced valuable content on everything, from how to install a pool yourself to which chemicals to use, and he didn’t charge a dime for his handy tips.

7 years is all it took.

He now has the biggest pool business in the USA and is worth millions of Dollars.

Do you think it’s coincidence that a guy, committed to trying to help every American with his pool problems, by giving his knowledge away for free, is now the biggest pool guy in the country? In actual fact, this story doesn’t surprise you at all!

You know his success is directly attributed to the fact that his intention was pure. He wanted to help the country with pool problems, by giving his knowledge away for free. The entire country picked up on it and wanted to do business with him.

Here is your biggest obstacle – If you sell life insurance, how do you convince your boss to give away a premium over Christmas every year?

If you have a cool corner coffee shop, how do you work a free coffee into your offering or offer a free course on how to brew the best cuppa Java?

If you specialize in divorce law, how do you start a forum and give up your time to help people with their questions for free?

The Giver not only undertsands the value of ‘FREE’, he makes it happen.

If  you really try and add value and ask for nothing in return, people will pick up on it, see it for what it is, connect with you and become a loyal client over time.

Oh and email just happens to be a great channel for FREE.

Until next time.

Brendan

Categories
Email marketing

Why Storytelling Is Like Crack Cocaine For Your Email List

What are you going to do with your customers email addresses? You have all these people you want to stay in touch with, via email, but which content strategy do you implement?

How do you stay relevant, stay in touch, and SELL via email?

Your gut tells you that being too “salesy” might backfire! Your gut is right in that respect.

Constantly pushing product or services down the throat of your email list will lead to dissatisfaction and they will ultimately opt-out (unless of course you are a deal-a-day site, in which case that is the plan from the start)

Over the next few blog posts I will be running through some of the content strategies you can use to build trust with your email base. Then over time you can start monetizing them with your marketing efforts.

A proven content strategy which is actually really simple to implement into your  email marketing is storytelling.

In actual fact, sharing stories is what makes us human. Ever since the days we harnessed fire (about 600,000 years ago) we’ve been sitting around enjoying each others company and sharing stories. The only thing that has changed is how we share those stories.

Just have a look at your social media feeds if you don’t believe me. Your last Intagram post is a visual story, isn’t it? A special moment, captured by a photo that you want to share with your family and friends.

So why should you weave great storytelling into your email marketing? It helps you connect at a human level. It’s as simple as that.

Have you ever met a stranger at a braai and by the time you left that evening you had such a good time sharing stories, over a good meal and a few drinks, that you decided to exchange numbers?

All that’s happened is that you’ve had a strong human connection. You can have the same connection with a stranger via email if you tell a great story.

Here are a 6 tips to remember when weaving your story into your email marketing:

1. Be relatable

Make sure your story is relatable. Finding a common thread is the whole idea. Understanding your audience is key to finding a common thread. Filing an income tax return this month is something everyone can relate to. Spending Christmas in a 5 star Aspen ski resort isn’t something everyone can relate to.

You get the idea, right?

2. Write in plain English

Write the way you speak. Avoid “big words” that you think make you look smart. Chances are you will come off as trying to be a “smarty pants”. Nobody likes a smarty pants!

3. Be honest

Honesty sells, especially in a  story. Don’t try and embellish your story, just keep it real.

4. Don’t overshare

There is a fine line between sharing and oversharing. Getting into details about your messy divorce isn’t a great way to build rapport with your base.

5. Keep it short and sweet

People have a limited attention span. Get everything you need to get across in your story, but don’t go on and on forever. Lead with a cracking subject line, have a good lead in and close well.

6. If you are going to sell, be subtle

Yes you can build a sales hook into your story, but be subtle. It wouldn’t make sense to try and tell a great story then kill off your chances of building rapport by using an overly aggressive pitch.

People relate to stories. It’s why read books, binge watch TV series and follow each other on social media.

Why don’t you connect with your email list by telling a great story or two.

Need help with your email marketing?

Drop us a line.

Brendan

 

 

Categories
Email marketing

5 Reasons Why You Should Send SMS Into Your Email List

Could you send an SMS styled marketing message into an email inbox? The answer is “Yes” and in this blog post I will give you 5 reasons why you should try it.

According to one market research report I recently read, as of 2014, the global SMS messaging business was estimated to be worth over $100 billion, accounting for almost 50% of all the revenue generated by mobile messaging.

You might not like being on the receiving end of it, but if you thought SMS marketing was dead, think again!

So why does SMS marketing still work so well? It’s a good question. I think most of the success can be attributed to the fact that that the marketing message is condensed to no more than 160 characters.

You will be amazed at how creative you can get if you have to squeeze your sales pitch into 160 characters. All the fluff gets removed and you are left with the bare bones of the marketing message. Think about selling a new car in less than the 160 characters.  What would you say to get a response? Not that easy, is it?

SMS marketing is short, it’s to the point, and designed to have a strong call-to-action.

Does this message look familiar?

Hi Frank, Reply Yes (FREE) and get up to R1mil life cover from just R150pm. Get Life Company XYZ Life benefits today. ‘No’ to opt out. T&Cs apply.

This is the type of SMS you and I receive on a daily basis.

The message is crystal clear though – If you reply YES to this SMS, you will be called by Life Company XYZ, who can offer you up to R1 000 000 life cover from R150 per month.

So why would you send SMS to your email base?

First off, technically you can’t actually send an SMS to an email inbox (SMS is a mobile communication protocol), but that doesn’t mean you can’t send a “short message” to your email marketing list, that looks like an SMS message, you would get on your cellphone.

I recently asked myself the following question: What is SMS and would it work if I used the same concept in email marketing?

For me, SMS marketing is simple.

  1. Create a short marketing message (160 characters or less)
  2. Fire it off to your target market (it’s key that you hit your intended demographic)
  3. Pass the interested parties over to a partner for a fee
  4. Knock the cost of the SMS marketing off against the revenue earned and you have a profitable marketing campaign

Would it be possible to do the same with email marketing?

This is what I tested:

  1. I created a short marketing message that looked like an SMS
  2. I fired it off to my target market via email
  3. I had a way to monetize the interested parties (people that replied are interested)
  4. I knocked off my email marketing costs and made a lot of profit

Was it successful? Far more successful than I had anticipated.

I doubled my traditional email marketing conversion rate with every test I ran!

Why did it work and why should you try using it as an email marketing strategy to your customers?

Here are 5 reasons why an SMS styled message works when it’s sent to email inboxes:

  1. It doesn’t look like a conventional email marketing message, which means it’s new to the eye
  2. It’s straight to the point so you find the people that who are actually interested in your offer
  3. It’s easy to reply “Yes” rather than clicking through to a long form
  4. It’s delivered in plain text which means no potential HTML display issues
  5. You can position your entire pitch in the email subject line

If you would like me to email you an example of my test message, drop me a mail – brendan@manalytics.co.za

Until next time.

Brendan