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.


Content Marketing

What Jerry Maguire Can Teach You About Marketing Your Services Or Product

Did you know there is a secret formula to writing a screenplay?

Just about every successful movie (and I’m talking about those that smash it at the box office) is crafted using the same 3 step process. Apply the formula and you win. Ignore the formula and you lose. It’s that simple.

Here is the magic formula:

  • A CHARACTER, who wants something, encounters a problem before they can get it
  • At the peak of their despair, a GUIDE steps into their lives, gives them a PLAN and CALLS THEM TO ACTION
  • That action helps them avoid FAILURE and it ends in SUCCESS

Let’s use the 1996 melodrama “Jerry Maguire” as an example to better illustrate the points above:

  • Jerry Maguire (played by Tom Cruise) wants to start his own sports management firm, but he needs to hang onto some of the star athletes he currently represents
  • Dorothy Boyd (played by Renee Zellweger) steps into his life to support him and together they hatch a plan to bring on board their prime target Rod Tidwell (played by Cuba Gooding Jr)
  • Jerry and Dorothy fall in love, Rod Tidwell lands a final second touch-down that secures him his retirement contract, and everyone lives happily ever after (including that cute kid with the glasses)

It’s a classic plot, but it’s a strategic plot that is repeated every day in everything we watch on TV.

What can we learn from this?

  • Your business should stop focusing on your product and service as the hero of your marketing story
  • Your customer is the only hero of the story that is playing out in their heads 24/7
  • Your product or service is the GUIDE
  • To help the main CHARACTER avoid failure and succeed

Here is a great example of storytelling – When last did you see this TV advert?

Craft a story, focus on your customer as the main CHARACTER, become the GUIDE to help them SUCCEED. We like to do this type of story telling via email.

Until next time.


Content Marketing

Maslow And His Hierarchy Of Needs

If you aren’t familiar with Maslow and his hierarchy of needs, here is the low down:

Maslow (an American Psychologist) believed that every human has a set of needs, which are tiered in terms of importance (and often visually represented in a 5 level pyramid).

  1. Biological and physiological needs like air, food, drink, shelter, warmth and sleep.
  2. Safety needs like protection from the elements, security, order, law and stability.
  3. Love and belongingness needs like friendship, intimacy, trust and acceptance.
  4. Esteem needs like dignity, independence, desire for respect and status.
  5. Self- actualisation needs like realising personal potential, self-fulfillment and peak experiences.

Maslow believed your basic needs have to be met before one can start contemplating higher needs.

As marketers we understand that humans have needs. Our job is to identify those needs and provide solutions.

This is the problem we face:

In the 21st century many of our basic needs have already been met. The lower end of the pyramid isn’t the focus of our attention any longer.

  • We have a house with a bed and a fridge with food in it.
  • We live in a society that provides a set of laws, which govern our behaviour and this creates a sense of comfort.
  • We have family and friends (even if the majority of those engagements are via Social Media) who take care of our need to belong.

It’s the top end of the pyramid that is the new untapped market.

  1. Independence, desire for respect and, above all, STATUS.
  2. Reaching our full potential and being the best we can be.

Think about it for second – 15 years ago you would battle to find a gym in your area. Visit any gym nowadays, and regardless of the time of day, you will find it packed. The people visiting the gym are at the top of the human needs’ pyramid, looking to fulfill their self-actualization needs. Given enough time and effort you can look like a Greek God (if that is what you aspire to be) 🙂

Brands that are winning nowadays don’t sell products. They sell STATUS and self-actualization.

If you can tap into the ‘how can this make me become better, faster, richer and more likeable’, you win.

The good news is that the one thing that all humans do, regardless of their hierarchy of needs, is share stories.

Your business should shoot at the top end of the pyramid and do it with a story. Better yet, deliver your story via email.

Until next time


Content Marketing

The Leaky Bucket Theory

The leaky bucket theory is a model that seeks to describe “customer churn”.

In order to grow a business you need more new customers than you are losing to your competitors – the difference is the churn.

Guess what the prescribed magic fix is? Customer relationship management. Just three words.

What if you have thousands of customers? How do you maintain a relationship with 10,000 people, when you battle to manage a handful of relationships with friends and family?

The short answer is that you can’t have a relationship with that many people in the ordinary sense.

An insurance broker, who has 100 clients, might be able to maintain a personal relationship with all of them, but he can’t scale his business. If he wants to get bigger he risks losing the personal touch that made him successful to begin with. That’s why small businesses remain small.

But the small insurance broker might have the last laugh.

The small insurance broker knows one thing that big business doesn’t – relationships count more now than ever before.

If you sell any product or service, there will be a point where your customer looks at a competitive offer and might be tempted to test the waters.

The only thing that will be standing in their way is the trust that you have managed to build in that relationship, up until that point.

  • If no trust exists you will lose them
  • If some trust exists they might test the waters and be back
  • If trust exists they aren’t going to budge

Happy customers don’t leak out of the bottom of the bucket, they invite their friends and family to jump into the bucket with them. The only way you know if they are happy, is to ask.

The one thing you can guarantee is that they all have an email address. Why not try reach out and say “Hello” before you competitor does.

Get in touch if you want more information on how we can help you talk to your customers via email.

Until next time.





Content Marketing

Should Your Email + Content Marketing Be Outsourced?

If you have a braai at your home, would you outsource the actual braaing to a friend or family member?

It would depend on your braai skills, wouldn’t it?

If you like to braai, and there isn’t much risk of you offering up a “burnt sacrifice” to your guests, why hand the tongs over to someone else?

Some guys like to braai and others don’t. It all about confidence and your abilities.

It’s the same in business.

Any function that is outsourced is done because the business feels the outsourced partner is:

1. Better
2. Cheaper
3. Faster

If you have a sense that content marketing (and let’s throw email marketing into this as well) is something your business should be looking at, you have two choices.

1. Build out the business function in-house.
2. Outsource the marketing function.

If I was in your business I would start with this:

1. I would identify the best story teller in the marketing department.

2. I would ask that person to come up with a great piece of content which you could include in your current marketing initiatives.

Maybe that person exists in your business. You should find out.

If they don’t, contact us and we’ll send you some more information about how we can become that person in your business.

Until next week.


Content Marketing

Find Out How A Pool Guy That Was Bankrupt Cracked The Internet

I’m reading an interesting book by a guy called Marcus Sheridan.

He had a pool business in the US that was failing after the financial crisis unexpectedly hit in 2008.

He had a decision to make.

Close the pool business and file for bankruptcy or reinvent his business.

This is what he decided to do.

He sat down at his kitchen table and wrote out the top 100 questions his clients had been asking him about fibreglass pools:

  • How much does it cost to install a fibreglass pool?
  • What are the pitfalls of a fibreglass pool?
  • What are the ongoing maintenance costs?

So he decided to build a website and started answering these FAQs online.

He had one mission – Be the go-to-guy online when it comes to fibreglass pools.

Turns out it was a stoke of genius. Nobody was playing in this space online and to cut a long story short 10 years later he owns the online pool business and is a multi-millionaire. Nobody sells more fibreglass pools than Marcus Sheridan.

70% of people who make purchases nowadays have already made up their mind before entering your store.

And in most cases they are going to the internet for answers to their questions before deciding how they are going to spend their money. If you think content marketing is just a buzz word you are missing the point.

What are the pressing questions people have about your service or product?

Are you doing enough to answer these questions? You know your business better than anyone. If you’ve been asked the same question a thousand times, there is a good chance a thousand more people want the answer to the same question.

Until next time.



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.




Content Marketing

I Have A 1 In 70,000 Shot At Grabbing Some Of Your Attention Today

Here is an insane statistic to wrap your mind around – the average human has between 50,000 and 70,000 thoughts rattling around in their head every single day. That’s pretty interesting, but not great news if you are a marketer trying to grab someone’s attention, let alone hold it for a minute or two.

Smart marketers don’t like the long odds.

Smart marketers understand that the chances of hitting you with one marketing message (when you have 70,000 thoughts to contend with everyday) and winning is completely unrealistic, and just a race to the bottom.

So how do you win? How do marketers have a chance against all the mind clutter?

You stay top of mind and relevant. And that is the best you can possibly hope for.

Do you think the insurer that’s always promising “You get something OUT” runs those TV adverts with the dude in the car over and over and over and over again because they think it’s worth spending tens of millions of Rand?


They do it because they know the repetition is what works over the long-term.

They don’t want your business today (of course they get enough new business as a result of their ongoing initiatives everyday), but ultimately they are playing the “top-of-mind-game”.

At some point you might be in the market for insurance, and hopefully they have done enough to have their brand spring to mind when you pick up your phone to make a call.

Maybe your business doesn’t have millions of Rand to throw at top-of-mind TV advertising. But you do have a product or service, otherwise you wouldn’t be in business. You also have clients and potential prospects walking through your virtual or physical door everyday.

Are you creating a prospecting pool? Are you reinforcing why you and not your competitor?

It costs 1 cent to send out an email. It costs a little more in time and energy to craft a good story (but it doesn’t cost millions of Rand)

Keep telling your story and use a cheap, but effective, marketing channel like email to reinforce it.

On average it would have taken you around 2 minutes to read this entire blog post. In the time it has taken you to read this, I needed to contend with almost 100 thoughts that were fighting for your attention and looking to barge me out of the way.

If I’ve managed to succeed, perhaps you might want to get in touch to find out how we can use email and content to craft a story for your business.

And if today isn’t that day, I’ll be top of mind next week again. You get the idea, right?

Until next time



Content Marketing

Why Your “Why” Matters Far More Than The “What”


The Golden Rule of communication is the following: What you have to say matters far less than why you are communicating.

Our job as marketers is to identify the “why” and to make sure we relay that information to our audience effectively.

Here is an example:

MyPet is an insurance company that specializes in hospital cover for dogs and cats. We currently have 5000 pet insurance policies on books and we are underwritten by Floyds of London. Our offices are located in Johannesburg and Cape Town.


Everyone at MyPet owns a cat or a dog. And it’s for that specific reason that we get up everyday and come to work. Our mission is simple: Make sure every South African pet owner can get a good night’s sleep knowing “Fiddo” or “Jinxy” is getting the best medical treatment possible.

It’s pretty obvious to spot, right? The first bit of copy focuses on the “What”.

  • This is what we do
  • This is what we sell
  • This is what our underwriters name is

The second bit of copy focuses on the “Why”.

  • This is why we do what we do

Even if you don’t own a pet, you would need to lift your hand and say that the second bit of copy was far more compelling. Why is it that so many companies are still telling us what they do, rather than why they do what they do?

People don’t just buy what you do, people mainly buy why you do it!

Until next time


Content Marketing

“What’s In It For Me?”

As marketers we often forget that this is the question our audience will be asking whenever they receive our communication – “What’s in it for me?”

In actual fact, it’s a question we all ask ourselves on a daily basis, without even being fully aware of it:

  • “John wants me to join him at his sales meeting. But what’s in it for me?”
  • “My wife wants me to help with the shopping on Saturday morning. What’s in it for me?”
  • “Frank needs a hand moving his stuff this Sunday afternoon. What’s in it for me?”
  • “These guys from Manalytics send me information about email marketing, but what’s in it for me?”

Let’s be honest for a second – as much as we try, we are seldom moved to action if the action doesn’t have any tangible upside for us. What are you selling? What makes your offer so special? What’s in it for the consumer?

These are questions you should be asking yourself every time you send out any marketing communication. Anyone can get a snazzy email template built, get a Mailchimp account and call themselves an email marketer.

What’s in it for you? Why should we be handling your email marketing? Because we are a bunch of email marketers who don’t charge for work. We back ourselves to make money building you an email marketing strategy and then we share in the profits.

Drop us a line if you are looking for a serious email marketing partner.