Email sequences for brand building
Hi I’m Ben Fitzpatrick. I’m Head of Operations at Webprofits. I’m a big believer in the power of email marketing for brands, so today I’m going to give you two strategies which I’ve seen consistently get awesome results.
Before I get into the strategies, it’s important we’re clear on the goals of our email campaigns.
For lead gen or eCommerce, this is often straightforward – you’re pursuing conversions or purchases. But brand campaigns generally are dealing with activity which doesn’t take place online.
Here’s what I see as the goal and value of brand email marketing: improve positive brand awareness with key segments of your target market.
Put simply, we’re going to provide your potential customers with real value which will lead them to think more positively about your brand. And then we’re going to continue to provide that value over a long period to keep your business top of mind when they are in a position to purchase – wherever that transaction takes place.
That’s why I’m such a big believer in the opportunity email marketing offers brands – it’s one of the rare opportunities where, if done correctly, you can fully automate a system that provides real value to your target market.
So let’s get into the strategies.
Time Based Journey
Our first strategy is a Time Based Journey. This works great for businesses who sell different products to consumers based on their age or on seasonality. We build an email sequence along an extended timeline which consumers enter at the appropriate stage, and then move them along the timeline ongoing. Be sure you are aware of the best time to send an email.
My favourite example of this strategy was for a company we work with in the baby food industry.
We developed a 3 year long sequence which began from when parents first find out they’re having a baby and goes through the baby turning two years old. We then segmented all our content to send an age-appropriate article every two weeks for the entire 3 year period.
So, for example, if your baby just turned 1 year old, you’d get a great piece of content around first words; whereas if your baby is just newborn, you’ll receive some content on how to care for yourself during the difficult months ahead.
With this system we’ve sent over 600,000 emails to over 50,000 parents – each with content relevant within 2 weeks to the age of their baby.
To maximise the results of this time based journey we captured emails in a number of ways including
- Targeted competition with prizes only a parent would want to win
- eBooks specific to pregnancy, newborns and toddler recipes
- Popups on the website and lots more custom strategies
None of this was about pushing people to buy the products, it was about providing value to consumers, and aligning it with the brand to build positive awareness. And my experience is that as long as you show people that you’re going to provide value, they’re willing to give you the information you need to do so.
Our second strategy is to develop what I call “Challenges”, which are basically a series of awesome content that sequentially build off each other to form a complete consumer experience. These work great because they allow you to segment your target market by their interests and then provide real value for that niche.
An example of this which had awesome results was for a client of ours in the pain relief space. We chose people who suffered from back pain (like myself!), which is a key segment of their target market. We then developed the Back Pain Challenge which was automation consisting of a series of content with proven advice and activities people could do to help reduce back pain.
We promoted the Challenge across Facebook ads, selling the full experience to encourage email sign ups. Each week people received the next step in the challenge that built on what they received the previous week. They also of course got encouragement to continue to get the best results.
The great thing about this strategy is that your audience will segment itself. No one is going to sign up for the back pain challenge if they don’t suffer from that condition. And you can do it for almost any business.
If you sell activewear, you could build a Challenge around the different sports or exercises you know your consumers enjoy most. If you sell furniture, you could do an organise your apartment challenge. If you sell software, you could do a keyboard shortcut challenge. The opportunities are limited only by your knowledge of your customers and the content you can create.
And that brings me to our last point which is that both of these strategies have a few important requirements:
- The most important is a really strong knowledge of your customer base
- Next, you need to have a lot of amazing content (our first strategy literally required over 65 articles, and each one of them was awesome)
- Finally, you’re going to needs some skills with your email marketing software to build out the segmentation.
But if you can bring those to the table, you can make email marketing a big part of your brand growth strategy well into the future.
That’s it for today. If you have any questions, just leave them in the comments and I’ll get back to you. Thanks for watching.